Is there is a new model of venture incubation that would beat the ‘fire and forget’ model that many VC’s and angel investors are engaging in? Nova Spivack thinks there is. The technology futurist and serial entrepreneur thinks we should emulate a process akin to producing a film. He calls this a ‘production studio model’. In this approach an early investor works as a producer of ventures, not merely a founder or angel investor. Instead of spreading lots of fairly hands-off bets across dozens of companies, producers really focus and get deeply hands-on with a pipeline of projects of various stages. It’s a ‘Hollywood’ kind of model that can be emulated for start-ups, albeit in a more grassroots and distributed way, according to Spivack.
The 3 main stages of the production studio model:
- Sourcing candidate ideas from a few different streams (your own inventions, as well as those from people in your network, and from other inventors you find or who find you)
- Next, ‘option’ the best ideas with joint R&D agreements and/or with initial prototype funding to test them out. Then filter these prototypes and choose the best ones to produce.
- Form companies, build teams, develop business plans, branding and strategy, and bring additional funding together to develop the commercial offerings, launch, market, and grow them into full ventures.
The key is getting involved at or even before concept stage — even before there is a real team — and actively work to shape it into a venture, from concept through commercialization. It’s not exactly the same as the role of an angel or VC, or an EIR, or even a typical ‘superhero CEO’. It’s a new role that connects them all together.