Stripe Atlas has placed boots on the ground at Techstars‘ Startup Weekend to recruit startup founders. Atlas provides business registration, stock management, and bank setup for $500. Their aims is getting startups processing payments within days.
This fall, Robert Neivert a 500 Startups Venture Partner, told the 3 Rivers Venture Fair audience in his keynote presentation that most Venture Capitalists don’t accept anything less than a Delaware C-Corp. This signals that when it comes to location, stocks, and capital, the Delaware C-Corp is king. It is the industry standard. However, it wasn’t always that way.
Back in the days of the early-internet, a Delaware C-Corp was more of a rumor you heard about if you weren’t in the valley or a major city. I should know. I registered one in the early 2000’s. I was in West Virginia, one of the farthest places from those cities of circuits. It was also the furthest away from getting a judge that understood the internet if I had ever had an issue. Napster had taken national headlines with their legal battles in the music industry. Many of those headlines included their incorporation in Delaware as a brilliant move. So, I decided to incorporate there too.
To get a Delaware C-Corp a decade ago, local lawyers would be mostly useless. You’d find a registered agent’s website. Poorly designed websites littered the landscape and you had to place phone calls to even assess if they were legit or not. You were taking a leap of faith as they’re handling your business and potential lively hood. The correspondence was a new role you had. Eventually, you’d get your articles of incorporation in the mail with a fancy seal. Once everything was done, you’d pay your yearly fees and barely hear from the company. Frustrating to say the least.
Stripe Atlas has fixed that and streamlined the incorporation process.
Stripe launched Atlas as an entrepreneurship empowerment tool for foreign nationals to get their companies setup in America. The program was an immediate success with Stripe helping entrepreneurs from 126 countries start their business on Atlas. Sarah Heck, New Markets and External Affairs at Stripe explained, “The goal was to break down geographic barriers for good ideas and great companies to be part of the American dream.” A new opportunity arose when, “A strikingly high number of applications came from US based founders.”
Stripe expanded Atlas expanded to founders in the United States this fall. Within a few days of signing up you receive a Delaware C-Corp, stock issued to founders, Silicon Valley Bank account, AWS credit, and of course a Stripe account. This is a perfect pairing for Techstars’ Startup Weekend. Within a week entrepreneurs can go through idea, minimum viable product, and incorporation.
Lastly, Stripe is not alone. Gust has launched, well, Gust Launch, which is $99/mo billed annually at $1188. Gust offers similar services and some value adds, but thus far is not comparable to Stripe’s price or speed. For now, Stripe Atlas is the best way to start an internet business.