Baton Rouge’s first coworking space, Entrepreneur Headquarters, which opened last month, is filled with a palpable energy. Whether it’s the thrill of a brainstorming session in the meeting room, the tap-tap of laptop keyboards as entrepreneurs knock out their daily work, or the expansive views of the Perkins Rowe fountain square, the space has a creative vibe unmatched by any coffee shop or home office.
Current tenants of EHQ include two of the Startup Weekend teams, 300 seats and Relevent. These teams won the Startup Weekend Baton Rouge pitch contest back in April and received access to EHQ for 3 months as their prize. 300seats founder, Manuel Valencia, can be found on any given day at EHQ working on his next big event.
The main office for the Regional Innovation Organization is based at EHQ. It provides a stopping point for Executive Director Terry Jones to get some work done in between meeting with incubators, startup businesses and other innovation assets in the greater Baton Rouge area.
Jared Loftus, one of the founders of EHQ, works from the space himself as well. Loftus took a break from his Tiger District business to talk with Silicon Bayou News about why EHQ was created.
SBN: What inspired you to pursue opening a co-working space? Why an entrepreneurial-themed space versus a traditional one?
I truly believe that entrepreneurs can change the world. EHQ is a place they can collaborate, be inspired, and be accountable to other people just like them. By being here, there’s a self-selecting legitimacy. The people who work at EHQ are by their very nature part of the unique community of entrepreneurs.
SBN: Did you model it after a concept in another city?
We looked at coworking spaces from around the country. We took the best features to decide what would work best for Baton Rouge. Some decisions, such as the open workspaces, were deliberate to help foster collaboration.
SBN:What kind of experience can a person expect at EHQ?
EHQ is designed to build a sense of community while providing full office amenities, including conference spaces and coffee. The nature of the type of people who work here creates a sense of accountability for action and results. We plan to hold events here at EHQ to educate and inspire our members. Some of these events would be open to non-EHQ entrepreneurs as well.
Loftus, who runs Stabbed in the Art each month, went on to describe his own passion for the space. “It’s a cool space,” he said, and went back to building out his plans for yet another venture. Looking around the workspace at the other entrepreneurs doing the same thing, we agree.