Startup studio

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A startup studio, also known as a startup factory, or a startup foundry, or a venture studio, is a studio-like company that aims at building several startup companies in succession. This style of business building is referred to as "parallel entrepreneurship".[1]

Unlike business incubators and accelerators, venture builders generally don't accept applications, and the companies instead pull business ideas from within the team itself, or their close network, and assign internal teams to develop them.[2] Some startup studios also act as early stage venture capitalists.


Idealab, founded by Bill Gross in 1996, was one of the first to introduce the 'incubator industry' to the field of technology startups, and has started over 75 companies.[3] Idealab was founded to test many ideas at once and turn the best of them into companies while also attracting the human and financial capital necessary to bring them to the market.[4][5]

In the wake of the tech revolution in the early 2000s, the startup studio sector experienced a surge in growth. This led to the emergence of several studios, which modeled themselves after Idealab, seeking to demonstrate the efficacy of their successful model. During this era of technological advancements, leading studios like Rocket and Betaworks established themselves as independent entities by launching scalable businesses to meet the growing demand and adapt to the changing landscape. [6]

The startup studio trend gained momentum beginning in 2008. As of 2015, there were over 65 startup studios across the world, of which 17 had been built since 2013.[7] As of 2022 there are more than 780 startup studios across the globe.[8]

During the 2020s, there has been a notable surge and increasing traction in the Startup Studio framework. This trend is bolstered by expanding communities and networks dedicated to disseminating knowledge about Startup Studios, aiding in their establishment, expansion, and acceleration. Notably, StudioHub stands out as the preeminent global network of Startup Studios and venture builders. Headquartered in Italy, this network provides an extensive array of publicly accessible resources and also offers annual memberships aimed at fostering the development of Startup Studios on a global scale.


There are several types of startup studio models.

"Builder" studios[edit]

A builder startup studio focuses on creating and developing a company, mostly from internal ideas.[2] Notable examples of this model are Atomic,[9][10] Pioneer Square Labs,[11] Rocket Internet, and eFounders.[12]

According to VentureBeat, Nova Spivack was part of the early technologists who pioneered the venture production studio model. He wrote about the model in 2011 at a time when most of its production elements were still in gestation. According to VentureBeat, Nova actually invented the Venture Production Studio term, calling it a 'new approach to building startups.'"[2]

According to Duodeka, venture builders have several advantages over traditional startups: (1) higher success and return ratios, (2) recurring experience captured in playbooks, (3) Access to talent, (4) Flexible skills deployment, (5) Faster market entry and exits, (6) Access to manuals, resources and processes and (7) Entire team ready to hit the ground running.[13]

"Investor" studios[edit]

Investor venture studios bring in external startups in their idea stage, help them grow by providing them both Venture capital financing, expertise and team building. Studios include Betaworks, Colab (Venture Studio), and Science, Inc. fall in this category.[citation needed]

Countries with presence of Venture Studios[edit]

  • United States: Founders Factory, Betaworks, Idealab
  • China: Zhen Fund, Innovation Works
  • Japan: Mistletoe, Beenext, Global Brain
  • Germany: Rocket Internet, Project A, Next Big Thing
  • India: RisingIndia ThinkTank, Surge, Axilor, Startup India
  • United Kingdom: Entrepreneur First, Founders Factory, Forward Partners
  • France: Hexa (ex-efounders), 321founded
  • Italy: LVenture Group, H-Farm, United Ventures, Startup Bakery
  • Brazil: Redpoint eventures, Extreme Venture Partners
  • Canada: Highline Beta, Real Ventures, Startmate
  • South Korea: Future Play, FastTrack Asia
  • Australia: BlackBird Ventures, Reinventure Group
  • Spain: K Fund, SeedRocket, Nauta Capital
  • Switzerland: Swisscom Ventures, Lakestar, Redalpine
  • Sweden: EQT Ventures, Northzone
  • Netherlands: Builders, Duodeka
  • Denmark: KRING, Founders, Plyo Lab
  • Norway: Buro Ventures
  • Israel: Team8

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lapowsky, Issie (November 25, 2014). "The next big thing you missed: tech superstars build 'startup factories'". Wired.
  2. ^ a b c Diallo, Ali (January 18, 2015). "How 'venture builders' are changing the startup model". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2016-05-09.
  3. ^ "Pasadena-Based Heliogen Announces Nominations of Luminaries Stacey Abrams and Phyllis Newhouse to Its Board – Pasadena Now". Retrieved 2021-12-22.
  4. ^ Farmer, Ryan (2004). Idealab: First Mover, Last Survivor. California Institute of Technology.
  5. ^ "Bill Gross: A Devotion to New Ideas | Stanford eCorner". Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  6. ^ "The History Of The Startup Studio Model". Retrieved 2023-03-02.
  7. ^ Chernova, Yuliya (March 11, 2015). "Human Ventures Names CEO as Startup Studios Proliferate". Venture Capital Dispatch Via the Wall Street Journal.
  8. ^ "Why Venture Builder/Startup Studio?". Enhance Ventures. Archived from the original on April 5, 2023. Retrieved April 5, 2023.
  9. ^ Geron, Tomio (2017-01-23). "Atomic, With First Fund, Looks to Upend Venture-Capital Model". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
  10. ^ Vincent, Willie. "Startup Events London". Retrieved 4 December 2023.
  11. ^ "Pioneer Square Labs Grabs $12.5M To Dream Up, Then Kill Off Or Spin Out Startups". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  12. ^ "eFounders unveils its next batch of enterprise SaaS startups". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
  13. ^ Duodeka (August 28, 2023). "Venture Building".