For the past several years Switchyards has established itself as a series of community-based, neighborhood social clubs where members can explore their work and creativity with other like-minded professionals. Now with locations in Atlanta’s Inman Park, Westside, and downtown neighborhoods, Switchyards is on track to be Atlanta’s fastest-growing city-wide club. Recently, we were fortunate enough to sit down with founder and CEO, Michael Tavani, at the Switchyards’ downtown location, to find out more about the organization, and his upcoming keynote speech at TiECON Atlanta.
About 10 years ago, Michael launched the prominent consumer-facing startup, Scoutmob. During those days, Michael and his colleagues would frequent their favorite coffee bar, Octane, on the westside of Atlanta. At the time, Michael really wanted to re-create this atmosphere and open it up to consumer startup founders in the community. Fast-forward to 2016 and Switchyards has opened its first location in a 90-year-old, newly renovated building downtown.
Originally, Switchyards opened with the intention of being Atlanta’s B2C startup hub. In Michael’s words, they wanted to be the center of gravity for consumer-focused startups. The history of consumer-facing startups in Atlanta is a limited one. Unlike PayPal’s Mafia, which produced the likes of Youtube, Tesla, and LinkedIn, Atlanta does not have anything like that for consumer brands. While the city has great consumer brands like Coca-Cola and The Home Depot, they’re older, more established brands. There needed to be something occupying the B2C startup space.
As Switchyards began to grow, Michael noticed that a lot of people who expressed interest in joining the organization were not in fact founders of B2C startups. They were professionals working in creative fields like photography, Youtube, and radio. They wanted a space to commune with other people who were interested in similar projects and passions. That’s what Michael believes in store for the future of Switchyards. Today, Switchyards is branded as a neighborhood social club and its goal is to inspire face-to-face engagement and encourage creative professional development.
Today, you can become a Switchyards member for $50 dollars a month and have access to all Switchyards locations, bottomless drip coffee, exclusive merchandise, dedicated workspaces, private meeting rooms and much more.
To find out more about Michael and Switchyards, be sure to watch our interview above. Also, don’t forget to check out Michael’s keynote speech at the upcoming TiECON Atlanta 2019: Built in Atlanta.
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