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Announcing Atrium Academy

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I’m excited to announce our new fundraising bootcamp, Atrium Academy, with our first session taking place on January 13th 2018. It’s a free, two-day event for entrepreneurs that gives startup founders personalized fundraising mentorship from seasoned entrepreneurs and top VCs. Anyone can apply at atrium.co/academy, starting today.

Raising a Series A is something most founders only do once. It can be an intimidating process without much transparency, yet is has long term repercussions for your business. When I started my first startup 12 years ago I certainly didn’t know how to raise venture financing, but after pitching over 100 investors and successfully raising ~$80mm from investors, I created Atrium Academy to share the valuable fundraising lessons I learned with startup founders.

Atrium Academy is the first bootcamp of it’s kind to pair intensive in-person programming with peer mentorship to help founders succeed. Atrium Academy is highly personalized because we believe cookie cutter approaches to fundraising don’t work. Every company is different and creating truly effective fundraising strategies is a highly tailored effort of timing, narrative, economics, and legal preparation.

Three weeks ago we ran a beta of the program and it had very promising results….

We received 130 applicants and selected 12 highly promising founders, and we focused on training these founders on these topics:

  1. The Mechanics of Fundraising: We kicked off the day with a session on fundraising best practices which included negotiation tactics, building demand, timing, and crafting a compelling narrative.
  2. Pre and Post-Term Sheet: Atrium lawyers trained founders on specific legal preparations to do to speed up the fundraising process and next steps after receiving a term sheet.
  3. Perfecting your Pitch: Investor and Mentor Office Hours: I’m lucky (or maybe not) to have given >100 investor pitches myself, but most founders only go through a handful of fundraises while are pitching to investors who see pitches every day. So we matched founders with seasoned entrepreneurs and VCs for 1–1 feedback to identify questions to field and flesh out pitch strategy.
  4. Founders spend the first day practicing their pitches and discussing their fundraising strategies with their dedicated mentor — we had Jason Tan (Founder of Sift Science), Avichal Garg (Former Director of Product Management at Facebook), Amitt Mahajan (Former Director Engineering at Zynga), and me coach them 1–1. The following day, founders went through a mock pitch with investors to gain additional feedback on their company. Partners from General Catalyst, Accel, Venrock, and Initialized Capital were there to coach them through their pitches and fundraising strategy.

Atrium Academy is a natural extension of Atrium’s mission to help founders — we want to help startups as they build their business and scale. The Academy will happen every quarter for venture ready founders. For founders who are raising in January and February 2018, we welcome you to apply here.

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Justin Kan is a renowned figure in Silicon Valley most known for co-founding Twitch, formerly justin.tv, which sold to Amazon for $1 billion. Since he started his entrepreneurial journey in the Valley 15 years ago, Justin has founded 5 startups and invested in over 120 companies. Today, he’s the CEO and Co-founder of Atrium, a company that’s reimagining the delivery and consumption of professional services to allow founders to re-focus on their superpower. Previous to Atrium, Justin was a Partner at the preeminent startup accelerator Y Combinator. There, he mentored many founders and learned the value of having a startup community to exchange information and knowledge. During this time, Justin also realized that no founder succeeds alone - and that all first-time founders or serial entrepreneurs - need guidance and resources to compete in today’s increasingly saturated startup market. This realization helped inspire the inception of Atrium. Other companies Justin founded include Exec, an on-demand errand service (acquired by Handybook in 2014); Socialcam, a mobile app for sharing video (acquired by Autodesk in 2012); and Kiko, the first Ajax web calendar. Outside of his professional accomplishments and activities, Justin is an advocate for living consciously and being holistically healthy, especially emotionally. He often leads discussions about what it means to be a conscious individual and bring your whole self to any situation in or out of work. Justin graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor’s in Physics and Philosophy.

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