The use of flexible office spaces and agile real estate are helping this NYC startup thrive.
A ‘jackpot in your pocket’ was the clever idea behind Peter Sullivan’s latest venture, Jackpocket. Jackpocket’s consumer-facing product, an eponymous app that’s transforming the $80 billion U.S. lottery industry by allowing people to play through their mobile phones, sprang from WeWork Labs in 2012.
The biggest friction of traditionally playing the lottery is the time spent going into a physical retailer, purchasing a ticket, and keeping it safe for both the drawing and if lucky, the collection of the prize. Jackpocket removes that friction as the first third-party app in the U.S. to offer players a secure way to remotely buy official state lottery tickets. Jackpocket helps lotteries drive incremental revenue—benefiting essential state programs such as public education, veterans assistance, natural resources and more—while attracting new customers like millennials who otherwise would not be active lottery players. It has seen rapid growth in the last 7 years and now covers three states–Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Texas–with plans to expand to many more.
That same ambition has pushed the company from an idea at WeWork Labs, to growing through multiple offices at New York’s Varick and Bedford Street WeWork locations, to now having an official headquarters located across from Bryant Park. This growth was no accident, as more traditional industries go digital and many barriers of compliance are being met, and broken with, technology. However, going from 1 employee to dozens isn’t what makes this growth fascinating; instead, it’s the intention in which Jackpocket wanted to grow.
Growth with intention and the office space needed for it
When trying to foster innovation in an industry that’s filled with restrictions, regulations, and a complex hierarchy of decision-making, building a team and culture that keep momentum going through all of the inevitable no’s is vital. Jackpocket hired strategically, focusing on both a high level of patience now and enough rapid adaptability for the future. The same principle was brought forward throughout their office journey. By bringing in WeWork to build out their latest office space through the headquarters by WeWork service, Jackpocket received all of the benefits of a flexible workspace with the longevity and organic employee engagement of a truly custom private office.
With headquarters by WeWork, Jackpocket found a space that could scale with the company’s growth while remaining both a familiar home base and a reflection of its brand: simple, elegant and fun. The location currently houses 36 employees plus Maybelle, the office’s “Chief Treat Officer.” Instead of just an open floor plan with rows of desks, the company added its own music corner and custom arcade machine — and enough space to support the company’s massive goals to bring Jackpocket to more states this year.
We needed a space that could support our growth and help us continue to foster our identity. We felt the ethos and aesthetic of headquarters by WeWork would reflect our look and feel as a playful-but-polished organization.Peter Sullivan, Jackpocket Founder and CEO
Why Jackpocket has stuck with WeWork throughout its many offices
WeWork has provided the necessary resources for the company at every stage. WeWork Labs offered guidance to get the Jackpocket idea off the ground and a soft cushion for the bumps along the way. In fact, Sullivan met Jackpocket’s CTO, Leo Shemesh, at WeWork Labs — they were sitting across from each other and got to talking. WeWork Labs Co-founders Jesse Middleton and Matt Shampine are also some of Jackpocket’s earliest investors. WeWork Private Offices provided a flexible workspace with all of the logistics taken care of: internet, printing, housekeeping — all while providing a community and soundboard, often missing for a small headcount organization.
Finally, headquarters by WeWork offers a spatial confirmation of the company’s success. The company has no shortage of funding but rather than take on a long-term lease, pay for a fully custom ground-up buildout, and place their financial focus on something besides growth, they went with a low-stakes, high reward approach with their headquarters. It’s a place to work proudly, think deeply, and collaborate with a team that’s destined to add responsibility, efficiency, and ease for the lottery community worldwide.
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