In November 2020, Atmos co-founders Nicholas Donahue, Trent Hedge, Austin Kahn, and Matthew Rastovac received a Forbes 30 under 30 recognition.
The City of Raleigh, in partnership with Wake County Economic Development and DCI, submitted the nomination of Atmos. The consumer technology company provides “a start to finish homebuilding platform to simplify home ownership and design” to reduce the build process. Forbes reports that the company has “attracted $6 million in venture funding from Khosla Ventures and Y combinator among others at a $25 million valuation”.
City of Raleigh's Office of Economic Development Communications Manager, Amanda Driscoll, chatted with Nick Donahue, CEO of Atmos, to learn more about the Forbes 30 under 30 recognition and to see what’s in store for the company in 2021.
Why do you think Atmos was nominated for Forbes 30 under 30?
Nick: We have had conversations with economic developers about the future of attracting talent. In those conversations, we discussed how to continue the trend of attracting people from San Francisco and New York City. Raleigh is attracting folks from other tech hubs because people have heard of Raleigh, either because of it being designated as one of the fastest-growing tech hubs, they’ve lived here previously, or they have visited the Triangle area for business.
What has the recognition done for your company since Forbes released the 2021 list?
Nick: Atmos was featured in Forbes in October which picked up a lot of great coverage. The recognition from Forbes 30 under 30 has been a lot more personal for each of the founders. A lot of new, high-profile executives reached out to learn more about the company. The recognition gave more credibility to the founders on a much more personal level.
Have you seen any changes in who is interested in moving to Raleigh since the beginning of the pandemic? If so, how?
Nick: The pace has slowed down some because momentum has shifted to take advantage of income taxes, such as those in Austin, TX.
If there is one word you could use to describe 2020 what would it be?
Nick: Chaotic. Nothing makes sense anymore. There are no real trends, but that is the best place to be. I thrive in chaos and the company has experienced the greatest upward swing this year specifically.
What are you hoping Atmos achieves in 2021?
Nick: Hoping to get the next 80-100 homes under contract, maybe even go further than that.
What is it like to be a young entrepreneur, and what things have you learned since becoming one?
Nick: People see the opportunity to shape and mold young entrepreneurs. When you have high ambitions and potential people think that is something worth investing in. As soon as you can recognize what path you want to follow, start sprinting to a goal that is far enough out but is on the edge of achievable. Mentorship is also important. It’s good to have people who can help open doors, share insights on the direction you should head in. It can be good to have more than one mentor. Be picky about the insights you take from each. Be willing to look up to the biggest names such as Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg.
At the end of the interview, Nick shared a demo of a tool that provides buyers with the ability to visualize homes on the lot and configure a home based on the size of the lot. It also allows buyers to create the perfect home with features including paint color, flooring, number of floors, cabinetry, and other interior and exterior aspects. This new tool is expected to launch in February 2021.
Learn more about Atmos.