WeWork awards over $1 million to New York City-based entrepreneurs and startups

Some startups have become such widespread, household names that it’s hard to remember that at their core, these companies are just that — startups.

At the forefront of this strand of exponential startup successes?

WeWork, which was recently valued at $20 billion this past summer.

SEE ALSO: Chobani announces 7 new startups in Food Incubator program, funds $175K total

Not too shabby.

But what WeWork excels at even more than a stellar business model and organized implementation of that model, is the ability to give other entrepreneurs and companies the same opportunity that WeWork itself had by granting visibility, credibility and flat-out funding to companies and entrepreneurs whose visions have the potential to disrupt the norm.

Enter the Creator Awards, a global initiative put on by WeWork that will award over $20 million to entrepreneurs, small businesses, nonprofits, and artists across all levels, from people or brands in the very beginning stages to fully-established organizations. 

WeWork recently held its New York City Creator Awards, where 21 entrepreneurs were awarded a total of $1.86 million across three categories: Scale, Launch and Experience.

Take a look at the New York Creator Awards and the winners here:

25 PHOTOS
WeWork New York City Creator Awards
See Gallery
WeWork New York City Creator Awards
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: DJ Kayper performs during WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: Guests attend the afterparty for WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: (L-R) Miguel McKelvy, Manal Kahi and Wissam Kahi speak onstage during WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: Signage is seen onstage during WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: Muhammad Mujeeb-U-Rahman speaks onstage during WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: (L-R) Ricky Sharma, Yonatan Sela and Muhammad Mujeeb-U-Rahman speaks onstage during WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: Saeed Jabbar speaks onstage during WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: Georges Clement speak onstage during WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: (L-R) Miguel McKelvey, Adi Neumann and Rachel Sumekh attend WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: (L-R) Miguel McKelvey, Karim Abouelnaga and Adi Neumann attend WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: Karim Abouelnaga speaks onstage duringWeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: Georges Clement WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: (L-R) Nick Brown, Desiree Younge, Danielle Lee, Emily Keeton and Jaclyn Fu speak onstage during WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: (L-R) Jason Ayala Dilip Rao, Mohsin Mehmon and Miguel McKelvey speak onstage during WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: (L-R) Nick Brown, Desiree Younge, Danielle Lee, Emily Keeton and Ned Kenney speaks onstage during WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: (L-R) Tracey Coleman, Lauren Bienvenue, Erica Buddington, Jae Jin, Allison Hauser, Gabrielle Rossi, John Oquist, Alex Etling, Tine Christensen, Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya, Sabastian Mugazambi, Adi Neumann speak onstage during WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: (L-R) Jason Ayala Dilip Rao, Mohsin Mehmon and Miguel McKelvey speak onstage during WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: (L-R) Tracey Coleman, Lauren Bienvenue, Erica Buddington, Jae Jin, Allison Hauser, Gabrielle Rossi, John Oquist, Alex Etling, Tine Christensen, Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya, Sabastian Mugazambi, Adi Neumann speak onstage during WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: (L-R) Nick Brown, Desiree Younge, Danielle Lee, Emily Keeton and Yonatan Sela speaks onstage during WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: (L-R) Tracey Coleman, Lauren Bienvenue, Erica Buddington, Jae Jin, Allison Hauser, Gabrielle Rossi, John Oquist, Alex Etling, Tine Christensen, Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya, Sabastian Mugazambi, Adi Neumann speak onstage during WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: (L-R) Benish Shah, Ben Leventhal, Karen Cahn, Miguel McKelvey and Rachel Sumekh speak onstage during WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: (L-R) Benish Shah, Ben Leventhal, Karen Cahn, Miguel McKelvey and Rachel Sumekh speak onstage during WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: (L-R) Jason Ayala, Dilip Rao and Mohsin Mehmon speak onstage during WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: (L-R) Jason Ayala Dilip Rao, Mohsin Mehmon and Miguel McKelvey speak onstage during WeWork Celebrates the New York Creator Awards at Skylight Clarkson Sq on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for WeWork)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

A winner in the Scale category, Rachel Sumekh, was awarded $180K for her program Swipe Out Hunger, an organization that partners with colleges nationwide to end college student hunger by helping schools offer a way to allow other students donate their extra meal swipes to hungry students who need them.

Kind of one of those ideas that makes you think, “Why didn’t I come up with that?”, isn’t it?

A graduate of UCLA, Sumekh did what all successful entrepreneurs do upon co-founding Strike Out Hunger — identified a problem and proposed a solution:

"My co-founder Brian … posted on Facebook as a status ‘Who wants to do something with their extra meal points?’ and I messaged him and was like ‘Let’s do it’ and we showed up (We were the only two people who showed up and responded!) and it just took off from there.

The whole campus was always having extra meal swipes, and we decided to start something that made a bigger impact than just buying extra pieces of pizza. We said, ‘What can we do with our meal swipes that can truly make a difference?’And deciding to donate them was that thing."

Though it can be terrifying to jump into something that starts as an elusive vision, Sumekh offered sound advice on how to get the ball rolling with any entrepreneurial pursuit:

“You really have to sell your vision as an entrepreneur and that only comes when you know what you’re actually doing. So, take the time to talk to people, get feedback, really refine what your focus is so that when you do communicate it, it’s not just a bunch of idealistic numbers — it’s truly a vision. Start there and the funding will come.”

Swipe Out Hunger stands alongside four other organizations in the Scale category which awarded over $1M to its winners.

For a full list of the winning startups and their respective founders that are making a splash in their industries, visit here.

RELATED: LinkedIn's top 50 startups 2017

51 PHOTOS
LinkedIn 50 top startups
See Gallery
LinkedIn 50 top startups

#50: Elastic

Credit: Facebook

#49: Casper

Credit: Facebook

#48: Credit Karma

Credit: Facebook

#47: Docker

Credit: Facebook

#46: Glint

Credit: Getty

#45: Skuid 

Credit: Facebook

#44: Databricks

Credit: Facebook

#43: Moda Operandi

Credit: Facebook

#42: Pendo

Credit: Facebook

#41: Cohesity    

Credit: Facebook

#40: Zenreach

Credit: Facebook

#39: ThoughSpot

Credit: Facebook

#38: Snowflake Computing

Credit: Facebook

#37: Hyperloop One

Credit: Facebook

#36: Sprout Social

Credit: Facebook

#35: Darktrace 

Credit: LinkedIn

#34: Robinhood

Credit: Facebook

#33: Wish

Credit: Facebook

#32: Stitch Fix

Credit: Facebook

#31: Coursera

Credit: Facebook

#30: Convene

Credit: Facebook

#29: Ring

Credit: Facebook

#28: Katerra

Credit: Facebook

#27: Affirm

Credit: Facebook

#26: Uptake Technologies

Credit: Facebook

#25: Crowdstrike

Credit: Facebook

#24: Cylance

Credit: Facebook

#23: Cybereason

Credit: Facebook

#22: Opendoor

Credit: Facebook

#21: Blend

Credit: Facebook

#20: G2 Crowd

Credit: Facebook

#19: Udacity

Credit: Facebook

#18: Duo Security

Credit: Facebook

#17: GRAIL

Credit: Facebook

#16: Pinterest

Credit: Reuters

#15:  Aryaka Networks

Credit: Facebook

#14: Flexport

Credit: Facebook

#13: Glossier

Credit: Getty

#12: Stripe

Credit: Facebook

#11: General Assembly 

Credit: Facebook

#10: Convoy

Credit: Facebook

#9: Houzz

Credit: Facebook

#8: Dropbox

Credit: Facebook

#7: Rubrix

Credit: Facebook

#6: NIO

Credit: Facebook

#5: Slack

Credit: Reuters

#4: Lyft

Credit: Reuters

#3: WeWork

Credit: Reuters

#2: Airbnb

Credit: Reuters

#1: Uber

Credit: Reuters

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

 

Read Full Story

Can't get enough business news?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from retailer news to the latest IPOs delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.