Venture Building offers a great deal of potential for startups as well as mature companies. Especially those in the later mature phase approaching their "KODAK moment" of their life cycle. The key is to recognize it and act on it. Companies should adopt a venture building approach to ensure that they stay ahead of the curve, invest in technology and research and development, and build a strong go-to-market strategy. By doing so, companies can remain competitive and grow their market value. KODAK refused to innovate and face the truth that digital photography was going to take over the market. They relied on their previous successes and didn’t want to put any money into research and development. They needed to embrace the change and create a venture building approach to stay ahead of the curve. They needed to invest in technology, research and development, and a go-to-market strategy to stay competitive in the market. This could have allowed them to remain a leading player in the photography industry. KODAK market value plunged eventually in time as other digital photography companies outcompeted them.
Innovation and venture building can help mature companies by allowing them to create new products and services, develop new business models, and boost profitability. Through venture building, companies can create new ventures that leverage their existing strengths and capabilities to quickly break into new markets or develop new revenue streams. Additionally, venture building can help mature companies to gain access to capital, new technology, and a network of experts. Lastly, venture building can also help mature companies stay competitive by providing them with opportunities to create disruptive solutions and innovate faster than their competitors.
Many corporate innovation labs have been established in the last decade, especially in the fintech sector. In these labs, inter-company collaboration between intrapreneurs can stimulate new ideas and concepts within the corporation. However, these ideas are not always implemented because the existing corporate professionals have more attention. As a result, ideas often revolve around improving existing offerings instead of bringing new insights. A clear strategy is needed to avoid 'innovation theatre' where corporate innovation initiatives do not translate into long-term results.
A Venture Builder - also called a startup studio, startup factory or venture studio - is an organization that builds startups using its own ideas and resources. They hire founders and pay them to run the startup. This promising new model has seen startups such as Twitter, Medium, Lazada, Food Panda and Zalora, to name a few, and is increasingly being adopted by the corporate world.
There are currently 1.2 thousand unicorns in the world valued at almost $4 trillion. Mature businesses have unfair advantages such as funding, sales channels, brands, talent, technology and - most importantly - customers. We help them to leverage these advantages to build new ventures upon them.
We provide these mature businesses with the resources they need to launch and scale their unicorns, including access to technology, talent, and funding. We also provide the necessary guidance and mentorship to help them navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of the startup world. Our team of experienced entrepreneurs and investors are dedicated to helping mature businesses create, launch, and scale new unicorns. We provide a full suite of services to help mature businesses launch and scale their unicorns. Our services include market analysis, business planning, product development, fundraising, legal and regulatory compliance, and much more. We also provide our clients with access to the best talent in the industry, so they can focus on building their unicorn. We are committed to helping mature businesses succeed in their quest to create new unicorns. With our expertise and experience, we can help them navigate the complexities of the startup world and build the next generation of successful unicorns.
In business building, results are not always immediate and visible. In addition, there are financial risks that need to be borne over a longer period of time. While leadership commitment from the CEO level down and stakeholder support is important to overcome these ups and downs, businesses may need to prepare for a different set of challenges.
In some corporate cultures, there may be a higher degree of power distance, where employees defer to management and closely adhere to the boundaries of their assigned tasks. As a result, employees may shy away from speaking truthfully and openly about risky ideas put forward by management, even when customer feedback is poor. It takes a collective effort to build psychological safety. Ideas improve with objective criticism, so leaders and employees can work together to prioritize honesty over hierarchy when it comes to innovation.
Viewing failure as a bad outcome can also inhibit employees from experimenting and taking risks. Rather than perfecting a single product, building venture businesses involves rapidly iterating one minimum viable product after another in search of product-market fit. This "move fast and break things" way of operating can be at odds with the culture of reliability that is needed in a core business to generate stable revenue, so getting the talent and culture right is critical.
Venture Builder is akin to a fast-growing technology startup whose product is the enterprise, the prototype is the business model, and the results mean perfect and timely deployment. In this context, Venture Builder is essentially a startup that builds startups. It applies Lean Startup, Design Thinking, Design Sprint, agile principles like process management, proven learning, iteration and innovation accounting in the venture building process. Leverages an extensive network and ecosystem reaching out to experienced entrepreneurs to share resources (capital, skills and market expertise).
These resources then jointly venture and operate in areas where the venture partners have a significant competitive advantage (existing business, attractiveness, superior market knowledge, dedicated operating resources, etc.) - resulting in a successful venture that is adequate at the end to launch a new venture.
Venture capital companies are different because they are not operating organisations. They invest in promising teams and business ideas that meet their criteria. Venture Builders, on the other hand, are very involved in the day-to-day management of operations. If a Venture Builder owns equity in their ventures, it is because they created the idea and invested significant effort in growing the company - not because they provided the capital. Having said that, it is also true that more and more Venture Builders are creating funds to facilitate fundraising efforts.
Unlike incubators and accelerators, Venture Builders do not accept applications or run a competitive program for a limited time, culminating in a Demo Day. Instead, they draw business ideas from their own network of resources and assign internal teams to develop them from the ground up (engineers, consultants, business developers, sales managers, etc.). Venture Builder's relationship with its ventures is long-term; it is deeply involved with the startups it produces until they exit.
The Venture Builder model is growing. It is debatable whether Venture Building is a better model. While all have their merits, Venture Building is more profitable and beneficial for a promising startup in the early stages of bootstrapping, especially one that has yet to sustain cash flow.
It is undeniable that venture building industrialises and demystifies a process that was previously more art than science, and empowers organisations and individuals, emphasising the use of human capital to systematically build new value from the ground up, thereby increasing the chances of creating and building successful startups. It is no longer the solo charismatic that drives a startup, but rather the use of proven methodologies based on successful case studies, combined with the right team and deployment at the right time that make stories happen.