Atlanta is known as a B2B town, where cybersecurity, SaaS, and fintech shine. Yet, a hearty community of consumer-driven companies is ready to step into the spotlight, and become a beacon for startups to cultivate ideas, grow brands and converse about people over functions. This place – the first concept of its kind in the Southeast (if not in the entire United States) – is the Switchyards Downtown Club.
After months of anticipation, Switchyards opened its doors this week to over a hundred budding entrepreneurs who now call the 19,000 square-foot renovation their work-home. The brick beauty located in the Luckie Marietta District assures that it is anything but another coworking space. It has been designed to foster the talents of B2C companies, serving as an incubator, workspace, coffee shop, and event space.
Former Scoutmob partners-in-crime, Michael Tavani and David Payne, are the visionaries behind the project. They are hoping to translate their passion for the somewhat desolate downtown area into a bustling hotbed for consumer and design-focused companies. This will even include “Switchyard Studios,” Payne’s pet project to build programming around common pain points startups face during their first year.
“We think about Switchyards as a place to galvanize the startups and founders who care about creating something delightful for consumers,” said Tavani. “It’s not about the fact that we bought this building – we aren’t in it for the real estate property or to fill up office spaces. There are 20-25 spaces in Atlanta where you can go work, which is great, but we aren’t that. We are a domain focused on B2C, which isn’t a current strength in Atlanta.”
The community-focused culture of Atlanta is central to what makes the city’s startup ecosystem both unique and successful. Switchyards is yet another tally to Atlanta fostering growth through successful business owners who choose to invest in fellow entrepreneurs.
“If you and I were to start a company today, we’d have to think about what we need on day one to build a sustainable business model. The value we offer ranges from the dev talent needed to create a successful company, to a community who can help accelerate learning, and understanding the monetary value needed to build-out a product before ever raising a penny from grandma.”