Indie Startups

10 years ago, my entrepreneurial goal was to raise $100M+ and make one $1B+ startup.

  • Now my goal is to 100% own many $1M+ startups.

I’m not anti-VC, I’m just pro-independence.

  • Startups can always raise money later.
  • It’s near impossible to return money raised and get your equity back.

My first three startups used three different corporate structures and funding models:

  1. Avomeen is an LLC that was bootstrapped for 6+ years until it was acquired by a private equity firm. It has since been acquired again.
  2. Labdoor is a C-Corp that has raised $7M+ from accelerators, angel investors, crowdfunding, and VCs and is now profitable.
  3. Air to All is a 501(c)3 nonprofit with all R&D led by a distributed team of volunteers and expenses funded by public donations.

I’m now building Utopic, the Dreamville (or Roc-A-Fella) for startups.

Studios are the future of startups.

  • The flexibility of LLCs: The holding/parent company can be an LLC that is 100% owned by the founder and owns many of its own companies.
  • The fundraising of C-Corps: The startup children can each be registered as C-Corps that raise money individually or through a fund run by the parent.
  • The independence of Nonprofits: Work on the World’s Biggest Problems, not just the one product that makes you the most money.

This idea is a work-in-progress. If you’d like to riff on it, hit me up @neilthanedar on Twitter.

Published by Neil Thanedar

Neil Thanedar is a scientist, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and activist. He is the founder & CEO of Air to All, a 501(c)3 nonprofit medical device startup designing low-cost respirators and ventilators for COVID-19 and beyond. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Labdoor, a consumer watchdog that independently tests and ranks supplements and other health products for its 20M+ users. He previously co-founded Avomeen Analytical Services, a product development and testing lab acquired for $30M+ in 2016. He has worked with community organizations since 2007 and political campaigns since 2016 to fight for better education and economic opportunities in Michigan.