Startup studio success hinges on the ability of the studio to produce independent startup ventures. Each time a studio builds a startup, the process becomes more efficient and, as a result, faster and more cost-effective.

When studios are just starting out, one of the most critical planning pieces is the spin-out rate which is the number of startups the studio is able to launch in a given time period. Studios typically measure spin-out production annually, but sometimes quarterly and even monthly in some of the most extreme cases.

While the key metric is the spin-out rate, the momentum begins with…


Learn about the nuances of the role, what studios are looking for, and how to join a studio as an EIR.

TL;DR: this article covers the following topics:

  • How studio teams are organized
  • The EIR role: objectives & expectations
  • What studios look for in EIRs
  • Joining a studio as an EIR

The role of “Entrepreneur In Residence” (EIR) can be traced back to venture capital. VC firms needed better access to and assessment of deals so, they crafted this semi-temporary (3–9 month) role for startup veterans who could help with validating ideas, setting strategy, introducing other entrepreneurs, and sometimes even building startups from within the firm.

Talent is the most important ingredient in the startup studio recipe. You can’t expect to…


I answer community questions about startup studios.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I’m Dianna, startup studio enthusiast, and I love helping people learn about the studio ecosystem. I often get questions from founders and emerging studios and answer them pretty thoroughly.

I started thinking others might benefit from my insights and opinions. So, I’m sharing the questions and my answers here.

If you want to ask a question about studios, connect with me on LinkedIn and tell me how I can help- I’m an open book!

The Question:

Basically, my tech startup has gone from MVP last Summer to having 10+ customers and 50K ARR in the last year on a bootstrapped budget. We’ve…


In 2011, Peter Reinhardt and his co-founder Ian Storm dropped out of school to join Y-Combinator with their idea for a classroom lecture tool. They built the product, raised a little funding from YC Demo Day, and deployed the tool in Universities in Boston. In Peter’s words, “it was a total disaster”.

In short, they built a product that nobody wanted or needed. This, according to many sophisticated data sources along with common sense knowledge, is the number one reason why most startups fail- and theirs did.

The co-founders had to come up with a new idea, quickly and Ian…


Spoiler Alert: it’s exits

Graphic curtesy of Fiera Studio

First, let’s define what a startup studio is so we’re all on the same page.

A startup studio is a company that builds startups in rapid succession.

Studios often have many ideas in the works at the same time because, at the end of the “incubation period”, only a handful will survive. For example, a Studio might consider 50 different ideas, choose 40 to test, end up with 20 validated, create 10 of those- of which 5 will get traction- and 2 will “spinout”.

Studios are expert executioners and have pre-defined criteria (called stage-gates) that influence “kill or keep” decisions…


(SEC amends Regulation Crowdfunding rules- effective as of March 15, 2021)

If you want to simply read about the amendment to the SEC Regulation Crowdfunding rules, see the SEC Compliance Guide here.

In 1929 there was a huge stock market crash in the United States.

In the years leading up to the crash, the stock market was booming and many people were investing huge sums of money into businesses of all kinds- including startups. At the time, there were no regulations around who could invest, how much they could invest, or what companies had to do to prove they were legitimate to invest in.

Millions of people invested their life's savings…


The real reason you’re leaving things unfinished and how to stop the cycle.

Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

Entrepreneurs have more ideas in a single day than most people have in their entire life. Not to say that most people don’t have ideas, just to say that entrepreneurs are always on the hunt and because they’re always looking for ideas, they’re constantly discovering new ones.

New ideas are shiny, exciting, burdens.

As most innovators can attest to, when inspiration strikes and a new idea is born, it’s a bittersweet feeling.

On the one hand, a new idea is fun! The possibilities are limitless and potential is just waiting to be captured.

On the other hand, a new idea…


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…

Dianna Lesage

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

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