Six months ago we launched the new Atlanta Ventures Startup Studio. A startup studio is just a modern way of saying we partner with entrepreneurs to create new companies from scratch. In addition to investing directly into startups, which we’ve been doing for years, we saw an opportunity to develop a more formal program around ideation, market research, planning, launching, and growing. With so many talented people in town, but a more limited group of entrepreneurs, the ability to take an idea to product/market fit and beyond is the core opportunity.
As expected, ideation is the easy part. Everywhere we look there are opportunities and ways to make people’s lives better. To date, we have a Google Sheet of 80 ideas and are regularly adding to it as well as revising existing ideas. Of course, most aren’t any good but the goal is to focus on “what ifs” and just let the ideas flow. More importantly, having a stable of ideas ready makes it easier to match potential ideas with potential entrepreneurs based on their interests and personalities.
Finding entrepreneurs to partner with is the hardest part. There are so many great people that want to start a new company, yet we’re very particular in our focus on entrepreneurs that are positive, self-starting, supportive, and have had a prior entrepreneurial failure. In the entrepreneurial context, we look for repeated examples of working through adversity and pushing the boundaries to get things done.
State of the Union
To date, we’ve launched one company (autonomous lawn mowers), are about to incorporate a second, and have a couple more that are progressing nicely. Frankly, it’s harder than expected, but we’re pleased with the progress. Building companies takes time, and we’re excited to be a part of the journey.
Want to take the next step in the entrepreneurial journey? Apply to be an entrepreneur in residence.