What is The Difference Between Startup Studios and Venture Studios?

Knowing this will help you succeed in launching a Studio or joining one.

Dianna Lesage


I gave a talk on Studios to some startup executives a few weeks back.

Once the group came to understand the model and goals of a Studio, someone asked a question about the difference between Startup Studios and Venture Studios. He had heard both terms and said they seem to be used intangibly.

He is right — but that is wrong.

Let me explain.

The question about the difference between Venture Studios and Startup Studios is a very common one.

As you can see from the poll results above, it’s also a heavily debated one.

To be honest, I thought most people would vote that they “are the same” — but I was (pleasantly) surprised. The results were split almost right down the middle.

It’s clear that … the Studio ecosystem is unclear on this one.

The Similarities Shared by Startup Studios and Venture Studios

Let’s start with the easy stuff — the things that everyone agrees on.

  • Both models leverage shared resources and repeatable processes to launch new startup companies
  • Both models rely on economies of scale to launch successful startups faster and cheaper each time around
  • Both models build their own ideas and bring in EIRs with outside ideas
  • Both models build startups in parallel
  • Both models should choose a niche and apply industry-specific resources to the startups they build

At a high level, the two models are very similar.

They’re companies that create companies in parallel. Time, resources, and funds are used to create these startups and the Studio has a big equity stake in each of them. The goal of both models is to spin out successful ventures that will exit and return funds to the…



Dianna Lesage

Venture Studio expert. Creator capitalist. Lover of innovation.