Anova-My Startup Studio Experience
Every time I meet a friend or a family member and they ask me what I do in my internship, I get this reaction:
Then I get some questions
- So are you working at a startup?
- What do you mean by a studio?
- Ah, you mean VC?
As my internship at Anova Startup Studio comes to an end, I decided to summarise my experience for curious minds!
What is a startup studio?
A startup studio (a.k.a. venture builder, venture studio, startup factory) is a company that builds startups. At startup studios, ideas are generated, built and launched in-house. Finally, startup studios are not only investors but also co-founders of startups (intensive human capital investment in the creation phase, to the point that startup is created by the studio team and startup employees are recruited after the creation).
How does a day look like at a startup studio?
Each startup studio has a different methodology (builder, corporate focus, investor, cross-functional etc.). My experience was at a corporate startup studio, Anova, and I will tell you what to expect if you want to be an EIR (Entrepreneur in Residence) or a business developer in this startup studio model. Let’s get it started!
Anova is the startup studio of Quantmetry, which is a leading data science consultancy in France. Our mission at Anova is to build artificial intelligence startups with corporate companies as well as providing technical due diligence (TDD) reports on startups for VC funds.
As a business developer at Anova, I got immersed in the French startup ecosystem and the new business model of startup studios.
Here are some things that you should know if you want to be a part of a startup studio;
- Change is the name of the game
In a startup studio, there are different startups in different creation phases. Depending on the time that you enter the studio, your workload might be quite different than another person, who also worked at the same studio but at another time. Know that there is no standard rhythm of work; one day can be quite chill (sipping your coffee on the couch and reading the latest fundraising news), and another day can be full of meetings, events and research.
- Get comfy with uncertainty
If you are a newbie as I am, fasten your seat belt and straighten your seat. Each startup is unique and what works for one startup may not work for another. You can have the great news that you win a pitch competition for one of the portfolio startups on the same day that you have to figure out something crucial in one of the term sheets.
- Enjoy autonomy as much as teamwork
In a startup studio (unless you are at the management team of a certain startup), people are working for different startups simultaneously. Of course, a lot of teamwork is involved in the creation of a startup but also you need to set your own schedule and rhythm of work. There is always a lot to do for startups and you can do as much as you set yourself to do.
- Master the art of multitasking
During my internship as a business developer at Anova, I have worked on anything that might come to mind in startup creation; from capitalisation table to recruitment process. Everyone is there for each startup and you are expected to do whatever is needed and more. The experience definitely teaches you a bit of each task in startup creation.
- Welcome to La French Tech
One of the best things about working at a startup studio is getting introduced to your local startup ecosystem. As I worked at Anova in Paris, I had an opportunity to learn about different actors in France, meet with ambitious entrepreneurs, and go to startup events (France Digital Day, Smart City Phillips Lighting Challenge etc.). It is a great way to get to know the key players in your local startup scene!
Overall, working at a startup studio is a great opportunity to have a relatively “safe experience” to learn about startup creation.