Editor’s note: Jessica Porta is director of HQ Raleigh Community.

RALEIGH – This month is all about community development. With HQ’s own growth this year, we have been talking a lot about the growth of the entire city and how that will shape our community. Now is an important time to talk about the HOW and WHY behind Raleigh’s growth.

This is the exact focus of the upcoming 2019 Innovate Raleigh Summit, so how better to tackle this topic than by highlighting Innovate Raleigh and the Executive Director of Innovate Raleigh, Bridget Harrington.

HQ Raleigh logo

Innovate Raleigh was established in 2011 by former City of Raleigh Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin and Dr. Terri Lomax, then Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation, and Economic Development at NC State University with the mission to connect entrepreneurs to funding, talent, and opportunities. HQ Raleigh was actually born out of Innovate Raleigh’s initial summit and has been woven into the DNA of Innovate Raleigh ever since.

18 months ago, Innovate Raleigh began a partnership with the Raleigh Chamber which opened new doors for the organization and enabled them to bring on an Executive Director, Bridget Harrington.

Bridget brings incredible experience and has done everything from co-founding her own marketing agency in New York to working with some of the leading Venture Capitalist firms in Silicon Valley. North Carolina, however, was where she really felt she could help cultivate a community of entrepreneurship on a more powerful level by being here in Raleigh. We have already felt the impact of having Bridget in our community.
Bridget knocked her first summit out of the park with a much needed focus on entrepreneurial resources, funding, and storytelling. She has already turned those ideas into action by leading a group of partners, including HQ Raleigh, to create and fund a full time fellowship position for the N&O to tell more stories of the entrepreneurs in our community. This is just one example of how the Innovate Raleigh Summit is not just a place to talk about ideas for growth but to put them into action.

The 2019 Summit is just around the corner and this year the topic focuses on innovation and vision for the community. The summit will address challenges that Raleigh’s growth brings such as transit and housing, all while continuing to  be a leader in innovation and entrepreneurship.

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You can hear more about Innovate Raleigh and what ideas community leaders are already working on by attending our Community Lunch Panel on June 21. Bridget will facilitate a panel with representatives from the City of Raleigh, SouthEast Raleigh Promis, and WakeUp Wake County.

Keep your eyes out for a full blog feature on Bridget and Innovate Raleigh later this month and for highlights on our partners who are leading the conversation around community development.

The HQ future is looking bigger and brighter with every move. The best part is our members are making big moves too and are finding their roots right here in the local RTP Region. In our latest blog post we are highlighting how HQ is partnering with local companies on NC State’s Centennial Campus to provide the space and resources our members need to grow their success even further.

(C) HQ Raleigh