SKL.vc

Startup Studios: Why Founders Aspire to Join and How They Foster Company Building

Today, according to Enhance Ventures, there are around 780 startup studios along with thousands of accelerators and incubators - all offering unique experiences to entrepreneurs. In this article, we are set to explain how a startup - or a venture - studio can help bring your ideas to life.

There is a common misbelief that simply having a solid idea is enough to start a business. Available funds on their own do not guarantee success, either. While some entrepreneurs lack experience or knowledge, others may need money or well-trained specialists, and certain people are not good at building internal procedures. To navigate a company to success, one needs a full package.

This is when incubators and accelerators come to the rescue. There are no less than 7,000 accelerators and incubators in the world today. Among the most famous are Y Combinator, Techstars, and 500 Startups. There are numerous companies that have reached the exit stage in those organizations, including Reddit, Codeacademy, Udemy, and Canva.

However, while accelerators and incubators offer many advantages to entrepreneurs, we are currently witnessing a boom of interest for startup studios. They present a different approach to launching startups and have their own funds and in-house experts. Startup studios go the extra mile from being just a mentor or investors - they become co-founders and partners.

What is exactly a startup studio?

People who work in startup studios know how to launch and scale a business. The examples of Zalando, Delivery Hero, Hello Fresh, Dots, bitly, Octiv, and others speak better than any words, about what a startup can become when entrepreneurs turn to studios.

Startup studios bring together entrepreneurs, investors, and experienced specialists in all fields, and creates an ecosystem, essential to build a business. People, who work in a startup studio, are not just investors, but partners of the future company. They are focused on making the idea work and doing that quickly and with a profit.

Facts and myths about startup studios

Myth №1: “Startup studios are like mentors”

Not everyone will engage with your business if you lack an MVP. Accelerators and incubators typically establish a predetermined timeframe for collaborating with startups, a term defined at the onset of cooperation. On the other hand, a startup studio aligns with the entrepreneur from the outset, shepherding the project through its entirety. The studio functions not only as an investor but also as a deeply involved co-founder, invested in the business's outcomes.

Myth №2: “Startup studio will help with every project”

Claiming to know everything often reveals a lack of true understanding. Seasoned professionals cultivate expertise and specialization in specific domains, nurturing these skills with pride. For instance, TechStars dedicates itself to tech startups, Buildit Accelerator hones in on IoT and hardware, and Startup Wise Guys embraces diverse niches, including FinTech and Cybersecurity.

Certain enterprises also concentrate on specific geographic areas; Venture Catalysts, for instance, nurtures Indian startups, while Chinaccelerator, the largest accelerator in Asia, stands as a prime example. At SKL.vc, our approach involves meticulous evaluation of ideas before integration. We direct our attention towards ventures with global transformative potential, such as consumer apps, generative AI, BCI, and other groundbreaking concepts.

Myth №3: “A startup studio does not care about the outcome”

A venture studio is a co-founder of the future company, so it owns equity in it. Studying reports and listening to presentations about the work done is not something a studio does. The team is focused on building work quickly and efficiently and maintains a hands-on style so that every stage is optimized. The work at SKL.vc is structured as sprints - we set a target, and when we reach it, we analyze the results. This allows us to adjust the strategy on time.

Every project is assigned a customized team of experts. They work until the startup is ready to work without the studio on its own. We select professionals with the most suitable set of skills and qualifications to make sure the project has the best human capital. SKL.vc also has vast experience of working with remote teams, that include top experts from all over the world.

Myth №4: “People who work in a startup studio make mistakes, just like I, or other entrepreneurs, do”

Entrepreneurs within startup studios avoid the trial-and-error route, foregoing learning solely from mistakes. This is due to the studio's adoption of a sequential launch strategy, leveraging past successful experiences to guide startups.

Nevertheless, perfection remains elusive, as errors are inherent to all endeavors. Yet, by tapping into the expertise of top professionals in the industry, entrepreneurs can significantly reduce the probability of failure. At SKL.vc, we have curated an exceptional team of extraordinary individuals. This ensemble comprises not only studio founders and experts adept at shepherding startups but also advisors boasting extensive experience in their specialized domains.

So, when can a startup studio help you?

A studio does not guarantee success. Neither does an accelerator or an incubator. In the end, Angelpad which has been ranked number one accelerator in the US, has an exit rate of 33.61%. And Y Combinator, which is often named among the most famous accelerators in the world, has an exit rate of 11.15% (among the companies that reached this stage is, for instance, AirBnB) and ranks 16th in the Beta Boom study. There are many great ideas that will not hit the market, and there are numerous reasons for that. But we will address this next time.

To understand, if you need a studio, consider the following:

You have a clear idea and understanding of what you want

A startup studio brings together unique experts. The team that works at SKL.vc has experience in venture capital, and marketing, knows how to scale projects, and has experience in other fields that are indispensable when building a business. We can set up internal procedures. We know what every stage must look like and how it must work. We get down to business very quickly without unnecessary meetings and long calls. We need not more than two meetings to make a decision.

Sometimes entrepreneurs get so focused on their ideas, that they forget to take a step aside and look at the project from a fresh perspective. The studio, which is involved with every step, may provide such a perspective.

You do not know how to build internal processes

A venture studio does not focus on one startup but works on multiple startups in parallel. It means that its processes work in a smooth and flawless way. It can be adjusted to any business that the studio takes on board.

When selecting to partner with a studio, an entrepreneur gets a professional with specific knowledge about how to build marketing strategy or financial planning, how to establish relationships with investors and make the product, and how to communicate with the stakeholders and others.

You do not have a little black book

When startups join us at SKL.vc, we always say that our network is your network now. We have access to human capital that is hard to get. And we also assign a superhero mentor to every project!

You do not have funds

We use our own capital to invest in the startups. When it comes to finding investment, entrepreneurs may take this task off their to-do list - we will do it ourselves.

You do not have a team

We can build the team from scratch and will make it tailored for the business. From advisors with specific experience relevant to your needs to key experts from different niches of the market that will help your company become a successful enterprise.

A startup studio is one option available to entrepreneurs today, along with accelerators and incubators. However, the unique approach that studios offer has made them an attractive partner for those who want to build a successful business in an already crowded market.