How To Make Community a Competitive Advantage For Your Venture Studio

Dianna Lesage
6 min readJan 13, 2023

Studio success starts and ends with community in 2023. Here’s how to do it right.

It’s an exciting time for Startup Studios.

There are 700+ Studios worldwide and growth is at an all-time high with over 50% of Studios having been started in the last 5 years.

To date, Studios have raised $21B in funding through which innovation efforts resulted in the creation of several unicorns including Dollar Shave Club, Snowflake, Hims & Hers, Hello Fresh, and more.

Data proves that Studios outperform venture capital and specifically address the common shortcomings of accelerators and incubators.

As the Studio industry matures, company building will only get faster, cheaper, and more successful. Past years of trial and error have planted the seeds for a beautiful bloom and full harvest in 2023.

But, with attention comes competition. And that’s where community comes in.

Why YC Works

To understand what the Studio sphere needs, it helps to look at successful startup creation machines, like Y-Combinator.

In this essay on Startup Hubs, Paul Graham talks about why YC is so successful at consistently producing world-class startups.

He notes that an environment that promotes and protects startups is necessary for their success. That environment is your Studio.

But there’s another critical element of startup success — and that is what most Studios are missing.

“It’s not the physical infrastructure of Silicon Valley that makes it work, or the weather, or anything like that. Those helped get it started, but now that the reaction is self-sustaining — what drives it is the people.

Many observers have noticed that one of the most distinctive things about startup hubs is the degree to which people help one another out.

A large part of YC’s function is to accelerate that process. We’re a sort of Valley within the Valley, where the density of people working on startups and their willingness to help one another are both artificially amplified.” -PG, YC

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Dianna Lesage

Venture Studio expert. Creator capitalist. Lover of innovation.