A question that comes up more than occasionally is ‘what exactly do you mean by startup studio?’ And this is a fair question as the concept really only picked up steam in 2009.
To start, we should figure out what a startup studio is not. It is not an incubator, and accelerator, or a venture capitalist — although they often contain facets of all three.
Startup studios operate as a platform on which you can launch your startups. If your startup were a rocket, the startup studio would be the launch pad, Houston control, the ground crew, and NASA’s legal department making sure you’re allowed to take off.
Definition of “Startup Studio”
Startup studio, also known as a startup factory, or a startup foundry, or a venture builder, is a studio-like company that aims at building several companies in succession. This style of business building is referred to as “parallel entrepreneurship”.
Even though there can be different models and philosophies, in my humble opinion, there are 3 key elements that make a Startup Studio:
Ideas should be generated internally; startup studios are not early stage investors but actual co-founders. The studio should originally own 100% of the project idea.
Building many companies in a row should remain the main goal of startup studios.
The studio should own an infrastructure made of pooled resources: talented people, serious processes, useful tools and a strong network. A studio should not be just an empty structure owning a portfolio of companies.
The LAB Ventures Secret Sauce
At LAB Ventures we take these key elements, sprinkle some best practices, and at our own pizzaz to bring great ideas to fruition. How exactly do we do this? By following our proven company building model:
Combining brains and some brews, our studio team comes together to identify pain points in various industries. Once we’ve narrowed in on a feasible business idea, we invite corporate partners for their feedback and insight.
Before going 0 to 100, we seek market validation by developing a preliminary strategy consisting of built out digital assets and driving traffic to these assets. This helps us verify whether or not our idea is legit.
Once we decide to launch the company, we begin our CEO search. While a founding team is being assembled, we create a scalable product, build a sustainable customer acquisition strategy, and connect with potential partners.
To fuel growth, we assist our companies in raising additional outside funding, help them expand by hiring the right talent, and provide guidance to drive sales focused marketing efforts so that our portfolio companies can stand on their own two feet.
CC: Daft Punk’s Closing Words
Build Better: The studio’s team is made of experts in their fields (design, marketing, code, etc.) working together. The studio’s network as a whole is a real advantage to help a startup grow.
Build Faster: Thanks to wise processes and a devoted team of experts working day to day to help your business grow.
Build Bigger: Startup studios make it possible to address larger markets because of the shared knowledge and pooled resources provided.