What comes to mind when you hear the word, startup studio? This term has taken a more familiar significance as more studios have arrived, and this new business model is creating the next generation of industry-shaping companies.
The startup ecosystem has exponentially grown like never before. While the pandemic closed hundreds of doors, it also opened new ways of working and unveiled behavioral changes in almost every industry. But unfortunately, the risk of startup failure is still prevalent.
Launching a company is far from easy. It requires persistent work, a lot of resources, motivation, and an amazing amount of energy—to believe in an idea that doesn’t exist yet. However, entrepreneurs have found ways to connect with experienced people who are ready to work with them, help build their startups, and reduce the chances of failure. While a majority of new founders approach accelerators and incubators, startup studios have emerged to provide a different type of partnership for these cohorts in their initial startup stages and beyond.
As previously covered, a startup studio is essentially an organization that repeatedly builds ventures out of problem-centric challenges and market-tested solutions using pooled resources that enable founders to refine their businesses from ideation to launch. In other words, a startup studio could be referred to as a startup that creates startups. Over the past year, we’ve seen how the number of startup studios has not only increased, but also successfully marketed themselves as the top emerging model for building startups due to their pooled money, expertise, and other resources like financial and human capital, strategic plans, management processes, and other tech tools to help establish business properly.
One of the unique qualities that make startup studios stand out from other business models is how startup studios truly emphasize teamwork and early-stage collaboration. Startup studios develop several ideas and businesses simultaneously in a way that allows them to test new hypotheses and market opportunities to finally decide which route to go and bring along all the lessons learned.
Currently, there are over 200 startup studios across the globe, with more being formed on a regular basis. In fact, many emerging companies that have experienced success in the past year have in fact surged from startup studios such as Cohort by eFounders or Acre by Science. The top companies in this space enjoy reputations as experts in transforming a compelling business idea into a profitable new business. They employ talented professionals combining state-of-the-art technical know-how with a keen business sense. This mix allows a startup’s founders to focus on bootstrapping a business as opposed to running its day-to-day operations.
We’ve had the pleasure of engaging with many startup studios in the space and have put together this list of venture builders for 2022 based on their activity during the first half of 2022 and their unique offerings to the startup studio community:
🏠 Norfolk, VA
💡Hunter Walsh, Project Manager 757 Startup Studios
🏢 2-10 Employees
Located in Norfolk, VA also commonly referred as “the 757”, 757 Startup Studios is part of a vertically integrated innovation network called 757 Collab. The Collab harnesses the collective impact and interconnectedness of three distinctive resources: 757 Angels, 757 Accelerate and 757 Startup Studios. Their team of founders and coordinators work alongside some of the most innovative entrepreneurs in the 757 designing critical programming, supporting startups, and building a valuable network of partners, mentors, and influencers.
757 Startup Studios works with a wide range of industries and looks to tap into the market gaps that their startups can leverage through their superpowers and expertise in healthcare, blue economy (environmental), and anyone in the Department of Defense space. The studio has an incredible pool of resources at the regional and state levels that have structured design thinking, customer discovery, and lean canvas model courses that help founders narrow their focus and focus on the parts of their business model most critical to success.
💡Michal Lebenthal Andreson, Michal Shalem, Michal Sela and Ronell Klingman
🏢 2-10 Employees
Founded this year, impact.51 is located in the heart of Israel and has established itself one of the first ever women-led startup studios in the market. The studio has the mission of building a model of needs that match innovation to create a critical mass pipeline of startups that will innovate and reimagine women’s health.
The impact.51 team is creating a collaborative community where they rely on ecosystem partnerships and collaboration as key ingredients to utilize for support, guidance, and input to ensure they are aligned and focused. This creates a personalized and tailor-made approach to finding the best solution for the unmet need. For both the startup studio and the startups themselves, network investors assist in the alignment of business models and to continue the progression of startups in the foundry stage.
🏠Los Angeles, CA
🏢 2-10 Employees
Alive Ventures is a startup studio that imagines and builds companies, products, and services that help older adults live, work and love. Alive Ventures has formally spun out of the Scan Foundation. Alive Ventures helps de-risk the traditional startup process while attracting high-caliber design and entrepreneurial talent to its mission.
Exclusively serving an audience of 55 million older Americans, Alive Ventures brings together design talent, seasoned entrepreneurial talent and older adults themselves to co-design and launch beautifully designed products that older adults love to use and share.
🏠New York, NY
💡Tom Manning, Chairman
🏢 11-50 Employees
Ascertain develops healthcare AI companies that improve quality and access to care and close health equity gaps. Ascertain creates and launches compelling next-generation AI-enabled health technology companies that advance healthcare outcomes at scale. Ascertain’s leadership team has a proven track record in venture creation, commercialization, and investments in healthcare AI. The studio combines leading medical, technology, data, and business resources in a first-of-its-kind company creation platform that addresses healthcare’s most challenging quality, equity, and cost problems.
By placing patient needs at the center of every business model, technology solution, and product we develop, our companies improve quality of care, patient experience, and longstanding health inequities—creating a virtuous cycle of positive healthcare and commercial impact.
🏢 11-50 Employees
Located in Geneva, Switzerland, Kiwaw describes itself as an innovative startup studio with a team that supports founders throughout the various stages of completing a project and becoming the hero of their own stories. Starting with only two co-founders along with their digital agency, they began launching their own project in a lean startup way. They saw that people were hesitant to dive into a new venture and start a personal project. This is where Kiwaw was born in order to provide the right motivation and enough technical resources to launch startups successfully.
Today, knowledge sharing is a very important aspect to Kiwaw. They help structure each startup by receiving personalized advice in growth financing, recruitment, automation, legal, acquisition, growth and many others. In addition, their team assists with a dedicated plan of action and shows founders the way to become a real entrepreneur.
We hope this article has covered the different impressive ways in which startup studios have taken an established model in order to create their own unique offerings in particular industries, service certain demographic groups, and even make use of technology and AI to take startups to the next level. While this list of venture builders is not exhaustive, we are looking forward to seeing what these startup studios have in store for the years to come.
Furthermore, we can’t wait to hear about new studios, partnerships and launches that have resulted in the lessons learned from the startup studio model and beyond. Did we miss your favorite studio? Submit them for a feature in our blog by reaching out to us!