RALEIGH — HQ Raleigh doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
Despite mounting competition from rival co-working spaces like WeWork, the firm has reported a 45 percent hike in its membership — jumping from 663 members from 248 companies in 2018 to 932 members from 360 companies in 2019, according to its latest released figures.
“We have definitely seen that there is room for growth,” Jessica Porta, HQ Raleigh’s director, told WRAL TechWire.
However, capital raised slid from $58,765,000 to $21 million. However, that figure may not tell the entire story.
“When we send out the survey, we have a portion of people who respond and others who don’t,” Porta explained. “Of the 360 companies, we only had 126 respond. I can’t say that is a good comparison because we may have had totally different types of companies or larger companies respond last year. Overall, I think $21 million is healthy.”
In just the last year, HQ added two news spaces and over 45,000 square feet of space. That includes co-working, classroom and office space in the heart of NC State’s Centennial Campus and another office space in the newly renovated Gateway Plaza, located just north of downtown Raleigh off of Capital Boulevard.
The firm has two other locations: its main headquarters on South Harrington Street in the Warehouse District and another on West Martin Street. That brings its total space to around 103,000 square feet.
Porta added the company has not felt much impact from WeWork moving into town.
“WeWork provides a product and service that is similar to ours but each co-working community is different, and HQ Raleigh is really built for companies who need help starting or growing their business,” she said. “The value of connecting into the local community and with local resources is what sets us apart and has helped us continue to grow.”
While HQ focused on growing physically, she says this year it will be more about “programming and activation within the community.”
“Over the next year, HQ@Centennial will become a hub for entrepreneurs, large companies, and students alike, focusing on three main areas: 1. Creating a dynamic working and learning environment; 2. Building out a jobs connection platform; 3. Hosting programs that encourage collaboration across campus and beyond,” she wrote in the annual report.
“And with the new HQ@Gateway location, HQ hopes to contribute to that neighborhood in a way that is inclusive of the existing community, by inviting local shop owners and business owners to participate in the gateway project, and to give access to resources to those who would like to build out their business through the Main Street Business Program. This program, that HQ will launch in Q2 of 2020 in collaboration with community partners, will help small businesses with programming, technology, connection to mentors, and the ability to test out their ideas in real time at HQ locations.”