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WHAT THE HECK IS A VENTURE BUILDER?

July 23, 2015

 

That sFBI became a venture builder was an accident. It started as an idea without a name. The idea was that I wanted to create a place where I could focus on building things, where all the elements would be in place to facilitate turning ideas into reality.

This idea came from a problem. The problem was that I wanted to incubate dif

 

ferent ideas and it’s difficult to do that through different companies.  Companies require a lot of work. And I’m not just talking developing the product and bringing the product to market, I’m talking incorporation, accounting, office space, hiring, reporting structures, work flow.

This problem was especially troublesome for me because I come from the world of interactive advertising. In 1998, I founded Israel’s first interactive agency, E-Dologic, and I stayed on as the Chief Interaction Officer until 2012 after its acquisition by Publicis in 2001.

Because of my background, I have a natural itch to work on different innovative things simultaneously. It’s a part of my standard work flow to be developing multiple tech-creative projects at any one time. I’m just not happy otherwise. Even now, I run sFBI and, at night, I’m working on building a spaceship with SpaceIL.

I looked around and none of the existing business models solved this problem. The startup ecosystem right now is something like this: idea turns into startup; startup builds MVP; startup searches for angel investment; startup enters accelerator or incubator; startup product goes to market; startup tries to build revenue; startup stutters; startup fails. Sounds rough, but it’s reality. 90% of startups fail, and not for lack of trying.

Now, I wanted to build lots of ideas, not just one, and I wanted to ensure success as much as any entrepreneur can, so I had to come up with something new. It took some time, I won’t lie, but I eventually came up with the tenets for what would be a new kind of company:

  • There would be a regular flow of ideas and a protocol to vet each one

  • There would be a core team of experienced professionals

  • This team would create the foundation for each venture

  • Once the foundation was built, sFBI would hire a CEO who would lead the startup

  • Once the startup reaches a critical mass, it would start to operate independently

  • Meanwhile, the idea hub would continue to operate and turn out developed ideas

This model solved my problem. I could oversee the creation of successive ventures without having to spend all my time talking to lawyers. Talk about an incentive. And I could minimize the chances for failure. The team is experienced, market-oriented, and can build and test business models, addressing the three core reasons for startup failure.

Unfortunately, even for a salesman, the model is difficult to sell. “So, it’s an incubator?” No, not at all. “An accelerator?” No, not that either. “A VC fund?” Even that, no. It’s a venture builder. “A what?” A. Venture. Builder. We build ventures.

It turns out that while sFBI might be new to the startup nation–I believe we’re the first–this isn’t a new concept to the world, though it’s still early enough that it needs a lot of explaining.

That is what this blog is for. As a venture builder that’s launching businesses around solving problems, this blog is here to explain the model, give startup tips, and share our adventures. Sign up, and we promise to in the least be helpful, and at most keep you entertained.

 

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