HQ Raleigh vs American Underground @Raleigh: The tale of the tape


The Triangle region of North Carolina is quickly becoming a goliath on the innovation and entrepreneurship scene across the nation. From top 10 rankings on numerous national lists to large IPOs and acquisitions, measurable results has been the name of the game lately.

Wednesday, August 7th 2013, is going to be one of the days that ends up on a timeline of “how it happened.” Capitol Broadcasting Company and American Underground announced that they will be opening their third location in the heart of downtown Raleigh. Almost simultaneously, HQ Raleigh (formerly HUB Raleigh) announced a move to the Warehouse District that will nearly quadruple the amount of space they have.

Hold on. Stop the press. Shut up and read that again – the two largest entrepreneurial focused spaces in the region both announced big plans for expansion on the same day. Try telling me again that it is not worth paying attention to the Triangle?!

While these plans for growth are individually positive, what is the impact from a macro-level? Can Raleigh (or Triangle) have too many co-working spaces? Is it possible to have too much density?

Some may differ in opinion but I emphatically believe there is no such thing as “too much” when talking about density and growth. It is no secret that successful ecosystems are positively correlated (and sometimes caused by) to density of entrepreneurs, advisors, service providers, and investors.

Not only is there enough room in Raleigh for 2 co-working spaces, but there is room for 3-5 more. HQ Raleigh currently has a long waiting list of potential members. American Underground (AU) has filled up 2 locations in Durham very quickly. For all the economic minds, this is a classic case of market demand driving increased supply.

I am looking forward to spending time with both HQ and AU@Raleigh. Whether it is office space, events, or the casual conversation, I don’t see a reason to “pick sides” or pledge alliance to one side or the other. This isn’t a battle. It sure as hell isn’t a zero sum game.

To the community, I ask that everyone keep an open mind, embrace growth, provide value, and keep killing it. If it wasn’t for the individual entrepreneur or startup, none of this would be happening. Never forget that we own this city and this region. It is up to us to set the tone and execute the actions that will one day be written on the timeline of “How the Triangle became the most entrepreneurial region in the history of the world.”

Dream big and realize that we are living in a period of time that will be talked about for decades to come. Personally, I am glad that HQ Raleigh and American Underground @Raleigh will both be with us as we write the next chapters…

What do you think of each move? How do you see the region, community, and city of Raleigh being affected? Leave a comment or tweet me @APompliano!


9 thoughts on “HQ Raleigh vs American Underground @Raleigh: The tale of the tape

  1. Right On! I have been a member of HQ Raleigh for the past 5 months as well as Groundwork Labs in Durham. Both have incredible networks and great resources. I am REALLY looking forward to checking out HQ’s new digs. Each new space will have it’s own character & vibe. I am sure they will find ways to work together to continue fostering business growth in NC.

  2. Really good for RTP and great for Raleigh. We estimate that over 1,500 potentially high impact businesses are created annually in NC; the lion’s share being in RTP and the surrounding area. So, we indeed can support more than we are now. But, the failure rate is frightening, so the challenge is to provide these entrepreneurs with the affordable assistance they need to succeed; like education, mentoring, referrals, and encouragement. All of this has to scale with the growth and churn of these entrepreneurial businesses. Reducing the failure rate by as little as 10% would give the economy a tremendous boost.

  3. Considering that North Carolina still has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, the entrepreneurs must continue to fill the gap. There are plenty of bright minds around here to fill both facilities – and more!

    • Great thought, Sheyenne. Many people don’t realize how we benchmark against the national average for unemployment. Entrepreneurship is definitely one cog in the wheel to help alleviate the pain. Hope you’re doing well.

  4. Well put Anthony, we are better working together. I also agree on putting more emphasis on reducing the failure rate. Our success shouldn’t be judged on the quantity of entreprneurs being produced, but rather the number of these business that achieve success.

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