It’s time to make starting up easier - Presenting Atoms from Accel

Dinesh Katiyar
Partner, Accel
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Starting up has never been easy. With every year, the startup world has only become more challenging, ambitious, and competitive. Being a part of the core team of investors at Accel, I have been lucky enough to be a part of this flourishing ecosystem, closely following the journeys of countless founders as they work towards making their vision a reality. 

While we at Accel are excited to have a front seat in this thriving and inspiring ecosystem, I couldn’t help but notice how different things are compared to when I was taking the plunge even ten years back. Most of these changes have been for the better.

But there are some aspects from the good old days that I think should make a much-needed comeback. 

A safe and insightful space for founders to collaborate, learn, take a breather, and find their footing in today’s fast-paced world of entrepreneurial ambition is needed. Mentorship is essential. All of this used to happen in closed groups and face-to-face interactions, and was incredibly beneficial.

With Accel Atoms we hope to bring back some of the more refreshing aspects of the early days that may be getting lost in the high-pressure system today. 

We aim to do this by focusing on some of the fundamental aspects of the startup journey, like the initial capital, bringing back a focus on efficiency over speed, making sure founder have the right advice, and finally, building a shared and trusted community 

Accessibility to investors

When I co-founded my first startup in Silicon Valley in the late 90s, it was a small ecosystem with only a few active angels and venture funds. Gaining access to these investors was not only relatively easy, I also found that my accessibility to them was far more frequent and direct. They were as much an integral part of my startup journey as my own team.
Cut to nearly decade later when I was working on my most recent startup, I realized the game had changed. The stakes had gotten higher, the arena was much larger, and the players were innumerable.

I spent more time approaching investors but less time getting to know them - something invaluable to my growth in the initial days. The structure and process of fundraising had become tedious, and took away from the time that could be spent working on honing the product and the business.
This can change.

With Atoms, we hope to preserve some of that old simplicity and speed in fundraising. By offering founders quick capital and by assembling a small team to aid and enable them, we want to take away some of the early stress. This not only gives them a quicker start, it also helps them focus on what is most crucial for the success of their startup -- building the right product. 

Being efficient over being fast

It goes without saying that taking the plunge into building a startup is not going to be stress-free. But the pace at which expectations have to be met has changed.

The rapidity with which founders are expected to build and sell their products has increased multifold. This, coupled with the challenges of acquiring talent, building products that are versatile and flexible, and staying relevant in a rapidly evolving market, has left many founders scrambling very early on in their journey, focusing on speed rather than efficiency.

Atoms aims to reduce and perhaps remove some of that weight from the shoulders of founders. 

Sifting through the digital noise

We live in the era of instant information. Everything you need to know to become a unicorn is being tweeted every hour. There is a literal avalanche of information to consume. But not all of this information is needed or accurate, and most importantly, is not timely.

With Atoms, we tune out the noise and help the founder tune-in to what is most relevant to their unique situations. We have put together a group of experienced practitioners that founders will have direct access to. We want founders to be able to find the right channel to find answers for the thoughts, ideas, and queries that are keeping them awake at night.

Building a strong community - personal equations matter

Founding an ambitious startup is by definition a lonely choice. While the adrenaline and energy of being part of startup culture is an unparalleled thrill, it also takes a toll on the mind and spirit. 

And even the most successful journeys will face challenges and high-intensity situations. We wanted to ensure that with Atoms, founders had a safe space with their fellow entrepreneurs, to share stories, open up about their difficulties, seek solutions, and find solidarity. 

We have created an environment where you not only enjoy interacting with other founders in the program, but also build a community through which you find close collaborators and confidantes. 

In a nutshell, we hope that you step into the Accel Atoms program, and step out with capital, confidence, a community that you can call yours, all in service of that great company you are building.

If you are a founder and Atoms sounds like it’s made for you, please join us through this application.

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