Following the founder’s belief that community is critical to a company’s success, Hera Hub recently established itself in La Jolla to provide local women with co-working spaces, services and events designed to empower female entrepreneurs to make.
Hera Hub La Jolla, at 11011 N. Torrey Pines Road, is one of seven locations across the country where about 500 members work to support each other, according to company founder Felena Hanson.
Hanson said the “spa-inspired” co-working space is aimed at women but is also gender-inclusive, designed to create “a very balanced environment” with elements such as aromatherapy, running water and natural light. The idea, she said, is to “contribute to creating an opportunity to be productive, but also to feel comfortable, to feel at home, to feel that there is harmony around you. “
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Hera Hub also offers meeting and social spaces, hosts two formal business accelerator programs to support entrepreneurs, and offers 15 virtual programs, along with hosting free or low-cost entrepreneurship programs for those in need.
People using Hera Hub are in a wide variety of industries, including marketing, legal, finance, and more. The space is open to everyone from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, when non-members can try the space for free for two hours. Members can also book rooms at night and on weekends.
Memberships in San Diego cost $149 to $369 per month, depending on individual or team needs.
The heart of Hera Hub is its “significant sense of community,” Hanson said. “We are the longest running co-working space in San Diego.”
After working at various marketing and technology start-ups and being laid off three times by the age of 30, Hanson decided to start a small marketing consultancy.
Hanson ran the company from her home for eight years and found herself “feeling a little isolated at times and finding it hard to focus at times, hard to be creative,” she said.
She missed having colleagues, but “didn’t want to go back to a traditional office in a corporate environment.”
In 2010, she researched the emergence of co-working spaces in cities like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco and “saw that a lot of the spaces then, and even now to some degree, are really geared towards a younger male demographic group. .”
“I wanted to create something that was warm and welcoming,” said Hanson.
Hanson founded Hera Hub in 2011 in Sorrento Valley, and expanded it to Mission Valley in 2012 and Carlsbad in 2013. In subsequent years, it expanded through a licensing model to Irvine, Temecula, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.
Last year, Hanson said, Hera Hub was “pushed out [of Sorrento Valley] as a result of biotech developments.”
“The irony of the story is that we … connected with the founder of a biotech accelerator through LinkedIn,” Hanson said. He offered her space on his company’s land in La Jolla, and she founded Hera Hub there in November.
“Collaboration is even more important today than the day I started [Hera Hub]Hanson said. “Because we’ve all been so isolated and working from home during COVID, the need for a sense of community is so important.”
While the quarantines and isolation of the pandemic have been “harming our health physically and mentally, co-working spaces are a way to get out in a very flexible way,” she said.
Hera Hub provides “an environment that is beautiful and … productive” without the distractions of home and offers members the chance to “connect with like-minded individuals, share ideas, share fears, share goals,” said Hanson.
To that end, Hera Hub has weathered the pandemic-related restrictions on in-person activities with a series of virtual programs that have continued beyond the end of restrictions.
“We do 15 hours a week of live virtual online programming,” Hanson said, including education, mentorship and accountability groups.
“Our members can hop on our Zoom line at various points throughout the day and connect with other businesswomen and entrepreneurs to get the support they need, even when they’re not in the room,” she said.
Eighty percent of Hera Hub members stayed during the pandemic, a time when many co-working spaces closed, Hanson said.
Female entrepreneurship is often scary and daunting, with “a lot of bumps in the road,” she said. However, running Hera Hub gives her immense satisfaction.
“I wouldn’t even call it a job,” Hanson said. “I get to go to work every day in a beautiful environment with inspiring women who are planning really big things, and I get to support their vision to build their dream.”
For more information visit herahub. com. ◆