On-demand digital convenience meets purposeful niching.

Nearly overnight, the entire world was forced to adopt “digital” as the new normal. One day we were out wandering the aisles of our local grocer and the next we were locked down at home jockeying for delivery slots on Instacart.

This rapid shift marked the end of an era for traditional retail and catapulted e-commerce into the mainstream- even for those who had never shopped online before. In 2021, the e-commerce train continues to pick up speed but through the chaos, an opportunity has emerged for a new type of online brand to thrive. …


The classic scene is set.

A brilliant innovator has an idea that’s positioned to change the world as we know it. He’s tired of being overlooked and underappreciated. In a fit of emotion-driven determination, he storms into his manager's office, quits remorselessly, and dashes off to build a billion dollar startup.

In the movie version, there’s theme music and a mantra of scenes depicting our hero pulling all-nighters, shooting crumpled paper into a wastebasket, and pounding coffee like it’s water.

After several setbacks, he manages to land a huge account, and *climax* his software saves the day. …


A guide and script to use when talking to potential customers.

Entrepreneurs love solutions. Without ever being asked to, we invest our time, money, and energy into building products that solve problems.

Experimenting is what we do and, for the most part, we’re pretty damn good at it. But, a huge part of experimenting is in testing, and a huge part of testing is in getting feedback- and that is where it falls apart for most of us.

We know that the startup failure rate is extremely high and, more often than not, this is because entrepreneurs build things without first validating that people want that solution or even have a…


Building a Startup Studio is hard.

The business model is complex, the core team is at odds, securing investment is a challenge, deal flow is elusive, and new Studios have no domain authority making it feel impossible to “get the word out”.

I have been involved in the Startup Studio ecosystem since 2018.

It all began with a blog I started purely out of curiosity. From there a community of Startup Studio pioneers was formed. Through relationship building (the Startup Studio ecosystem is smaller than you think- everyone seems to know of everyone!) I connected with a Studio called Untapped…


The Top 20 Reasons Startups Fail

According to research conducted by CB Insights on 101 startup postmortems, the #1 reason new startups fail is because there is no market need for the product/ service on offer.

This problem is so prevalent across the startup scene that the infamous tech accelerator Y-Combinator adopted “make something people want” as their slogan.


This is a quick update on why I’ve been quiet these last 6 months and what I’m up to now!

Whew! What a year.

First, I want to thank everyone who has reached out and asked if I’m okay. Believe it or not, those messages really made me feel loved. Even if we’re just internet friends, I consider you all a part of my ecosystem. You all are the reason I write, produce videos, conduct research, put together papers, and curate resources.

What Happened?

My last article was from August of 2020 *cringe* — that makes me so sad. …


Why reinvent the wheel? Startups are complicated and each is unique but innovators from every end of the startup building spectrum have developed tools to make launching and growing a venture easier than ever before. These platforms range from helping with market research to helping find an investor. By using these tools, you can drastically reduce the time it takes to validate an idea, launch an MVP, and scale your startup!

Here is a ready-made list of my hand-selected tools to help on your startup journey from end to end.

Develop The Idea

Finding an idea may not seem like the hard part…


What product or service do you want that doesn’t exist yet?

This is the quintessential question to answer when thinking of launching a startup venture. The advice is often given that entrepreneurs need to “start with the problem” before coming up with a solution and, while this is sound advice, it often leaves entrepreneurs wondering which problem to solve. From preventing the next pandemic to paying bills, there are endless problems that could be solved.

The question is, what problem is the right one for you to solve?

Make a To-Do List

What action items have been on your To-Do list all week? Perhaps…


A Startup Studio (also referred to as a Venture Builder) is an organization that builds startups.

Unlike accelerators, Studios don’t run “programs” with cohorts and timelines (a typical accelerator runs for a 3-month period with a cohort of ~50 culminating in a demo day).

The difference between an incubator and a Studio is the hands-on work that Studio teams put into ventures rather than just providing startup capital and other more tangible assets.

Essentially, a Studio acts as an investing co-founder to your startup.

The Studio team will help you from day 1 all the way up through raising your…


Startup Studios are also known as Venture Builders and as both of these names suggest, they are companies that create other companies. The goal of a Venture Builder is to use the same internal team and set of internal resources to crank out as many high-quality startup ventures as possible. To learn more about Startup Studios and how they work, read this article.

At Studio Upstart- Build, the first and only membership community for entrepreneurs and leaders across the Startup Studio industry, we talk a lot about how to fundraise for Startup Studios. As many of our members are emerging…

Dianna Lesage

Endlessly curious about the human condition. Founder of Studio Upstart. Chief of Staff @ Untapped Ventures.

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