Everything You Need to Know About Open Innovation

What the heck is a startup studio?

By Adrian Osman

Startups are superhard. Luckily, there are plenty of ‘startup institutions’ helping founders to not screw everything up.

For example, you may have heard of ‘incubators’, ‘accelerators’, or ‘co-working spaces’? But when I say, ‘startup studio’, most people haven’t heard of this newer model.

A startup studio (also known as a startup ‘factory’ or ‘foundry’) takes bits and pieces from other models and adds an agency-style approach.

Before getting involved in the startup space I worked in agencies. This gave me a lot of exposure to this idea of a centralised team of talent, who are all working with each other to pump out high quality work for lots of brands at once.

When I started launching tech startups, I found it weird that there weren’t any available options with this same centralised team model.

How does a startup studio work?

The model is simple.

You hire a bunch of incredibly talented people: designers, coders, copywriters, marketers, and so on. Startup studio teams usually begin by working on their own in-house projects to get the hang of working well together.

Then, just like an agency, you open up your doors to the public to allow other people to hire your team for their startup.

The biggest difference between startup studios and incubators or accelerators is how hands-on they are. An incubator or accelerator will generally have small teams who focus on strategy and mentorship, whereas studios do the same PLUS deliver essential services like designing, coding, marketing, and more.

NOTE: There is nothing at all wrong with incubators or accelerators, we are partnered with some awesome ones. The only downside is that they only work with A-grade fully fledged teams, so any founder without this team won’t be accepted into their programs.

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Startup as a service

If you were the CEO of a large company, who would you turn to for help to recapture your lost mojo? How would you create, test and build new products? Big companies have been steadily getting worse at innovation, whereas startups have begun to eat the world. Small companies can move fast, take risks and attract talent.

Startups an bring together designers (like Jon Gold, pictured) and developers in much more creative and agile ways. (Photo: Paul Clarke and Makeshift)

The brightest minds of the next generation are spending their weekends building software in hackathons, quitting their jobs to build interesting startups and being investing in by incubators and accelerators. It’s a brave new world, but large companies are still looking for ways to become more agile.

A new trend is emerging where hot studios (that combine design, business and technology skills) are building startups from scratch for large companies. This new approach is reviving the patronage model from Renaissance Florence.

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Hello world!

Welcome to the Safe2Start website. This is our first post. Many to come….

We finally found the time to create a new website that was more representative of the Intrapreneurial work we have been doing for companies the last couple of years.

Our focus has shifted to meeting the innovation needs of corporate organizations by helping those organizations create startups, create startups for them or taking up the role of a matchmaker between existing startups and larger organizations.