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Jacksonville's Startup Economy: Why I Stayed - Paige Calvert, CoWork Jax

Collier Black Photography

Paige Calvert left Jacksonville because of a lack of opportunity. When she returned, she became part of a group that is creating opportunities in the city for themselves and others.As part of our Startup Economy Series we've asked those involved in Jacksonville's innovation economy why they have stayed in the city. Today we hear from Paige Calvert, managing director at CoWork Jax.

"Five years ago, I discovered coworking. I was so fascinated by the concept that I left a dream job in New York City and returned to school to study workplace innovation."

"While in school, I connected with the team that was opening CoWork Jax. When I first learned about their plans, I’ll admit that I was wary. Would enough people in my hometown be interested in coworking? Would they 'brave' Downtown to do so?"

"I was also excited. I originally left Jacksonville because it lacked companies and jobs that interested me. Most of my childhood friends left for the same reason. The CoWork Jax team saw this drain of talent and decided to do something about it."

"If I had not been offered the opportunity to run CoWork Jax, I would not have come home."

"CoWork Jax's 110 members, the 20 businesses that have expanded out of our space into empty spots in the Urban Core, and this city's other doers—the ones fighting to build a culture that attracts smart, creative people—are why I am choosing to stay."

Paige Calvert is managing director at CoWork Jax.

You can follow Patrick Donges on Twitter @patrickhdonges.