Just over a year ago, we launched Stripe Atlas, a new way to start an internet business. It was something of an experiment to begin with, but the response has been hugely encouraging. Since we announced Atlas, thousands of entrepreneurs from 124 countries have used Atlas to start their company. Atlas companies are building everything you could imagine, including a deployment platform in California, a presentation tool in Chile, and a cosmetics startup in the Gaza Strip.
We've been listening carefully to what Atlas users have requested. Based on this feedback, we’re excited to roll out a bunch of improvements today. These will make it easier to get access to banking services, to join Atlas, and to connect with other Atlas founders.
Faster access to your bank account
Opening a business bank account is often a pain and takes longer than it should. We’ve worked closely with Silicon Valley Bank to provide a bank account for all Atlas companies. (We chose Silicon Valley Bank because they’re the main bank that we see top startups choose.) When we first launched Atlas, it took a few days to get your account set up. We’ve worked on solving that with SVB. Starting today, most Stripe Atlas founders will be able to log in to their bank account within a few minutes of electronically signing the Atlas documents. In addition, Atlas founders can request a U.S. debit card that makes it easy to sign up for other services and pay for other products. (Here’s the full fine print on Atlas and banking.)
Open to U.S. entrepreneurs
When we launched Atlas, we were focused on making it easier for entrepreneurs outside the U.S. to get started. Since then, we’ve heard from thousands of entrepreneurs located within the U.S. who want to use Atlas, and we’ve worked with many founders based in the U.S. to get their companies started. (And it’s not a surprise—Atlas sets up every company with the standard defaults and banking infrastructure used by top U.S. tech companies.) So, starting today, Atlas is now officially open for business for U.S. founders, and we’re working to add more benefits to Atlas that will specifically be useful to founders in the U.S.
Atlas invitations from current members
Stripe Atlas is available to join by invitation only, but we want to make it available to as many founders as we can. Starting today, existing Atlas founders can invite other entrepreneurs to join—we think this will be the easiest way for many people to get access. Anyone can still apply directly for an invitation, and we’ll respond within two weeks.
Expanding the Stripe Atlas Network
We’ve expanded the Stripe Atlas network of investors and accelerators from around the world. The network now consists of over 200 members and we’ve also added other types of organizations like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and YC Startup School to the network. All of these members can invite founders to join Atlas. You can check out a gallery and get in touch here.
The Atlas Forum
One of the most useful sources of knowledge for entrepreneurs is simply talking to other founders. A lot of Atlas participants asked us about a way to connect with other founders. So we’ve created the Atlas Forum, a members-only discussion board. In addition to providing a place to ask questions and share experiences, we’ve been hosting some special events: in the last month, the forum has featured a Q&A with Keith Rabois of Khosla Ventures, "Ask an Accountant" sessions with accounting firm PwC, and "Ask an Attorney" sessions with international tech law firm Orrick. Many Atlas users are actively raising capital, so we hosted a Q&A session with Kirsty Nathoo (CFO of Y Combinator). We also provided individual feedback on applications to YC’s next class for every Atlas company who requested it. We plan to continue these over time, and, over the next month, we’ll be hosting private interviews with Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator, and Diane Greene, founder of VMWare and SVP of Google Cloud.
With these updates, we’re excited to help more entrepreneurs get started. You can learn more and apply to join. We can’t wait to see what you build.