Atto Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know about Atto. :)

What is Atto?

Atto is a pre-accelerator program that helps female founders create tech companies. Atto is based on the metric prefix ‘Atto’ – a play on the micro VC movement with an additional ethos that great things can be built through tiny actions.

Why does Atto exist?

Atto exists to develop the pipeline of female founders by helping them make their ideas happen in an independent, scalable, and sustainable way. Created by a serial founder for founders, Atto is a hands-on program that shares real-world experience from global mentors and operators. Atto focuses on building startups in a lean, customer- and revenue-centric pathway, this means that the programming is about day-to-day startup challenges, and not group pitching events and entertaining demo days (which play a small part in long-term success).

How is Atto different from other accelerator programs?

Atto is a pre-accelerator program, meaning it’s perfect for female founders who are starting from scratch and might not be at the level to raise funding or apply to leading startup accelerators like Y Combinator (…with initial chance of success).

Furthermore, Atto is an equity-free accelerator. This means that founders have the choice of going on to raise capital without diluting their cap table (some programs take over 10% for little investment, which limits a founder’s ability to raise follow-on rounds in the future) – or even proceeding down the indie pathway by building their company through revenue.

Does Atto take equity?


Does Atto make an investment?

No. In the future, we may consider building a micro-seed fund for early-stage female founders.

How much does Atto cost?

Atto is currently free. We do not charge program administration fees.

How is Atto funded?

Atto is self-funded in conjunction with a small grant from LaunchVic.

Who is Atto run by?

Atto was created by Kate Kendall, a serial entrepreneur, community builder, and company advisor with a decade of experience in tech across Silicon Valley, New York, Australia, and some EU markets. Kate has pursued various pathways when building startups, including raising a $1M+ USD angel round, raising crowdfunding, as well as following an indie approach. It was through experiencing the challenges female founders face (including being told by investors not to have kids) that inspired her to create a new-school program for female founders.

Who should apply to Atto?

Any person who identifies as a woman can apply to Atto. The pre-accelerator program is perfect for first-time founders who have an idea but aren’t sure where to start, and those who are conscious of the practicality and quality of advice they receive. Atto is perfect for founders who aren’t sure of how they want to build their company, or those who don’t want to get locked into a model (e.g. ‘growth at all costs’ investor path). Atto is also great for founders who want to build their idea in a lean way, and not spend tens of thousands of dollars outsourcing an MVP.

Atto is open to founders located around the globe, however, five spaces will be reserved for Victorian startups as per our partnership with One Roof Coworking and LaunchVic.

Can I apply to Atto if I work full-time, am finishing university, or am a stay-at-home mum?

Yes, some of the most successful tech companies originally started as side projects. Some founders worked on their products for years before they became successful enough to go all in. So, you don’t have to quit your job to go through Atto – you do, however, need to be available to attend the online sessions, ‘show up’, and focus on metrics and hitting goals during the 12 weeks.

Atto is pro-family and against hostile startup environments for women and parents. That’s why we designed our programming with flexibility at its heart. The program is held online on Wednesdays at 11am AEDT and office hours are conducted either remotely or in person at One Roof Coworking space in Southbank, Victoria.

We also welcome applications from university students and recent grads who want to go down the entrepreneur path. You don’t have to be studying computer science or a business-degree.

When does Atto take place?

Atto starts on Wednesday 1st February and runs through Wednesday 1st May, 2019.

Where does Atto take place?

Atto is online-driven with programming on Wednesdays at 11am AEDT. Office hours are conducted either remotely or in person at One Roof Coworking space in Southbank, Victoria.

When do applications open and close Atto?

Applications for the inaugural batch open on Monday 10th December, 2018 and close on Friday 25th January, 2019.

Will there be a future batch?

We are building Atto like a startup: if we’re successful in our mission, we hope to continue.

What can I expect to get out of Atto?

At the end of the pre-accelerator program, you should expect to have researched, tested, and built your idea into an MVP that has its initial customers and a revenue model. You should have the momentum and confidence to either apply to leading accelerator programs, raise early-stage capital, or continue to build your company in a sustainable and scalable way.

I’m interested in mentoring at Atto…

Great! Please use the contact form to get in touch.

I’m interesting in sponsoring Atto…

Great! Please use the contact form to get in touch.

I have a question that hasn’t been answered…

Great! Please use the contact form to get in touch.