What’s the Deal With Sputnik ATX?

Author’s Note: Updated for New Program Information on November 13, 2021.

The number one question on most people’s minds when they meet either Oksana or myself is, “what’s the deal with Sputnik ATX?” So here it is.

Sputnik ATX is named after the first thing man put into space, and the town that we love. Combining visionary insight and engineering excellence, sputnik-1 changed the course of human history and inspired billions of people to continue to look up. Like sputnik-1, we believe that maker/engineer humans should continue to launch transformative ventures. We want to back those founders with investment dollars, resources, and advice.

In short, we want to get you to the fun part of the growth hockey stick faster. We invest in nerds. Then, we teach nerds how to sell.

The Sputnik ATX program couples $100k in investment with a 13 week, resident, “heck-on-earth” rigorous experience to immerse you in the process and learning required to grow your company, increase your network, expand your vision, and deliver product-market fit faster. We are laser-focused on helping companies to:

  • Find product-market fit
  • Master the sales/marketing process
  • Scale

We require all applicants to have minimum viable product (MVP) and at least one customer. We don’t care if that is a paying customer, you just need someone who isn’t your cousin Larry, and prefer disinterested, third party users. This is because it is impossible for someone without MVP to fully benefit from our program.

We provide all cohort members with

  • Six months office space for the founders, and limited space as the team grows
  • $100,000 in cash funding via our SAFE note
    • funding on our friendly SAFE note with a $3mm cap and 30% discount
    • Option to invest additional $400,000 for up to 24 months at our option
    • The easiest way to do the math on this is, post money, we get about a 04.76% stake in your company for every $100,000 we invest (a better deal than YC, we love ya, and several other programs)
  • Curriculum, advice and mentoring, two things we work very hard to improve and our alumni rave about
  • Tons of freebee credits from AWS, Microsoft, and the usual suspects
  • Fully stocked kitchen, yeah, you’ll be working late eating frozen burritos, a potpourri of yogurt and “gourmet” ramen as far as the eye can see
  • Mentor and investor introductions (our network rocks)
  • The fridge of joy (you have to see it to believe it)
  • The opportunity to win the #tractionhorse (check Twitter on this one)

For every dollar you get in cash from us, we have more than a dollar of overhead to support you, so we think our deal is pretty good.

We’re not for everyone. Indeed, there are many good accelerator/incubator options in the world and depending on the stage of your startup and what you need the most, we may not be a good fit. So please understand what we do, and if we’re a fit, apply. I hope to see you in an interview soon.

Author: Joe Merrill

I'm a VC in Austin, TX.

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