Innovate Work Lab

Oakland, CA
Spring-Summer 2021
Project Type
Fast track
Project Focus
Market Analysis,
Organization Type
Community or Economic Development,


Innovate Work Lab is the $1.3M innovation arm of United For Respect, a national organization dedicated to elevating the voices of those employed in the retail economy to ensure industry leaders and policymakers provide jobs that lead to a safe and economically secure life. United for Respect has been examining the causes and accelerators of income inequality since 2010, focusing on the experiences of people who work in low wage retail companies. Innovate Work Lab builds products that provide people working in low wage jobs with direct access to actionable information, collective support, and trusted communities, using cutting edge technology. It launched the WorkIt app at the end of 2016 and the crowdsourcing tool in April 2020, serving in total over 230,000 users across 17 client organizations (unions and worker centers) with a goal to double users by the end of 2022.


How does Innovate Work Lab increase use of its WorkIt app and other core technologies?


Innovate Work Lab is spinning off as a separate 501c3 non-profit entity this summer to provide more focus and flexibility in reaching a diverse group of clients and users. Its clients have primarily come from the United for Respect network, and the partnership to share learnings and ideas will continue even as separate entities. Innovate Work Lab, however, strives to build worker power in industries beyond retail so they need to develop a strategic marketing and sales plan that will have broader appeal.

Project Objectives

The client is requesting a market assessment for its core technologies and worker-focused apps. Innovate Work Lab seeks to understand the landscape of potential and existing clients. The project team would explore potential client sectors, determining the technology needs and current solutions for each sector, as well as if/how Innovate Work Lab’s products can deliver greater value in meeting those needs.


This is a Fast Track project:

  • Scope: Focused, specific organizational issue
  • Team Size: 2-3 consultants, including 1 project leader
  • Project Duration: 3 months
  • Estimated Time Contribution: 25-30 hrs total (per consultant)

Read more about the Fast Track Project Consultant role.