Josh Freed is leading the work-from-home transformation
Josh Freed, co-founder and CEO of Proximity, is a finalist for the Entrepreneur of 2020
Josh Freed | Co-founder and CEO, Proximity | Ridgway / Montrose / Grand Junction
About 40% of U.S. employees now work away from a company office, and Proximity is at the front end of the transformation.
The company’s growth has been fueled by its software platform for the management of coworking spaces. Now 28 employees, Proximity saw the network of spaces using its platform grow from 237 in 2018 to nearly 600 in 2019. It just made its first acquisition of SMPL, another software provider for the coworking industry, “with more on target,” Josh Freed says.
Proximity is poised to grow even more as various property owners and businesses launch coworking initiatives. Freed says a partnership with Office Depot is one such catalyst, as are deals with other big companies that are in the pipeline and ongoing international expansion.
Freed grew up in Ridgway, the site of one of three coworking spots owned by Proximity. “I selfishly opened up a space in Ridgway so I could stay home,” he says. “Part of the Proximity vision is doing things where you want to, rather than where you have to.”
Enroute to Proximity, Freed worked in marketing as well as wealth and resort management, but he points to another experience that he describes as especially relevant to running a startup: firefighter.
“Every day is a challenge,” says Freed, 37. “I know what I plan to do during the day, then I just get to witness what happens. It’s fun.”