Interview With Assunta Swier, CEO of Hub Sarasota

HuB Sarasota is a creative and collaborative space and community where entrepreneurs come together to develop ideas and contribute toward building a new economy and culture in Sarasota, Florida.

As a "social enterprise," the HuB is also active in building a more dynamic community. Over the past eight years, the HuB has taken an active role in promoting big ideas.

Who are your ideal clients?: Our ideal HuBster is someone that has an entrepreneurial spirit. A self starter, is self-motivated, creative and extremely fluid. Someone who appreciates being a part of an innovative community and yet accepts it's diversity.

What is the biggest reason for your success so far?: We measure our level of success by the amazing community we have built over the years. Watching relationships grow organically through honest collisions is for us, the most rewarding. It confirms that everything is working as it should be.

What were the earliest indications that this business could be successful?: I suppose it was the void it would fill for creatives in the workplace. Providing them a place to grow on both a personal and professional level made sense. There wasn't anything else like it at the time (7 years ago) and I'm not sure there's much like it now. The HuB is truly unique.

What is your biggest differentiator?: We do not have any state or city funding. We are 100% independent. Leaving us free of any board of directors or committees. Allowing us to truly cater to our members and their needs.

We've also visited several coworking places throughout the country and found that the community the HuB has built is extremely unique. These members are friends. They're more than business partners or colleagues, they are people who are invested in each others lives. They're a support system, resources, sounding boards, etc. I felt a lack of that when I visited other places. It seemed to be business as usual and very competitive.

What is the toughest decision you've had to make in the last few months?: I would say the biggest decision we've ever had to make was moving from a small warehouse (2500 sq ft) to a 44,000 sq ft multistory building while keeping our brand and integrity intact. It's a tough thing to do and I think we're still dealing with some of those challenges today.

If it was possible, what advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?: Take more risks, have more fun :-)

How did you meet your co-founders or business partners?: I married him 20 years ago :-)

Favorite place to travel to?: St John USVI and NYC.

What book are you most likely to give as a gift?: Fuck It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way by John C. Parkin.

What is your favorite small business in the town you grew up in? : Pacific Rim Sarasota

What is your favorite app or online tool?: Slack or Flipboard

What was the best event that you recently attended?: HuB PuB :-)

What business would you love for someone else to start?: We'd like someone to create a business that creates clones or robots to replace me during the day ;-)

What advice do you have for new founders?: Prepare to lose everything. Don't expect success. Be humble.


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