Is money all you need?
Becoming an entrepreneur or small business owner is one of those great levellers in life. No matter what your background or how senior you were in your previous job, starting a business from scratch will test your limits.
When you start a business people will talk to you about getting your elevator pitch right, creating your story and most of all, people will tell you that you need to get money, find investors and scale.
It is true to say that you’re not going to get very far if you don’t have some money to invest in your idea but how much you need depends on what you’re doing and how creative you are.
I have a friend that started his online e-commerce business with $10k and sold it for $18M around a decade later. He is obviously a clever guy but his genius was in his ability to take risks, be a little unconventional and stay laser-focused on what he was trying to achieve and as you can imagine he was very good with numbers.
Now, I’m not saying that everyone is like my friend but the point is that for every business that raised $100M and fails, there are plenty that start off modestly and keep on going, providing a good livelihood for the owner and their employees.
What else, if not money?
Money is certainly one element that is needed for success but more than that you need to be able to draw on all the skills and expertise you need as your business starts up and grows.
That is where Atom CTO comes in. For companies that we invest in (and even those we don’t), we provide an ecosystem, a global network that they can draw from in order to get the right skills at the right price. This is not just tech, we cover all aspects of business and more than that, for those companies that are looking to expand overseas, we are able to connect them with local resources that will help them get the most out of establishing in their chosen territory.
To put it briefly, we open up our contact network.
EBIDTA, EBIDTA, EBIDTA
So the question you are asking is what kind of companies do we invest in?
Typically the companies that come to us for tech help are the early-stage businesses that need experienced advice but this is not to say that we only invest in new start-ups.
What we are looking for is much like what most investors look to invest in:
- A strong founder or founding team, people with real knowledge of the space they want to operate in who ideally have connections of their own. What do we mean by strong? We want to see people that are dedicated to their projects, that are putting all their effort behind what they are doing.
- A solution to a real problem or a business in a niche market where those that are already there are ripe for overtaking
- A clear plan to make money
- A clear plan to bring a return to investors
- Most importantly – where we can add value, either through building tech, opening up our network or benefiting from our mentorship or years of experience
Though Atom CTO may be a tech-focused business, we are first and foremost a business. We just happen to build tech. For us, if we see a good opportunity we will try to jump on it. When we invest, we invest not just money but our time and effort to help the founding team and the business in general.
One important thing to note though – please do not come to us seeking sweat equity. We choose our partnerships carefully and if we are also taking on your risk then in return we expect to gain a stake in your company. This method works much better for building a long-term partnership when we’re both invested in and are set to benefit from your company’s success.