Friends of Switchyards

We’ve tried to be very thoughtful and deliberate about every step of creating the Switchyards Downtown Club. First we bought a building. Then we began gathering together a community of liked-minded folks dedicated to creating beautiful startups for consumers. And, most recently, we kicked-off some regular large-scale events like The Consumer Show to begin to create ways for the community to gather and support one another.

During this process we’ve had one main goal in mind…creating more B2C winners in Atlanta.

We are constantly soliciting feedback from our community to help guide our efforts and this announcement is a direct result of feedback from the SDC community over the past few months.

Today we are excited to announce our most focused effort so far to help consumer-focused startups in Atlanta — our Friends of Switchyards program. This weekly roundtable program will provide very actionable guidance to B2C founders from the very best resources in Atlanta.

While all startups share some general rules-of-thumb, different domains (eg SaaS, Big data, Cybersecurity) have specific areas that contribute to their success and consumer-focused startups are no different.

The three essential elements for B2C startup success are:

  1. Product — After initial product-market fit is obtained, technology products for consumers have to be trusted to encourage ongoing usage and word-of-mouth growth, the two most important characteristics of B2C startups. This typically means a product that’s 10x better than what currently exists.
  2. Brand — Consumer brands must be authentic. Consumer brands must surprise & delight customers, appealing to consumers on a deep psychological level. And “brand” doesn’t mean “logo and tagline.” Brand is your entire personality to your customers. This is probably the biggest differentiator between consumer startups and startups that sell to other types of customers.
  3. Marketing — Many types of startups (eg B2B) are able to distribute/market their product using well-understood sales strategies and tactics. Consumer awareness, conversion, ongoing usage & sharing are accomplished with much more varied and creative methods.

Because these areas are so important to consumer-focused startups, we’ve decided to organize our smaller weekly events around these exact topics, so members of our community can regularly receive education and guidance in the areas that are most likely to contribute to their success. The first Tuesday of every month will be dedicated to B2C Product topics. The second Tuesday of every month will be dedicated to B2C Brand topics. The third Tuesday of every month will be dedicated to B2C Marketing topics. And lastly — because there are four weeks in a month — we decided to dedicate the fourth Tuesday of every month to a topic very important to all startups…Money.

We’ve recruited over a dozen Friends of Switchyards already and are in the process of recruiting even more (check our site; scroll down to see them). These folks are the very best in the city at what they do and now all SDC member can leverage their expertise.

Starting on April 26th we’ll have weekly Friends of Switchyards sessions on Product, Brand, Marketing, and Money.

Each members-only roundtable (less than 10 people) session will be focused exclusively on important topics in each of the four areas, so the members are able to receive the most dedicated time possible.

If you are a member (full-time or part-time) of SDC, please join us every Tuesday for the most tactical and actionable programming that exists in Atlanta to increase the likelihood of your consumer-focused startup succeeding.

And if you aren’t yet a member, we’d love to give you a tour — just email us at


The Switchyards Team