Interview With Jason Widen, Founder at HQ Raleigh

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Jason’s background is in real estate and hospitality and it has translated very well into building coworking communities. HQ Raleigh is a community for entrepreneurs, change-makers, visionaries, and professionals. Through their mind, body, business, and community approach they support their members as a whole person, not just their career.

What are the best things about coworking compared to a traditional office space?

The best thing is you can create a collaboration across your space. Having other companies wanting to give back and help you grow your company is very powerful. At HQ Raleigh, we also offer affordable and flexible lease terms for entrepreneurs. Business can change rapidly, and we do our best to meet our members where they are in their entrepreneurial journey

freelancers coworking at hq raleigh

Does HQ Raleigh host community events?

We host many events. Some are put on in-house by us, like community Happy Hours, Office Olympics, Pitch-Days, and others are put on by our community or sponsors.

What were the earliest indications that this business could be successful?

When we opened in a very small space and needed to expand on a grander scale within 6 months.

What is your favorite coworking space you have been to in a different city?

We have three locations, Raleigh, Greensboro, and Charlotte, but I think Charleston has some great coworking spaces.

Click here to see the Top Coworking Spaces In The Carolinas

What is working best for HQ Raleigh's marketing right now?

Word of mouth! We have such a strong presence in North Carolina, we are known for helping build entrepreneurs up through a sense of community. That goes further than a brochure could ever communicate. Social media would be second to that.

What is your biggest differentiator compared to other coworking spaces?

We are a coworking COMMUNITY, not just a space.

What is the toughest decision you've had to make in the last few months?

Where to expand to next! We have to look at the market, the pipeline of talent, proximity to universities, etc. and that can make a city more or less appealing to us.

If it was possible, what advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Pace yourself!

Jason Widen of HQ Raleigh

How did you meet your co-founders or business partners?

I met Christopher Gergen first, he had been running Bull City Forward in Durham. He then introduced me to Brooks Bell and Jesse Lipson (married, though entrepreneurs in their own right). From there we went for it!

Favorite place to travel to?

Western Europe

What are some of the best things about your coworking community?

How everyone has similar views on the world and how they want to leave it better.

What book are you most likely to give as a gift?

Work Related: Empowering People.

What is your favorite app or online tool?


What was the best event that you recently attended?

Innovate Raleigh.

What business would you love for someone else to start?

My wife is hoping to start a wine/juice bar geared toward women/moms near a park in downtown. I think that is a great idea.

What advice do you have for new business owners?

Surround yourself with people who drive you and ask the tough questions.

Twitter: @jasonwiden

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