overview of the startup studio
we are a sustainability and impact-focused startup studio in goa focused on building and scaling businesses through the power of communities.
once we join hands, we’ll provide you with access to strategic and advisory support, capital and quality business frameworks, and a collaborative community of leaders and feeders. and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
how do we do it?
we will be the sherpa in your entrepreneurial journey! just like tenzing norgay accompanied edmund hillary to summit mount everest, we hope to be an experienced guide as you scale the entrepreneurial mountain.
we will help you plan the climb, set up camp, pull the right team, distribute the load evenly, prepare for contingency and help scale the peak. we’ll keep piping hot tea ready at all times and dance when you plant the flag.
but just like a sherpa, we’ll be mindful of your pace and need for space. we strongly believe that you know your startup idea best. this is why we are your supporting cast, and you’ll always be the lead. we’ll be the best damn robin to your batman—be it connecting you to a mentor, finding you vendors or even making you a cup of coffee. we’ll offer support and advice that stems from personal experience. that said, our advice will always be a suggestion, not a mandate. it really is up to you to take it or leave it.
our building sweet spot
we co-build startups aligned with our values of minimalism, sustainability, wellness, personal development, self-reliance, wealth distribution, and community living.
> inr 50 crore per year revenue potential
founders who believe collaboration trumps the lone wolf work style
sustainable and impact oriented idea & early stage
heres how we check our partnership will be mutually beneficial
we use a framework known as the 4c framework
capability of founder(s)
do you have the core skills necessary to build your startup at the moment?
commitment of founder(s)
will you see the journey through for the next 5-10 years, do you have enough skin in the game?
compatibility with us
do our values align? does success mean the same thing to us? will we add something meaningful to your journey?
is this idea big and differentiated enough for us to be working on it? do enough people want this? will they love it?
our selection process is broken down into 3 major stages spanning 12 to 16 weeks. through each stage, we’ll work together to answer some questions about vision and values, product/market fit strategies, business plans, and financial models. we understand that different founders can be at different stages of their startup lifecycle, so we commit to adjusting to your pace. we’re ready when you are.
in this stage, we aim to identify (with a high level of probability) that there will be a mutual fit between our goals, your idea and your approach. in order to do that, we request you to articulate the idea by filling up this form. we also request that you read our partnership approach and terms. it serves to share our thought process and working terms with you. we typically take 2 weeks to reply to you.
in this stage, we explore current opportunities and challenges with you and use our 4c framework to evaluate your startup. we typically meet 2-3 times to understand your business plan and dive deeper where necessary. if we’re a good fit, we’ll discuss our working relationship and ask you to create a business plan and financial model. after due diligence, we invite you to join our accelerator. this stage usually takes around 8-12 weeks. (the speed of the process depends on how fast you drive it)
this stage is where we truly start working together as a team. startups that clear the establish fit stage are invited to join the 'build3 impact accelerator (biA)' which takes place bi-annually. in the first phase of the accelerator called 'ideate', founders spend 2.5 months with build3 team, mentors and other cohort participants, brainstorming and fine-tuning their ideas. after 2.5 months, founders pitch their ideas to build3 to receive ₹25 lakhs in pre-seed investments to reach product-market-fit in 3 months, post which they become eligible for an opportunity to raise more funds via investothon.
For more details, read www.build3.org/accelerator
we’re excited to build with you!
it’s equally important to us that both of us are on the same page with our goals and motivations. we’ve put together a list of questions we get asked very often. these may help answer some of the questions that you may have.
p.s. we have been told our agreement really helped answer many questions and dispel some fears, please do read it
what is a venture builder/startup studio? a startup studio is a hybrid between different models of incubators, accelerators and vcs (venture capitalists). it is a group of experienced founders and founding team members (of past startups—both big and small) that raises startups from scratch and is deeply involved in their operations, along with signing the cheque. startup studios go by many names; startup factory, startup foundry, company builder, venture studio, etc, but have one aim—to work with early-stage idea startups and help them reach escape velocity. read more about startup studios and their different models here.
So are you guys an incubator/accelerator? simply put, the main difference is that incubators and accelerators don’t co-found ventures. startup studios do. accelerators help founding teams move their venture from the “initial traction stage” to the “series-A stage”. accelerators typically only accept startups into their program if they have market traction and some form of the product built. incubators, on the other hand, function much like accelerators but they’re more open to working with early-stage ventures without traction. unlike accelerators, incubators don’t have cohorts and structured educational programming processes for founders to follow. they work with founders to build their venture from the “MVP stage” to the “first round of funding stage”. a startup studio will work side-by-side with founders to bring the product to the market. unlike incubators and accelerators, they put their internal team to work along with the founders to build the organisations from scratch. once the product has achieved market traction (typically after 6 months) the studio members will begin to replace themselves on the team with outside hires. the original founding team remains with the startup through its scale-up and spin-out process. what’s more, build3 will go the extra mile by having a close-knit, like-minded community to help you grow. if you’re nerdy about these things, click here to read more.
why should a founder join a startup studio? if you have received some traction on your product/service, and are looking for strategic or advisory support, access to a like-minded community, mentors with a proven track record, or funds that can help you reach escape velocity, startup studios are the right choice for you. they not only provide you with a strategic team to extend support in marketing, finance, HR, payroll etc, but also offer mentoring, resources, strategic guidance, and help with fundraising. if you don’t need professional help, but resources such as office space and product testing, an incubator may be the solution. if you don’t need deep expertise on how to build and just want timely guidance, accelerators should be your pick.
is build3 an investor, a cofounder, a mentor or something else? all of the above! think of us as your slightly more experienced and better-resourced (team, capital and networks), co-founder. you are the founder. we are 'the sherpa' to your journey. we guide, support and work with you. but at the end of the day, you decide how to run things :) and it will always stay like that.
i am already funded/ i am only looking for funds, can we engage? for founders and startups only looking for an investor, we are not the ideal partners. we look to bring our team, resources AND capital to the table. this ensures we are truly committed and excited towards all startups that we cobuild. if it’s our strategic and operational support that you value, reach out to us and we can chalk out a custom model. :)
do you focus on any specific themes/industries/sectors ? at build3, we are looking to work with impact-focused startups with a vision to better the mind, body and earth. so that we can find common and aligned areas of passion, here are some of ours. these are by no means exhaustive, and are simply meant to serve as a conversation starter. developing and deploying renewable sources of energy halting and reversing climate change enabling productivity and collaboration of people educating and facilitating a healthier mind, body and spirit (including but not limited to exercise, meditation) improving the awareness, production quality, and distribution of healthy food for startups in the manufacturing and engineering space, we have partnered with Pennar Industries Limited. we work in specific focus areas, details of which you can find at www.pennarbuild3.com. while we do not have any specific or hard boundaries on what we will and won't do, we strongly believe that the best work happens in the presence of a common passion.
how long will our engagement last? in our experience, the journey from idea to scaling up typically takes up to 6 months. consequently, we will engage actively with you and your startup for a further period of 6-12 months (we’re happy to make adjustments based on mutual calendars or the exclusive needs of the startup).
how do i get started? head over to the apply section above the faqs :) We will get back to you within 2 weeks.
where are you based? we are based out of an independent villa, within walking distance from a beautiful beach in candolim, goa.
how is build3 different? in our experience of building startups and being part of the ecosystem, we believe that any idea can be made successful with the right resources and engagement. our team comprises of founders or founding teams of growing startups such as 91springboard, TruCup, and SLII, to name a few. the way to build startups is muscle memory for us. we bring on board a variety of key skills such as branding, marketing, process and systems design, product development, financial planning and analysis, operations, HR, sales, fundraising and strategy—prerequisites for every budding startup. we have also partnered with Pennar Industries Limited to help scale hardware startups in the manufacturing and engineering space (learn more at www.pennarbuild3.com). while we believe that startup building takes precedence over raising funds, we do provide funding support up to 1 crore per startup and have the ability to syndicate more funds over time as might be required. we work hands-on and deeply with our founders, meaning that we won’t just guide you, but also help you execute projects as per your needs.
how much does build3 invest and for how much equity? we invest up to ₹25 lakhs for up to 8% equity in the pre-seed stage and we follow-up with a larger cheque once product-market-fit is achieved. For more details visit www.build3.org/accelerator
at what stage does build3 typically engage? we engage with founders anywhere from the idea stage to product-market-fit. basically, whether you have an idea and want the firepower to roll it into the real world, or you have some revenues and are looking for someone to turbocharge your journey, we are the right folks. if you’re already scaling up, you don’t need us—we wish you luck and will be your cheerleaders, but not your partners.
what's your selection process? our selection process spans up to 12-16 weeks. we have a rolling application cycle throughout the year. it starts off with a form that we request you to fill out. it dovetails into online/offline conversations and some documentation—to confirm mutual fit in terms of commitment, capability, compatibility and commercial viability. post this, we sign a term sheet and voila—we begin our cobuilding journey! :)
when and how does our engagement end? there will be a point when the startup and build3 both, will recognize that instead of spending a few hours collaborating every day, we are, perhaps, spending a few hours a month. taking a cue from that, we can safely say that the mutual dependency would have been reduced by then. you would have gained a large degree of financial and operational independence at this point. it's important that we do this right. in order to plan the spin-off, we discuss how to handle matters of shared infrastructure, team members, capital requirements and continuing support requirements. we’ll chalk out a custom plan and do what we do best—execute.
i want to be a part of build3? how can i be a part of the team? if you are reading this answer, it means that you are part of our tribe! besides being a founder at a startup aligned with our vision, you could also join us if you have an entrepreneurial bent of mind, and relate or agree with what’s laid out below: you don't feel satisfied at a larger organisation perhaps due to the lack of flexibility or the level of influence that you have. you don’t mind working on a basic salary that only covers your needs until you find the right fit at build3 or one of its startups. you are willing to commit at least a year to this period of learning and discovery before you find a place in one of our startups or build your own. drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get talking! also check out our careers page to see if theres a relevant opening for you :)
will i be able to work with you remotely? while we are location agnostic, we’d want you to spend a minimum of one month in goa during the initial journey of understanding mutual fitment. the intent is to establish chemistry to brainstorm and build together at a suitable pace, which is best done sitting together, in the same room. having said that, if you are building a startup in the manufacturing and engineering space, working out of goa may not be practically possible. in that case, we will have a separate arrangement, the details of which you can find at www.pennarbuild3.com.