OS + Guild
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What is a “Venture Studio”?
Unlike a traditional venture capital firm, which typically focuses on investing in a founding team’s validated idea, a venture studio focuses on forming and validating startup ideas, then building and launching them into the market with the founders.We bring our studio team, fund, methodology, and network to bear to significantly increase the chances of success, and decrease the time to get there. We aim to be the best co-founder you could ever hope to have.For more information on the Venture Studio model, we recommend the The Rise of Startup Studios White Paper from Global Startup Studio Network (GSSN).
Are you a venture fund?
Yes and no. We have a venture fund but, unlike a traditional venture fund, the Platform fund is primarily used to build new startups rather than invest in existing startups.We are able to work with existing startups but only if they are early in their journey, and have not yet raised any money in a priced round.
How does a startup get built by Platform?
We start by sourcing unmet need suggestions and potential founders from the Guild. We meet weekly to discuss possible solutions to these unmet needs, taking into account Guild discussion. Founders and unmet needs are scored separately on a number of attributes, including whether they are good fits for our studio, whether they align with our overall mission and themes, and if they excite us (subjective, but arguably one of the most important measurements).From there, a potential founder becomes a Founder-in-Residence and we begin our four stage process to build a company. Our remote-first team of experts works directly with founders at every stage. The product team helps design and rapidly build out a fully functional, beautiful Low-Code product experience ready for real user testing. The growth team helps founders plan targeted growth sprints, set up tracking infrastructure, and analyze the data to get to product-market fit ASAP. At each stage, we evaluate what the market response has been, and whether we think the company and founder have proven what it needs to make it to the following stage. The final stage of the Platform process is to help the founders raise their seed round of funding and graduate from Platform Venture Studio.
What is a Founder-in-Residence?
A Founder-in-Residence (or "FIR") is an entrepreneur we partner with to solve an unmet need.Sometimes, we will begin a partnership with a FIR to develop an idea that is still in its infancy. Other times, we will partner with an FIR who already has a concrete idea of what they want to create.
Are Platform Founders-in-Residence paid?
Yes; we do offer income to Founders-in-Residence. This is important because we believe that the inability to work without income is often a big part of what prevents some founders - particularly those from underrepresented groups - from starting the entrepreneurship journey. However, equity is of course always the primary reward for being a startup founder.
How do I become a Founder-in-Residence?
Let us know you’re interested by filling out our build with us form. If you have an idea, you can also post it as an Unmet Need for feedback from the community. If there’s a fit, we will reach out and schedule a call to learn more.
What is a Founder Associate?
Our Founder Associates assist our FIRs with building their companies. A Founder Associate is a quintessential generalist and gets to witness firsthand how a founder creates a company from scratch. For someone who aspires to be a Founder themselves one day, we believe there is no better, hands-on experience than being a Founder Associate. Open Founder Associate positions will be posted on our jobs page when available.
What do you look for in a Founder?
There are many qualities that we evaluate but it is best summarized as Smarts, Goodness, Grit, and Fit.
Can I pitch my idea to you?
Yes, absolutely! Please first sign up to Platform and post it as an Unmet Need, and then tell us about your proposed Solution, or you can also share your idea, or you can also share your idea directly with us.
What is an "Unmet Need"?
An Unmet Need is a big hairy problem that the Platform Guild has identified and which fits into one or more of our core themes. It is important not to confuse an unmet need for a solution. Once we are clear on the unmet need, it's time to propose solutions, which may be existing solutions or ideas for new products and services.
I already have a startup; can it be part of Platform?
Yes, it’s possible! Please let us know more about your startup by filling out our build with us form. If it’s a good fit, we’ll reach out to learn more and discuss how we can partner together.
Why are you showing everything on your website?
In short, we think "stealth mode" is BS. We believe in full transparency, both with what we’re working on and with our feedback to our founders every step of the way. Any advantages to stealth mode are massively overridden by the benefits of getting early feedback and leveraging the wisdom of the crowd. For every startup that is successful after being in stealth mode, there are ten that come out of stealth mode only to discover that they've built something that no one wants.
Platform is a growing community of founders, experts, and investors building startups together.
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