HQ Charleston confirmation featured in Triangle Business JournalJune 10, 2016 12:33 AM
HQ Raleigh, which has already expanded its “HQ Community” through partnerships to Greensboro and Charlotte, is readying for a fourth hub – this time in Charleston, South Carolina, says co-founder Chris Gergen.
Gergen, founded HQ Raleigh in 2012 alongside entrepreneurs Jason Widen, Jesse Lipson and Brooks Bell. He says Charleston is the first of several planned expansions on HQ’s route to becoming “the largest entrepreneurial community in the Southeast.”
His team is still exploring location options in Charleston, but he hopes the hub will be up and running in early 2017. “We are really focused right now on trying to get our model right and making sure that all of our operational assumptions are in order,” he says.
But, should the hub show traction, the founders want to keep expanding, he says.
Charleston is an undeveloped scene in terms of entrepreneurial eco-system, he explains. While groups such as the Harbor Entrepreneur Center are starting to gain a foothold, it’s still widely untapped when compared to the Triangle, which has several up-and-coming co-working initiatives, such as American Underground and Industrious.
“It’s a really neat city,” he says, pointing to the entrepreneurially-focused tech conference Dig South which happens in Charleston. Additionally, HQ’s communications manager, Allyson Sutton, recently moved to Charleston for personal reasons, and is already representing HQ, he says.
As for a planned expansion in downtown Raleigh, it’s still in the cards.
HQ has already gutted a building behind its currently location and is in the process of redesigning it, as its initial idea for 43,000-square-feet was “prohibitively expensive,” he says.
“We’re looking for a smaller size, but it will still more than double our current footprint,” he says. “It’s a process."
Originally posted on Triangle Business journal and written by Lauren K. Ohnesorge