We’re excited to introduce one of our newest Switchboards! In just a few short weeks the Eugene Tech Switchboard already boasts more than 100 users and has new posts every day. A home for startups, tech companies, teachers, freelancers, artists, bloggers, and developers, the Eugene Tech Switchboard features posts about everything from teaching kids to code to robotic pet feeders, to abundant job opportunities.
Mark Davis started the Switchboard to spread the community’s wisdom and resources more broadly while taking the pressure off the usual matchmakers. “There were, and still are, a handful of us in town that are known for knowing people. I'd personally get approached a few times a week with someone looking for local tech talent,” said Mark. “I'd try to play matchmaker for each of these requests and even jump in on projects to get them started... I saw Switchboard as a way to remove people from the middle of those interactions and move it to a public with a much wider audience.”
Since kicking things off, Mark has rallied support throughout the community, fired up a Twitter and Facebook account for the Switchboard, threw a launch party, and even got a spot in the local newspaper. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. There are already 23 successes like the ones below. That breaks down to almost one success a day since it started!
One member, Kali Orkin, heard about Switchboard from her boyfriend and hopped onboard to start connecting . So far, it's yielded a flurry of positive experiences: “I have met several people in real life and found out about local events I wouldn't have known about otherwise. I met with one person, have another meeting pending, and a job interview next week. It's going great!”
Another win for the Eugene Tech Switchboard has been seeing underutilized spaces flourish. The Lane Community College Dojo space had available training rooms and offered them up to meet-up groups and kids classes. They already have five meetings listed for March when they were previously averaging only one a month. This activity is really important, says Mark, because it’s going to help them fulfill their mission and hopefully get funding next year.
The explosive launch of the Eugene Tech Switchboard speaks to a community hungry for a space to connect and collaborate. As the community continues to grow and evolve, the hope is that the Eugene Tech Switchboard will continue to be an essential facilitator. Mark believes that, “Switchboard is a key element for opening dialog and making things happen in Eugene moving forward. It really gives people who want to help a place to apply [their] energy as well as a safe place for folks with specific technical needs.” The way things are going, it is only going to get more awesome.