Low cost automated startup management with smart vesting for cofounders


Low cost automated startup management with smart vesting for cofounders

Ataeum is an all-in-one platform to find co-founders and bootstrap startups in an automated, low-cost, no-paperwork way. Ataeum's innovative work-based weekly smart vesting minimizes co-founder uncertainty and conflicts, and facilitates fair ownership based on the amount of work done.

Ataeum platform creates and manages a joint venture to enable you to run your startup in a lightweight and automated way. In contrast to the usual startup founding, you don’t have to worry about things like incorporation, bylaws, stock options, state qualifications, bank accounts etc. until you make revenues or decide to incorporate.

Excited to be on Betalist!
Hey everyone, wanted to share the story of Ataeum. You can follow our journey in this twitter thread here: https://twitter.com/ataeum/status/1427286578645327872

Here's the story of why we created Ataeum from our blog post: https://blog.ataeum.com/the-story-behind-ataeums-creation-7a1a22e7bdde

As I learned more about entrepreneurship at Kellogg while doing my PhD, it sounded pretty exciting — working on things that I would want to work on, being my own boss, having that chance to make an impact on something, and so on. I had a nice little google doc full of business ideas, some fleshed out more than others (but all great ideas by my count :D ). I assured myself I would become an entrepreneur once the time was right.

I finished my studies, got a job, and then got another one. And when the time was as right as it was ever going to be — I realized I wasn’t going to quit my job and become an entrepreneur. I loved my job, I was okay at it, I had great colleagues, and had a decent pay. I could find no reason why I would want to let this go. But the nagging feeling wasn’t going to go away.

So I devised a solid plan to solve for this. I figured I wasn’t the only one in this dilemma, and that there were others out there like me that wanted to do startups, but also wanted to keep their jobs for some reason or another. I was going to find some of these people with the right set of skills and build my startup with them while we all work full time. I was, after all, in the heart of silicon valley and surely there were options for aspiring entrepreneurs like me.

There weren’t. The startup ecosystem was largely focused on people quitting their jobs and dedicating their 100% to the entrepreneurial pursuit. I found some people in the same boat as me, but they all had roughly the same skillset as I did, and that wasn’t going to help me. If only there were a place where I could meet the right people and then that place also took care of all our incorporation, and paperwork and whatnot, so the limited time that me and my co-founders would have — we could focus on working on the exciting product that would energize us. It would be even more amazing if we didn’t have to worry too much about who owns what in the future company and someone just did the right thing by all of us. All we should be doing is working on building our awesome product. It would be nirvana.

That was when I realized, this is what I needed to build. Not the original startup I had wanted to create, but Ataeum. You can spend your whole life wanting to do something and never do it, and I didn’t want to be in that boat. Ataeum’s mission is to make sure others are not either. Countless others like me were never going to get started on their dreams because Ataeum did not exist, and that would be a crying shame.

I was going to build the startup that I had needed to build my startup. So I set out to work on it, and enlisted some help. We are now a ragtag team of people trying to bring this nirvana to aspiring entrepreneurs. The hardest part of creating a startup is getting started. The early days when you’re trying to get going and set up a million things and make decisions on things you don’t really know, things that have nothing to do with your actual product. And we want to make sure it doesn’t stay that way for future aspiring entrepreneurs.
As a former VC and current Angel investor, there's a lot to like about this platform/framework. Documenting everything starting with the idea is the most important thing you can do when it comes to spinning up an entity where others will have a stake in the business.

Some commentary.
- This is the US only. Legal contracts, Delaware Corp, etc., is all US. Additionally, this will lock you into a particular structure that may cause funding problems down the road. Maybe. When you get to the company's formation, and you want to raise a seed round or Series A, you'll need to clearly understand the shareholder rights concerning Ateaum's rights concerning their shares. Common shares, fine on the surface, but you never know as there is a lack of detail ("and much more") on precisely the formation and other things once you want to go commercial.

- The pricing is exceptionally reasonable based on what I see for the Delaware Corp and all the paperwork. Again, use care as the website is light on the core details of what is being done for you. There should be specific lists of what's being done for you and how much you're doing to prep. For example, getting an EIN is dead simple, so if you're filling out a PDF, they supply and then tell you where to file it, the limited value on effort but max value on the process if you don't know. The more of a newbie you are, I suspect, the greater the value it. Ignore people that tell you it's $99 to make a Delaware corp as that is a misleading comment, at best. The site is light on details but will improve over time.

- The free part is giving you a structure to get started. It actually is invaluable if you're new.

Lastly, a comment on 'finding co-founders.' There's no such thing. If you wake up with a crazy cool idea and start diving in, and THEN you go looking for help? You're looking for teammates, partners, advisors, mentors, etc. but not founders. You are the founder, you own that title, and you are the vision driving the bus. The exception is you jump up in the middle of the night, call your buddy Stan, and the two of you, at the moment, start hacking away. Then, okay, co-founders, maybe. First employees, teammates, founding team members, whatever but not the founder. People insisting on co-founder status are prioritizing title over other things.

I hope this solution spawns many other potential solutions (sorry Rohit), as making more Founders (you) successful is a noble thing to do.
@ricksegal Thanks so much for your insightful feedback. Truly helpful and much appreciated!
Rick, thanks for the really well thought out feedback. One of the things that I think we should take away from this and maybe act on is just adding more details around things.

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