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. …


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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…


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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…


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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…


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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…


Top VC firms investing in black founders ranked by number of investments made.

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In a study conducted by Harvard Business Review, there was a positive correlation between diversity in a startup’s founding team and innovation success. According to the article, “the most-diverse enterprises were also the most innovative, as measured by the freshness of their revenue mix. In fact, companies with above-average total diversity, measured as the average of six dimensions of diversity (migration, industry, career path, gender, education, age), had both 19% points higher innovation revenues and 9% points higher EBIT margins, on average.”

When the relationship between financial performance and diversity is this clear, it’s borderline reckless to not invest in…


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We can all agree that the best entrepreneurs are not the most experienced, financially secure, or even smartest. Practically, we understand that success in entrepreneurship is the direct result of passion, mission, and grit. From Jeff Bezos to Steve Jobs, it’s clear that passion and vision outweigh technical skills, talent, and industry experience 10 to 1.

But in reality, passion and moral compass get overlooked and pushed aside in search of a more tangible asset. From large corporations to small startups, hiring managers filter out candidates with no experience, connections, hard skills, and those lacking a proven track record of…


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Within the startup ecosystem, there are those who build and those who help others build. The criteria for helping others build is very simple.

An organization must have the following resources:

  • Mentors (people who have been there/ done that and can shed light on specific obstacles a founding team may face) and Advisors (people who can help a founding team execute by working hand-in-hand with them develop business plans, pitch decks, and strategies)
  • Networks (of talent, investors, and partners)
  • Education (blueprints on how to accomplish objectives like fundraising, hiring, setting up legal entities, etc.)

Beyond the above resources, most organizations…


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Running through the blood of every new startup venture is one singular theme known as “fail fast” and, while startups would be wise to adhere to this mantra, Startup Studios have bet their entire existence on it.

The main goal of a Startup Studio, also called a Venture Builder, is to rapidly test new startup ideas and either validate them or kill them with no mercy. The innovators working within a Startup Studio do not fall in love with “ugly babies”. …


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A Startup Studio is a company that builds other companies in parallel. For some entrepreneurs, launching a single Startup is the right path because they’re passionate about solving one single problem. But, other entrepreneurs are less interested in solving one problem and more interested in fixing an entire industry or using one technology to solve problems in a variety of industries. These entrepreneurs are the ones who should consider working for or launching a Startup Studio.

To learn more about Startup Studios and how they work, read this.

There are 5 key milestones an entrepreneur must work through if they…

Dianna Lesage

Endlessly curious about the human condition. Founder of Studio Upstart- www.studioupstart.com. Connect w. me on LinkedIn!

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