Launching a startup, by nature, involves a steep learning curve. Whether it’s trekking across the nation and sifting through options for legal counsel, or contacting insurance providers to get advice for insuring a new business, newly launched companies often waste valuable time and money because they’re in need of professional advice, but don’t know where to look.
In fact, by the time many new entrepreneurs realize they’re in need of a professional service, the ideal time to find one has passed. This is the insight Nick Lombardino, Ryan Waite and Derek Notman, co-founders of Atlas Providers, used when they kicked off a new online portal last month that allows entrepreneurs to easily identify and connect with pre-qualified area service providers.
“When an entrepreneur identifies that he/she needs to engage a service provider, they typically need that service yesterday. They usually don’t have the time and energy to properly research, qualify and shop service providers. We take that burden away by bringing the area’s premiere startup service providers under one roof,” Lombardino said.
Launched July 11, Atlas Providers aggregates a list of local service providers after conducting a pre-qualification process, which includes in-person interviews, reference checks and other background research to make sure the service providers gear their efforts toward the startup community.
The industries represented on the website include accounting services, business banking, business insurance, commercial real estate, digital marketing, human resources, legal services, technology services and wealth management.
“When an entrepreneur comes to our site, they have the ability to search for providers by specific services or through general industry segments. Once you land on a service provider’s profile page, you get transparency into their core services, pricing model and select client list,” Lombardino said. “Then, you have the ability to engage with that service provider however you’d like.”
The portal is currently free for both entrepreneurs and service providers, and users do not need to create an account in order to access the site’s features. Entrepreneurs may reach out to service providers via email, phone, social media or any other mode they see fit for their company. This is a process that Atlas, which prides itself on not creating any obstacles between the businesses and the service providers, does not get involved in or supervise.
Although the co-founders of Atlas Providers hope to eventually expand the service across the state and nationwide, Waite said they’re constantly seeking feedback and the portal will never be truly “finished,” as they will always strive to expand their reach and add more qualified service providers.
“It’s always going to be an evolving network, making sure we have the best service providers represented for the startup community,” he explained. “We want to make sure we’re doing what’s best for the emerging companies in the area.”