March 27, 2015
Back in October of last year, the Cambridge, MA-based Atlas Venture announced that it would be splitting up its healthcare and IT teams into two groups. At the time, the VC firm stated that its healthcare division would continue to use its current name, while its tech investment arm would come up with a new name at a later date. Well, after its tech division announced the close of a $200 million fund, the group (currently calling itself Formerly Known as Atlas – or FKA) is running a competition where it will award $50,000 to the person who comes up with a new name for it.
“Traditionally, VCs have been pretty closed about their industry. There’s a stereotype about VCs that it’s an old boy’s club where a lot of rich white guys do things behind boardroom doors, keeping resources and information to themselves,” reads the competition’s website. “We aren’t about that. We’re launching a new fund and a new brand, and we need a new name to sum it all up. We’re so close to our model of community-fueled venture that we’re relying on the community for our name.”
The #NameaVC contest is aimed at finding a new name for the tech-only fund that was launched in January of this year. Initially, at the time of last year’s split, FKA had planned to raise $160 million, but the fund ended up being highly oversubscribed – landing them at $200 million. The contest is focused on not just helping the firm find a new name, but to let people know that not all VCs operate in such a stiff manner.
From now until March 31st, anyone can put in their submission for what they think would be a great name for FKA. Each person can submit up to ten names and provide their rationale for why each of those names would work as a great, new name for a VC firm. In the end, one name will be selected (obviously) and will become the official new name of the VC firm. The winner of the contest will win a $50,000 investment in their new $200 million fund – $25,000 in the fund itself and $25,000 to a TUGG nonprofit of your choice. So, to clarify: a win would make you an investor in the VC fund, meaning you could attend the annual meeting if you wanted.
Since opening up the #NameaVC contest, they’ve received more than 12,000 name submissions. FKA recently provided us an infographic with how the contest is going so far:
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