Jason Widen, Co-Founder, HQ Raleigh
Jason Widen is COO of Forward Impact whose mission is to unleash the impact potential of next generation entrepreneurial leaders. This work includes supporting community-based strategies to develop and scale high-impact entrepreneurs including and HQ Raleigh, ThinkHouse, and Leadership exCHANGE.
Jason is also President and owner of REVGEN, a startup marking and sales company.
Jason brings an extensive background in property management and entrepreneurship to his current position as Co-Founder and Executive Director of HQ Raleigh, an award-winning entrepreneurial co-working space located in Downtown Raleigh. In addition, Jason is Co-Founder of ThinkHouse an intentional living community and accelerator for post graduate entrepreneurs. Jason was also instrumental in the creation of Leadership exCHANGE, an award-winning organization dedicated to training the next generation of leaders and global citizens to change the world. He teaches Global Business and Socials Entrepreneurship. Leadership exCHANGE has trained over 1000 students from more than 80 different countries.
Other entrepreneurial ventures include a real estate investment, asset management, and development firm which sold in 2011 in which Jason owned and/or developed over 107 projects, Career Plus Travel, an international travel recruiting firm, and Tutto Bené Wine Café and More- an award winning wine café and art gallery located in Bloomington, Indiana.
With over 12 years of relevant experience as an entrepreneur, Jason’s passion for entrepreneurship is showcased through his commitment to serve each community he joins.
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Derrick Minor, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Manager, City of Raleigh
Community Builder in the Raleigh Startup Ecosystem
My mission is to elevate Raleigh and the Triangle as one of the top 5 destinations to live, work, learn, and play by helping entrepreneurs, startups, and growth companies to start, stay, and prosper in our local ecosystem. The end result of which will be an amazing quality of life for our entire community.
As a professional, I intend to achieve this by fostering growth within the local ecosystem to enable entrepreneurs and businesses to create disruptive and world changing technologies & products, and to help grow top tier companies that employee a highly skilled workforce & invest back into the local economy.
As a citizen, I am determined to enhance our quality of life by encouraging communication, collaboration and open innovation between business, government, universities, and the community by leveraging technology and human capital.
I have over 9 years of experience working with entrepreneurs, startups, growth companies, small businesses, economic development partners, and community leaders. I have a passion for the following areas:
• Community Building
• Strategic Connections
• Partnership Development
• Growth and Positioning Strategies
• Business Development
• Brainstorming and Ideation