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An Introduction to 2TWELVE90’s Startup Studio Model

An Introduction to 2TWELVE90’s Startup Studio Model

An Introduction to 2TWELVE90’s Startup Studio Model

Dylan Terry
Dylan Terry
Feb 1, 2024
Feb 1, 2024

What is a Startup Studio?

Put simply, a startup studio is an organization that builds companies from scratch. There are different types of startups studios, each with their own unique approach. But at their core are common elements that are used to continuously create companies:

  • Idea Generation: A constant process for generating, evaluating, and selecting promising ideas to develop into startups.


  • Talent and Team Building: Access to a pool of skilled entrepreneurs, developers, and industry experts who can form the core teams of the new startups.


  • Capital: Access to capital to seed startups and provide a runway to execute on an initial strategy.


  • Shared Resources: Offering centralized services such as legal, HR, and marketing, to reduce costs and accelerate growth.


  • Strategic Guidance: Providing guidance to incubated startups, including market research, business model development, and network access.

Startup studio vs venture fund

The combination and access to these elements are what separate a startup studio from a venture fund. Startup studios are hands on, deeply engaged company builders, and with the right team it can create high success rates and provide outsized returns to investors. 

According to an industry survey conducted by 500 Global (Survey), studio exit rates of their portfolio companies average 36% and produce internal rates of return (IRR) greater than 2x the traditional startup.

You can think of a startup studio as an experienced gardener, who carefully selects seeds and nurtures each plant with tailored resources. They guide the growth, resulting in a flourishing garden. Unlike a venture fund that scatters seeds, gives them a little water and hopes for some to grow. That may be a little harsh on venture funds, but you get the point. 

A differentiated startup studio model

Most startup studios conceptualize, iterate on and build startups from scratch. 2TWELVE90 is different, we build startups using technology coming out of federal R&D labs. 

Within the federal lab system, there are tens of thousands of research and development projects, some with muli-year and multi-million dollar investments to date. These technologies typically have active use cases with federal government agencies. 

Due to the Bayh Doyle act, federal labs must attempt to commercialize their inventions. Tech transfer offices (TTOs) are responsible for this, typically commercializing through spin out companies, licensing agreements or internal incubators.

However, these TTOs face challenges in commercialization, especially when trying to spin out or incubate a company. This is where 2TWELVE90 will step in, working with federal labs to commercialize these technologies, and build impactful startups. 

Our company building process

Once a technology has been identified and validated, 2TWELVE90 has a process to drive success, focusing on six core pillars:

  1. Refine the Offering: so that it meets the needs of the private market. The technology often is quite developed but may need some extra layers to operate outside of the public sector. 


  2. Test and iterate: we test the solution with customers and iterate until there's evidence of product-market fit.


  3. Assemble a Winning Team: We recruit experienced entrepreneurs to lead the company and grow the team. 

  4. Establish the Company: Incorporate the company with a pre-defined startup backbone and ensure the intellectual property rights are in place.


  5. Support and scale: We support our companies through market insights, industry connection and access to capital. With a focus on scaling for a future exit.

If any of this resonates with you, please reach out to 2TWELVE90 to discuss or learn more!

Author

Dylan Terry

Dylan Terry is a founding partner of Highway Ventunres.

Author

Dylan Terry

Dylan Terry is a founding partner of Highway Ventunres.

Building Companies

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Building Companies

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Building Companies

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Highway Ventures 2023