5 things to know before you’re a founder at a startup studio

Builders Universe
Published in
5 min readFeb 13


The Builders portfolio founder team

So you want to co-found a tech startup.

You’re seasoned for it, and Builders’ startup studio model has caught your eye. You get a general idea, but you’re still grasping how the studio is going to facilitate you to build a startup, launch it and start scaling in just 18 months. We’re here to abate your worries.

Over the course of more than 200 conversations we’ve had with EiR candidates, we’ve always received questions about the studio and the challenge they were in for. To make things more simple for the EiRs to come, we compiled answers to the 5 most-asked questions from candidates here, so you now know everything you need to before becoming an EiR at Builders.

1. What’s a startup studio? Are you a VC, or an incubator?

A startup studio or venture studio is an organization that aims to build several startups parallelly. Startup studios take a co-founding role in the new ventures while providing operational and capital support like expertise, resources, and infrastructure to all the startups being grown in the studio. In short, we have an experienced team of growth marketers, product development, HR, finance, research, and legal to make that company come to life. Deep-dive here.

Startup studios are similar to VCs but set themselves apart on the involvement front

2. How are you different from other startup institutions?

We strongly believe that it takes a strong core team to build a successful business. Builders have that team in place working with you from day 1. We only work with 1 to 2 new Entrepreneurs-in-residence simultaneously; this means each EiR receives dedicated and personalised support.

Instead of validating an opportunity while trying to find your co-founder in a large cohort, we focus on validating an idea first. From market research through customer interviews and all the way to a product pitch, we count 19 deliverables to achieve before even starting to find a technical co-founder.

We are your co-founder, and we are your team — read more about our discovery and validation processes here.

3. Tell me more about the studio’s company creation model

We aim to create companies in 18 months. You’ll start by ideating and validating a business opportunity during your first couple of months. If you’re interested in knowing more about the different steps of the process, take a look at how we’d collaboratively go about it here.

Our stage-gate model is divided into 5 hard gates and 10 soft gates

4. I read your job description, but what are you really looking for in a co-founder?

For us, co-founding a company requires a lot of synergy between the studio and the co-founders. We’ll spend a lot of time together and will be in business for at least the next 5 to 7 years.

So besides the core skills listed there, the most important ones are:

  • Self-awareness: you need to be aware of your strengths and energy drainers. We’re looking for people who know themselves and who are open to feedback
  • Resilience: There will be many challenges, deals that aren’t going through, 10 no’s for 1 yes, and personal life events…you need to know how to recover from stress, reframe the situation, and find new strategies to experiment on.
  • Honesty: One of our values in our studio is ‘Say how you really feel’; we want to hear your voice if you disagree. Chances are you’re adding value by bringing new ideas and strategies to the business.
An element of the Founder-fit analysis we conduct for every Entrepreneur in Residence

5. I have a full-time job, but I always wanted to build my company, what advice would you have for me?

Although we mostly work with seasoned entrepreneurs, we do believe it’s never too late to achieve your dreams. In the process of thinking about this next step in your life, we suggest you do the following:

  • Explore yourself: do you get energy from being in action and networking? Look at your history. Do you tend to take risks, or are you more conservative? Are you in the right mindset, or is there a personal business you need to tackle first?
  • Have conversations: Conduct interviews with Entrepreneurs, and ask what it’s really like to be in that role. Challenge your assumptions.
  • Think about the financials: Depending on your current financial situation, building your company from 0 to 1 might require an economic sacrifice. Are you ready to change your lifestyle?
  • Gather social support: How does your family, friends, or partner feel about this decision? Will they be your biggest supporter? Building a company is not a 9-to-5 job, and you’ll need to know your priorities.

Things to think about

Building a successful company is not just a career choice; it’s a life choice. It’s aligning your purpose, values, and lifestyle to make it happen at the right place and time — maybe in the present, maybe in the future. With Builders, you receive an opportunity to facilitate this dream with a team that lends you its full support to see you thrive.

So we’re leaving you with some food for thought: How can you now create the right conditions in the present to build your future?

If this article has answered your questions and you’re ready for the next step, take a look at our founder opportunities here.

Are you interested in learning more about Builders and what we do? Reach out to Chris and he’ll help you out.



Builders Universe

We build tech companies from scratch by bringing together bold ideas, exceptional co-founders, operational support and investment capital.

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