Overview and History
ATechBuilder Corporation is a Montana C-Corp founded in 2005 by Rick Downs and the Montana Business Incubator (now defunct) to capitalize on developing new markets for U.S. built RTM Homes by providing industry specific technology and services to independently owned production facilities who would build American RTM Homes™.
ATech obtained exclusive U.S. rights to all RTM Home production, business operating, design, and marketing technology that had been developed in Canada by Rick Downs, including his proprietary and trade secret Enviro System℠ for building advanced, super energy efficient homes, when the Company was founded.
ATech’s initial Business Model, developed with the Montana Business Incubator, was to provide its Building System and related RTM Home technology through joint venture, success based Operating Agreements. Independent local operators would own the local production facility and provide the labor services needed to build the American RTM Homes™.
This Business Model had great acceptance by Economic Development Organizations (EDO’s) in eastern Montana and western North Dakota where it was promoted due to its job creation and economic benefits, however initial efforts failed to find independent operators or investors. This was primarily attributed to the lack of a working Business Model in the region.
To address this ATech, aided by a number of Montana EDO’s, put in place a registered SCOR Securities Offering in 2006 to raise capital for the first American RTM Homes™ facility in Malta, Montana. This resulted in an ownership dilution so the Company is now 80% owned by Rick Downs with approximately 60 Montana Share Holders, including some EDO’s, owning the other 20%.
While the initial facility showed good market acceptance and growth potential, the full level of capitalization needed for a proper rollout to penetrate strong regional markets in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, and North Dakota's Bakken was not achieved. Local sales were hindered by a sparsely populated market area in the Malta trading area.
Timing was also a critical factor as initial RTM Home production was delayed until 2008 due to the Montana Department of Commerce overriding its own Committee Recommendations and withdrawing financial incentives that had been approved for ATech and the local EDO’s it was working with. The first RTM Homes in Malta were started in July 2008 just as the U.S. economy settled into the Great Recession.
In 2010 ATech was approached by a South Dakota Hutterite Colony who recognized two things, the advanced nature of ATech’s Building System and the type of job creation – economic benefits that building RTM Homes could bring to a smaller rural community. Being able to visit and tour the Malta production and sales facility allowed Brentwood Colony to see what was possible for them.
After entering into a Joint Venture Agreement with Brentwood Colony based on ATech’s original Business Model the Company’s production side inventory and equipment was sold to them for relocation to their Hutterite Colony in Faulk County South Dakota.
With sufficient capital available the Colony was able to first establish production capability ... then open a Sales Location in Aberdeen South Dakota with 3 American RTM Show Homes on display. The initial success that was achieved - selling 12 RTM Homes in the first 7 months, 23 in the first 23 months - provided Proof of Concept for ATech’s Business Model.
The other important contribution that came from moving to South Dakota was the ability to properly establish just how advanced ATech’s Enviro System℠ construction processes were when it came to building advanced, super energy efficient new homes.
Verifying just how much ATech’s Building System can offer to new home energy efficiency stakeholders – buyers, builders, and energy utilities – has led to the decision to offer Enviro System℠ to users outside of its American RTM Homes™ Business Model.