Startomatic, a software-as-a-service company, launched in what might euphemistically be called an “eventful” time — the first week of June, 2020.
It would be understandable if you were to ask, why? Why launch a software business in the middle of a global pandemic and the largest social unrest the U.S. has seen in fifty years?
Do we think Startomatic can right all of the wrongs of the world?
Do we think Startomatic can spark a real change in the lives of people challenged — or devastated — by systemic racism and the COVID-19 pandemic?
Here’s how we get there:
1. Entrepreneurship is not a level playing field, and never has been. African Americans and other racial minorities in the U.S. have long been at a disadvantage when it comes to starting a business. Though minorities make up 32 percent of our population, minority business ownership represents only 18 percent of the population. There is a significant disparity when it comes to access to capital, contracting opportunities and other entrepreneurial development opportunities for minority-owned firms.
2. COVID-19, coupled with systemic racism, has driven huge increases in minority unemployment. According to the New York Times, “Hiring prospects for African-American and Latino workers have long been hobbled by factors that stretch from poorer educational options and lopsided incarceration rates to outright discrimination by employers.” Add in the pandemic’s effects of massive layoffs and a recession economists now say began in February, and you end up with the devastation depicted in this chart of unemployment rates in May 2020, by gender, race and ethnicity:
3. Startomatic is designed and built to democratize entrepreneurship. Our vision is that anyone, from any background, can successfully launch a company. Over the past year, we’ve worked to bring that vision into concrete reality. Startomatic Launch is fast, comprehensive, and a fraction of the cost of traditional methods of starting a business, making it uniquely suited to help traditionally disadvantaged communities bring new businesses — and new jobs — into their neighborhoods.
Startomatic automates the elements that 90% or more of every new business will need to get off the ground — name vetting, logo creation, legal ownership documents and formation filings, internet domain name registration, website creation, branded email and calendar, social media account creation, and more — all completed with best practices standards.
By putting software to work and taking the guessing out of company formation, we are able to provide these tools at a price point — just $299 plus state filing fees (typically $150-$300) — that makes it affordable for those traditionally priced out of entrepreneurship.
Startomatic aims to make it radically faster, easier, and less expensive to start a company. We don’t believe our outlook is revolutionary. We’re just people who believe that equality matters, and that it can and should be applied to the world of entrepreneurship.