While building startups with founders with our own capital, we saw some founders come to us with capital and ideas requesting us to admit them into our studio and apply the venture studio operating model to building and launching their own ideas. This worked perfectly as we are able to take the capital and take 10% equity in the startups. This was a hack to create two options of founder recruitment. Option 1 is to recruit founders with no capital and do all the investment and required support for 20% and option 2 is recruit founders with initial capital of $20,000 minimum capital and we do the work and take 10% equity.
The general idea of advisership seems to be difficult for start-up studios, so I want to let others know the importance of LinkedIn. You can use it to find elderly, retired, successful business individuals who've built decades of connections and experience in your specific fields of interest. Many of them are looking for ways to contribute to their communities and beyond, and would happily leverage their expertise (and eventually their networks) to aid you, often free of charge. If the relationship progresses to the point where you believe you are taking a disproportionate amount of their time for what you are offering them, consider adding them to your board of advisors. It can never hurt to have a few "gray hairs" on the team. LinkedIn is now a simple way to find them, and they are eager to teach if you're eager to learn. Consider also people in their network too, not just their direct experience. Oftentimes they can connect you to people you didn't know you needed to know!
Having gone through the studio process as a founder, I would say that the only two studio components to focus upon are recruiting (talent for the operating companies) and legal/regulatory support. Everything else is a secondary value-add. If you can show investors that you have a proprietary or unique method of talent acquisition, it will help raise funds for the studio. One way to do this is to find university MBA programs (or a specific school depending on the industry focus of the studio) and see if your studio can develop a partnership that allows for talent to be identified and recruited in.
Develop a network to conduct product validation interviews
The Network. An extensive network accelerates product validation and refines go-to-market strategies. During the ideation phase, a minimum of a hundred interviews should be conducted! Hence, it's crucial to industrialise this process to launch, iterate, and fail quickly. Your network will also assist you in identifying the best founding team more easily.
One of the 5 things to take into account for a Startup Studio is attracting talent that wants to create a company and that has the entrepreneurial personality so much needed. For that, creating local communities to attract entrepreneurial talent and having access to a 2+ years’ agenda from either working or partnering with a VC is crucial. The first one, covers the early talent that most probably doesn't have the experience founding any company but that has the energy and availability to learn from zero; the second one covers two great important matters: experienced talent either for starting a new company or for advising since they already have companies functioning and made many mistakes they can teach others not to make. The last important thing these experienced people cover is the big question: where to take the ideas to create companies from. And they have all these real pain points that they run into in their day-to-day work.
To get our studio YE Stack off the ground we stumbled upon a little trick that made all the difference. We brought in young, eager go-getters who were new to the entrepreneurial scene. We encouraged them to try out fresh ways of building ventures from the get-go. What truly struck us was their incredible adaptability, their readiness to embrace new ideas, and their swift ability to keep up with the ever-evolving landscape of the venture-building universe. It was heartening to see them seamlessly adjust to the lightning-fast changes that define the startup space. It's this spirit of fearless exploration that continues to drive us forward, attracting seasoned founders who share our vision and passion for innovative entrepreneurship.
Performing top-down comprehensive data-driven market research
Perform comprehensive data-driven market research to identify and prioritize opportunities in the sector of interest to reduce the time and effort required to achieve product-market fit. Create meaningful value-add to early-stage founders by performing top-down comprehensive data-driven market research to identify and prioritize opportunities in the sector of interest. The top-down approach aligns well with founders who are experts in bottom-up methodologies. This combination allows the founders and studio to target the market from both ends, enhancing the collective capability of identifying, prioritizing, and executing on high potential opportunities. As a result, this accelerates the process of achieving a strong product-market fit.
Clarify the studio offer to align with external entrepreneurs' needs
Defining your studio's "product/service" is critical if you rely on external entrepreneurs for any of your ideas. This helps to ensure the external co-founders that you attract will be complementary to what the studio can provide and that they will value all the services of the studio beyond the capital.
Create free 1-week bootcamps to attract great EIRs
Here's a hack that's helped us source excellent Entrepreneurs-In-Residence: We offer a free educational offering that's highly valued by our target profile. In our case, this takes the form of a free 1-week coding bootcamp where students learn how to launch a DAO from scratch. This has attracted many brilliant entrepreneurial builders, and since it's only 1 week long many people have been able to follow along while maintaining their full-time employment.
Use a unique name and positioning
From the Founder of Studio, I just joined: use a really unique name and positioning: brainforest - First Venture studio focused on forests => helps a lot to generate attention over the years and clarity (Most of the Time) what the Focus is (one might think holds only for B2C but highly relevant)
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