With every startup or business idea, there comes a dream to scale it to the moon. I am a journalist with two small startups under my belt. Being in the startup world for years, I have been on both sides of the spectrum. On one hand, I have mentored many startups due to my association with incubators and accelerators, and on the other hand, I have done extensive research into possible resources, mentors, guides, investors, and backers that I, personally can utilize for my own startups.
When you are a programmer, the reality of your idea is just behind some lines of code; but, if you are a non-technical founder like me, things become difficult. What do you do?
You collaborate with entities like a startup studio.
The recent trend of startup studios is giving non-technical founders access to resources that help them “build” their idea. These resources can be in the form of mentorship, specialized teams, and technical leadership as well.
If you have never heard of a startup studio then here is what you need to know. It is a setup that is built to enable and support other startups. It can also be called a startup factory. The three aspects that define a startup studio are:
– internally generated ideas,
– the singular goal of supporting other startups,
– and a proper infrastructure of idea enabling resources.
The question is, does it help?
As a non-technical founder, collaborating with a startup studio can provide you with the following benefits:
1. It can act as your CTO/Co-Founder
Startup studios are more invested in your business than a web design agency. This is because startup studios build you from the ground up, they help you launch the idea and watch it grow. Hence, they are motivated to provide guidance, support, and resources for a longer period of time.
Startup studios also act as your co-founder and CTO to “build” your product and later also work on the growth of your startup and devise strategies for the future. The key interest of any startup studio is the success and growth of their startups, its valuations, and its future.
2. It helps to create blueprints or prototypes
In the startup world, if you are stepping in with just a passionate idea without proper resources, guidance, or backup. There is little chance that your startup will succeed.
However, with a startup studio, you can raise your success rate significantly. It is because they provide an almost foolproof blueprint on how to launch and develop your idea. With the help of a startup studio, you can build a prototype you can use to move forward with your idea, validate it, do risk analysis, or calculate possible lacks and failures.
3. It can help you validate product/market fit
When you come up with an idea, initially that is all it is. No matter how great, how innovative, or problem solving an idea is, it is just… an idea. Until you roll up your sleeves and work on it. Once you get started on bringing your idea to a reality that’s when the first pool of obstacles, failures, and problems arrive. This is the first test of your endurance and the validity of your idea.
With a startup studio, you can do just that. You can take your idea, create a prototype, launch it, and validate if it can withhold in the real world.
4. It gives you access to idea pools
Startup studios go through several businesses, ideas, potential startups on an everyday basis. Their exposure, to new ideas, technologies, and possibilities, is immense. The individuals in the studio are also tech-savvy and innovative which leads to even more solutions and ideas.
It is a high possibility that when growing your startup you will reach a dead-end, a failure, a u-turn, or crossroads. When faced with such situations, you can bounce ideas, discuss, evaluate, and analyze each opportunity or solution with the startup studio. The diverse set of mindsets will allow you to make a suitable pivot for the future of your company.
5. It lets you tap into a pool of resources
With a startup studio, you have easy access to tech-savvy, diverse minded, experienced, professionals. A startup studio has a team of designers, developers, marketers, and administrative staff for the early-stage startups they are associated with.
Having access to a pool of resources, startups can get all the help they need in launching their idea without hiring and thus, saving the expense of salaries during its prototype phase.
While a studio startup can be highly impactful for non-technical founders, it can be highly beneficial and enabling for technical founders as well. To run a business you need a whole team of experts and enablers, a startup can not be a one-man show. To thrive, every startup requires collaboration, loyalty, sharing of ideas, resources, and a team to lean on. So whether you are a non-techincal or a technical founder joining a venture-capital-backed studio will absolutely enable growth opportunities.
“No more romanticizing about how cool it is to be an entrepreneur. It’s a struggle to save your company’s life – and your own skin – every day of the week.”
— Spencer Fry, co-founder of CarbonMade