Startups
Startups / Venture capital

These international technologists want to invest in Delaware startups

“Delaware's talent is more mature,” said Bhairav Patel of newly formed Atom Investments.

We met with Atom Investments' Bhairav Patel (left) and Sam Noble to talk venture capital shop. (Photo by Joey Davidson)

Bhairav Patel reached out to us over email. He and his partners are starting a new venture capital group called Atom Investments, and they wanted to plant their flag in the ground to say, “Hello, we’re here, and we want to talk.” Their first fund is $30 million and they hope to make investments of $250,000 to $1 million, investing up to $5 million this first year of operation.
We met with Atom Investments’ Bhairav Patel, Attish Patel and Sam Noble. The Mill cofounder Robert Herrera joined the meeting. We talked about what they’re looking to offer, and why they chose Delaware.
Between Noble, Bhairav Patel and Attish Patel, who are all technologists, the group has worked on at least 15 different startups. They reinforced that they genuinely worked on these startups, too. Not just swapped emails back and forth with or offered small bouts of consultation, but they actually drove at least six months of hard startup work. Bhairav Patel, who lives between Wilmington and Dublin, Ireland, is the CTO of fintech company Aztec Exchange, while Noble was the CTO of a Norwegian digital health company called SmartCare. Attish Patel, who lives in Lisbon, Portugal, is a developer who also owns Portuguese wine exporter Horizon Wild Wine Distributors.
The group doesn’t want to be like other VCs. They said they know what it’s like to have an investor drop money, give a little insight and then disappear. Then that investor returns two years later with a bill and no help offered. Atom Investments aims to support startups. They want to use their years of experience to offer more than just money and contacts. They want to help guide startups through each step towards success.
“All of us have established a large global network,” Noble told us. “And we’ve started floating this idea out to our contacts, and there’s demand.”
When we asked the group how common it was to see an investor spend money and then not offer much support, each indicated that it happens all the time. Even Herrera agreed with this notion.
They explained that startups looking for early investment often don’t have the experience to succeed. That point is what brought us to Delaware.
If you’re an avid reader here at Technical.ly, you might recognize these names. Bhairav Patel, Noble and Attish Patel all worked on Irish financial company Aztec Exchange. That company has office space in The Mill and made its way onto Forbes’ Fintech 50 startup list in 2016.
Bhairav Patel explained that they chose The Mill for their Aztec Exchange office before it was even finished. They met with Herrera, saw the building during its early construction phase and realized where they wanted to be. They said they’d get less in Philly for more money, and they’d be connected to a different talent pool.
“Delaware’s talent is more mature,” Bhairav Patel told us. They aren’t the same dreamers VCs would find in Brooklyn or Philly, though the group assured us that wasn’t a problem. Atom Investments, though, wants to work with startups that can execute, and they believe they’ll find that here.
The group had nothing but overwhelmingly positive things to say about the startups at work in Delaware. They talked about how much they loved coding competition {Open Bracket and their respect for code school Zip Code Wilmington. They each said that Delaware has this one-of-a-kind startup climate where entrepreneurs are eager to support one another and succeed.
Perhaps, more strategically, Noble explained that if they started in Philly or New York, they’d be in line with other VCs to compete for attention.
So, they picked Delaware, where the talent is experienced and the startups are capable of executing.
Founders looking for VCs to invest in them should reach out to Bhairav Patel (bhairav@atomconsulting.co) and Noble (sam@atomconsulting.co).
Bhairav Patel told us that they want a presence in The Mill, and soon.
They’ve planted their flag and want you to know they’re here.

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