What is a Venture Studio?

Have you ever had an idea that you just knew was going to be the next best thing?

We know that feeling — Equal parts excitement and fear. We know this because we have been there before, many times. And we know that while you tell others about your vision and how you are confident of how to get to Product-Market-Fit, you still fear how to manage risks in the back of your mind.

In other words, you say to others: “This can’t fail!”  But in the back of your head you are thinking: “How long until we run out of cash?”

Let’s say you decide you’re going to make the best digital venture the world has ever seen. You secure startup cash and an awesome developer and get right to work. In no time, you have a killer app that’s ready to launch. You go live and share it everywhere and with everyone. 

Then – Crickets. No Customers. 

What happened? You’ve seen other companies launch seemingly with no problem. Why isn’t your product gaining traction?

The simple answer is that launching a company goes beyond ‘building the thing right’. It’s about ‘building the right thing’.

Venture Studio: A Unique Approach to Get from Zero-to-One

We know answering challenging questions isn’t fun, but it is the most important part of being a successful start-up leader. 

In a nutshell, a venture studio makes sure you’re asking the right questions, designing your idea for the right audience, and developing the right tools so that you can create a successful business.

Keep reading to learn what a venture studio can help you with and how it can help you avoid this situation from happening.

What are the different ways of funding your venture? Download our free guide to learn more.

What does a Venture Studio do?

At its core, a venture studio is a team that assists intrapreneurs, entrepreneurs, and founders in building a sustainable business. 

At City Innovations, we take a look at your idea with a holistic approach to help envision, validate, fund, and launch sustainable digital ventures and products, making sure teams build the right thing, for the right market, at the right time with a solid product-market fit… the first time.

A Venture Studio works with any stage seed-funded intra- and entrepreneurs. Whether you’re in early-stage ideation or post-product-market-fit and beyond, venture studios can step in and come alongside to help validate ideas, build the right thing, and get to the market faster.

This includes offering ideation support, testing the market to get to product-market-fit, assisting with creating early market messaging, bringing the idea to life through development, and providing funding, coaching, and more — all to enable a business with continuous growth and scale.

So, how does this differ from other options? Venture studios help with the end-to-end process of developing and launching a venture, whereas other firms stay in one lane.

For example, a venture capital firm (who we are often confused with) typically only provides financial support. But a venture studio works with you to help you build your business. A phrase in the industry that you might be familiar with is “zero to one”. Put another way, we turn nothing into something or ideas into reality.

At City Innovations, we have designed our venture studio to: 

  1. Help ventures envision through structured workshops — putting together a plan to avoid common pitfalls.
  2. Assist in rapid early market experimentation (Lean Startup) and gathering feedback to validate ideas before investing in scale.
  3. Build a Bootstrap platform to deliver and develop a minimum viable product (MVP).
  4. Support a full build-out to get market-ready once the MVP is proven.
  5. Methodically scale and validate feature additions and market growth after launch.

Why is it important to work with a venture studio?

Have you ever thought, “My idea is simple, we just need to build it,” or “My idea would be a perfect fit for everyone,” or how about “My friends and family like my idea — I should be good to go.”?

If so, you may be straight on the path to falling into what we call the “IBS trap.”

The IBS trap stands for “Ideate, Build, Suffer.” Ultimately, it is the process of ideating a product, jumping straight into building your idea into a fully functioning business, then suffering after going through the immense pain of realizing that what you built doesn’t resonate with your audience.

Most first-time entrepreneurs don’t realize this is a trap until they go through this process. But wouldn’t it be great if you could validate the market before you actually spent real-time and energy developing things out? This is exactly why it’s important to partner with a venture studio. Venture studios keep you from spending valuable time and resources on developing the wrong idea for the wrong market.

When you fall into the IBS trap, you lose valuable time, money, and resources. But partnering with a venture studio will help to ensure that you don’t go through that loss.

9 out of 10 ventures fail. You can be the success story.

You don’t have to be a statistic. As a venture studio, it’s our job to make sure we help you validate your ideas so that you can build the right thing, at the right time, for the right people.

Now that you know your options, it’s time to start getting serious about validating your idea. 

Click here to reach out and learn more information about how we can help build digital businesses that will matter to the world.

For more information on the different ways of funding your venture, click here to download our free resource.

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