WeWork South Station shared office space

Credit: BBJ

Why do Liberty Mutual, Silicon Valley Bank (Nasdaq: SIVB) and IBM (NYSE: IBM), Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and Constant Contact (Nasdaq: CTCT) take temporary office space form providers like Work Bar and WeWork?  In short, management wants certain aspects of these business to think like a startup and not like a lumbering giant.

From the Boston Business Journal:

“It allows us to get (access) to new ideas and new talent,” said Sandeep Gupta, a vice president and head of innovation at Liberty Mutual. “You can do that pretty easily just rubbing shoulders in the hallway.”

Liberty Mutual’s entrance into WeWork this fall coincided with the launch of the Solaria team. The incubator has a broad mandate: developing new products and services with “transformational potential,” that may or may not have anything to do with insurance.

At the moment, the company has two offices in WeWork that can fit a combined 32 people. Right now, the rooms are home to about a dozen Liberty Mutual employees and members of two startups, end-of-life planning company Cake and drone maker Xactsense. Liberty Mutual offers the companies free space, as well as human resources and other types of support, while the startups offer advice and connections in two areas of keen interest to the insurer.