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

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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…

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Dianna Lesage

Venture Studio expert. Creator capitalist. Lover of innovation.