What is a Venture Builder?
A Venture Builder is a business that builds businesses, they are also known as Startup Factories, Startup Studios, Tech Studios and Venture Production Studios.
These organisations create, launch and scale high growth businesses, typically developing an idea into a product, then creating a business - using their own resources and networks.
The Venture Builder Model is responsible for startups like Twitter and Medium and is adopted in the corporate world to drive innovation and build spin-out companies.
From product development to company building
Venture Builders create highly skilled project teams with deep domain expertise and the ability to create and launch a product fast. Lean Startup methodologies and Agile Software Development techniques play a critical part in enabling venture builders to develop multiple systems, models and products. The key objective is to build a Minimum Viable Product - rapidly. Then use the MVP feedback loop to build, measure and learn. If a product gains some meaningful traction with early adopters, then Venture Builders will move from the Product Development Stage to the Company Building Stage.
An organisation that builds startups
The most successful Venture Builders combine key skills, experience, and networks to build companies from startup phase through to scale up, with a particular focus on;
- Building Teams
- Market Opportunity
- Product Development
- USP and Product Differentiation
- Intellectual Property
- Business Models
- Go to Market Strategy
- Legal Support
- Raising Capital
- Leveraging Networks
The model is different to traditional Venture Capital. Venture capital firms are different as they are not operational organisations. They invest in promising teams and business ideas that meet their criteria. On the other hand, Venture Builders are very involved with the daily management of the operation.
When a Venture Builder owns equity in its ventures, it’s because it’s been instrumental in generating and shaping the idea and invested significant effort in growing the company — not because it provided capital.
A better route to startup success?
Venture Builders have an advantage over many startups - primarily the ability to accelerate the ideation process through to MVP. This is a critical value creation stage. With many startups it takes far too long. Sometimes because the founders just don't have the knowledge, experience, or pre-seed capital to execute this phase at pace.
The creation of a solid MVP that has gone through some early market testing is a key value creation point. Combine this with a team that can develop the product further and more importantly gain some commercial traction - then there’s potential to raise seed capital and scale.
But building a business isn’t just about founding the team and building a scalable product. Venture Builders typically support other aspects needed to successfully launch and scale a high-growth startup; including marketing, strategy, branding, and communications. Some also support other key operational areas such as finance, legal advisory, human resources, and back-office administration.
Having these areas covered during the early growth phase means the initial project team can focus on product development, testing the MVP, and validating the business model and revenue model.
What does this all mean? Done properly with the right team, with the right mindset - the Venture Builder Model can help innovative businesses launch and scale, fast - effectively shortening time-to-market and gaining traction way ahead of competitors.
At GCV we have launched a Venture Builder - GCV Labs - that has created and launched a number of startups that have gone on to raise capital and scale. Find out more about our Venture Builder model here.