The Hub is more than your typical office space – it is where entrepreneurship meets social change. Located on Spring Street just south of the I-85/I-75 interchange, the Hub Atlanta (hubatlanta.com) is a place for meeting, working, innovating, learning, and connecting. People from all professions, backgrounds, and cultures are welcome to join, and members can enjoy access to meeting and workspaces as well as lectures, exhibitions, film screenings, and a variety other events.
“Everything we do is about supporting the entrepreneur,” says Michelle Morgan, founder of the Hub Atlanta. “We create opportunities and experiences that help people to grow their businesses. We do this through a collaborative community, workshops, and internal networking and matchmaking. We also happen to have space where people can sit and work.”
The Hub Atlanta opened in April 2010, and currently has approximately 115 members. “My local impetus is about looking for a way to bring out a culture that I think exists here in Atlanta, but isn’t as connected as it could be,” she says. “We try to help people do things better, with less expense and in the brilliant company of others.”
The Spring Street location can accommodate a working community of 600 people in different levels of membership, and another 1000 for events. “Our long-term goal is to have a large enough community to support five to seven locations around Atlanta,” Morgan says. “By having multiple spots, we aren’t limited by the geography of Atlanta, and we can lessen the daily commute of our members.”
The concept for the Hub began in London and quickly moved through Western Europe. In the U.S., the first Hub opened in Berkley, California, and Morgan says there are plans to open locations in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Seattle, and New York in the next year. Today there are 26 Hubs in 24 cities around the world.
The core area of the Hub Atlanta includes a kitchen, two conferences rooms, and a restroom with a shower for bike commuters. Within this area, there are four meeting areas with smaller tables and chairs with a variety of spaces to read, eat, or chat. The open workspaces are equipped with furniture that will collapse for events and gatherings, and they can accommodate a gallery installation, film screenings, and training sessions of 30 to 45 people.
As a part of their regular display, the Hub Atlanta has a Member Profile Wall showing the background and activities of the people who make up the Hub community. Alongside this is a Be Aware Wall filled with the goings on around town. And out back, the patio provides a nice spot to listen to the sounds of the city. “In our immediate future, we see a nice secure bike rack,” Morgan says. “And a bit further down the road, I can imagine a few spots close by that we would like to see as a small community garden if our members are inclined.”
During the evening, the Hub Atlanta transforms into event spaces for lectures, debates, dinners and cultural fare, playing host to some of the most compelling speakers and facilitators from around the U.S. and beyond. “We are launching several interactive discussions and series in sustainability and the changing face of work,” Morgan says. “We’ll look at how values-based work and a desire for it is influencing existing and new companies.”
This fall, Morgan is rolling out a calendar of activities including a finance boot camp, a speed dating event, and a film community gathering that will give local filmmakers a place to showcase their films discuss their work. The Hub Atlanta also offers ongoing office hours that include free consultations with a number of professionals in the areas of strategy, legal, capital raise, pitch coaching, and soft skills coaching.
With a dynamic mix of corporate executives, community leaders, and freelance professionals, the mission Hub is clear: This is a network designed to enable people to thrive…at the global level as well as the local. “That does cover a lot of ground with multiple sectors, but there is an underlying agenda about collaboration within the network,” Morgan says. “We are about entrepreneurialism and social enterprise and serving those two communities.”