Starter studios are becoming more and more popular, with big companies like Giphy and Girlboss coming from the studio model. The premise is strong: use adventure on a small number of concentrated ideas, encouraged by experts and internal resources, to create strong businesses.
But a new startup studio is preparing to be launched in New York with a different idea in mind.
FCTRY, headed by Jules Ehrhardt, does not necessarily think that money is always the best way to help startups grow. Ehrhardt regards FCTRY as a Creative Capital Studio, in which experts from various fields (with a special emphasis on design, design, and engineering) offer insight and knowledge to help startups grow rather than capital risk. Of course, these start-ups would still trade equity in exchange for these services.
Ehrhardt comes from UsTwo, the digital product studio that has contributed to the development of the very popular Monument Valley game.
The goal of FCTRY will not be the foundry model, where studios will invent their own ideas in collaboration with smart serial entrepreneurs and build them from scratch at home. Instead, FCTRY will help start-ups and mid-stream companies with their creative strategy, processes and culture.
"The typical counseling system is broken," said Ehrhardt. "Usually, the board structure comes from a stock pool of one to five percent and usually ends in a disappointment, where the advisor was supposed to make presentations or provide actionable information that is never presented. "
Ehrhardt says that he wants to bring more charity to this, by calling on the same group of expert advisors, but with the proper structure in place to offer that expertise and accomplish the task.
FCTRY will focus on three pillars of startup success: product, people and growth.
"Product" may sound a bit confusing and unclear, but FCTRY is particularly concerned with building a framework for product delivery, helping to put in place the processes and organizational structure that allow businesses to create new products. good products. Of course, the FCTRY team will directly contribute to the products themselves, but with the added goal of ensuring that the start-up can continue to iterate and create great brands and products at the same time. beyond their time with FCTRY.
Ehrhardt also noted that recruitment and personal development are two big obstacles for companies trying to develop and express their own culture. The founders suddenly switch from the main product agent to hiring people to assume different roles within the company, which requires a totally different skill set.
FCTRY wants to help startups grow and express their mission and culture so that it can grow from 10 to 200 people without much friction. FCTRY also wants the founders to focus on their own personal development and that of their employees. Mr. Ehrhardt noted that Travis Kalanick, founder and CEO of one of the fastest scale-up companies on the planet, has not developed alongside the company.
"Chess often comes back to the human part of a business," Ehrhardt said. "People have not been aware of the need for their own personal development."
In this context, FCTRY will assist not only in recruitment and hiring, but also in the creation of feedback frameworks within companies.
The last part of the puzzle for FCTRY is growth. The company will help with paid, viral and sticky sales strategies drawing from a pool of talent in the creative agency space. Ehrhardt says that about 20% of the FCTRY team will come from creative agencies, the rest coming from other areas of expertise, such as machine learning, design , engineering, etc.
Ehrhardt pointed out that one of the biggest opportunities with Creative Capital's model is to offer a new path to wealth creation for some of the best experts in their respective fields. These experts, although they may not be able to write a big check to a venture capital firm or even as an angel to a start-up, can exchange their own ideas for the company. equity through the Creative Capital model.
"Traditionally, LPs are people who can cut a check, which tend to be white men who have enjoyed their privilege," said Ehrhardt. "We can do a lot to open the door to creating wealth for many more people than the usual suspects."
While FCTRY is in its infancy, Ehrhardt plans to bring together some 20 people to join the FCTRY team, with the intention of working with a dozen startups over the course of a year, with commitments of varying size and duration