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WeWork launches fund for UK start-ups amid plans to double its London presence

Shared offices company WeWork will almost double its space in London this year, as it launches a £1.2m award scheme to back UK start-ups.

Speaking ahead of today’s launch of the European part of the awards, founder Adam Neumann defended the pace of expansion of the New York-based business, insisting there was still high demand from both large and small companies.

WeWork is launching an award scheme for companies at three stages: those in “incubation” stage with a specific project needing research and development funding; those wanting to launch an existing business; and companies who want to scale up their activities.

They will be asked to pitch to a panel of judges at an event in London in September, before moving on to global finals in New York later this year.

The firm is awarding £16m globally, of which £1.2m will be allocated to UK businesses, and winners will receive prizes of between £36,000 and £360,000. The first event in Washington DC at the end of last month attracted more than 1,000 applicants.

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