Meet Our Very First Founders-in-Residence

A few months we announced a new program at Switchyards Downtown Club called Founder-in-Residence. This program was the combination of the smartest new venture creation programs emerging around the country as well as our particular vision for our community.

The response to this program exceeded all expectations and we’ve been heads down working with our new founders, so we’ve been slow to update the community. But we did want to take a minute to update everyone on it.

The Program

Our Founder-in-Residence program is a six-month role allowing our founders to work 50% on the Switchyards community and 50% on startup models that we believe are promising. We keep a publicly running list of our best ideas here.

In a city like Atlanta — without a long history of B2C startups — it’s a unique opportunity for a few people to be immersed in the startup community while founding a new startup shoulder-to-shoulder with experienced B2C founders.

The Founders

After going through lots of videos and meeting our top candidates, we are incredibly excited to announce our first two founders.

Jarrett Coger

Jarrett began his career at Morehouse College. Later on he was part of the team that launched General Assembly’s Atlanta location. And, most recently, has worked as a product designer while trying to launch a few of his own startup efforts.

Greg Kawalek

Unlike Jarrett, Greg’s career wasn’t trending towards startups. Greg graduated from Ohio State University and worked at Deloitte for five years, most recently as a Tax Manager. Looking for a challenge and wanting to try something new, he applied and joined our program.

Please join us in welcoming Greg & Jarrett to the Switchyards community!

The Startups

Greg choose to focus on the residential landscaping space because he has some experience in this area and believed in the model that we were exploring. We believe that consumers don’t know where to start when they think about home landscape design and we can create a business that really surprises & delights them.

Jarrett chose to focus on a space that we called “disconnected vacationing.” Our thoughts on this model have moved around a bunch, but we are closing in on a unique way to create a neighborhood hotel experience using existing residential inventory. Jarrett’s background as an Airbnb host caused him to be interested in this general area and we are excited about how the model is coming together.

What’s Next?

Over the next few months Jarrett & Greg will validate business models in these areas and launch these startups. Please talk with them if you are interested in one of these areas or you think you can help in any way.

We currently have them scheduled to present at our August Consumer Show if you want to join them to hear more. Finally — if they can create financially sustainable businesses — they will each spin-out these companies as founder/CEOs.

If you are interested in learning more about our B2C playbook, our startups or our Founder-in-Residence program, drop us an email. We love talking about this stuff.