I’ve been more and more interested in the venture studio / production studio / startup foundry model, and started researching different ones around the world. I’ll also have a post in the next few days on what I actually think about the model. But for now, here are the ones I found:
Idealab was started in 1996 and created some massively successful companies. They had more than 30 exits on ~75 companies created. They were involved with eToys, Overture, Shopping.com, Commission Junction and Compete.
Betaworks is a company which builds companies in. Their studio in NYC is currently focused on Bitly, Digg (which they recently acquired), Chartbeat and SocialFlow. They also double as an early-stage investor.
Sandbox Industries has many different activities, including a number of venture funds, but at the core they have their foundry, which has created CakeStyle, CareSimply, Doggyloot and more.
Hattery - acquired by Google
Hattery is a hybrid foundry, venture firm and incubator in San Francisco. They invest in companies and help them out with design and other services, as well as start their own.
Redstar is a company builder focusing on 3 different themes: aging demographics, the future of media and the underemployed. Their first startup is LoopIt.
Youweb is the incubator that spun off OpenFeint and CrowdStar.
Started by a TechCrunch co-founder, Keith Teare, Archimedes is a foundry, incubator and investor, which recently spun out Just.me
Launch Code is building a platform to launch consumer internet companies, working out of RAA Venture’s office. They’re focusing on subscription e-commerce in the beginning.
Stealthy product lab founded by ex TokBox-ers.
Celebrity entrepreneurs’ vehicles
Obvious is the factory of Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Jason Goldman which spun Odeo, Twitter and more recently Medium, Branch and Lift. The founders actually recently announced that they were “closing” the foundry to each focus on a startup, as they really like to focus.
Monkey Inferno is Michael Birch’s entrepreneurial vehicle. The model is very interesting: everyone can come up with an idea, and if enough people think it’s valid, they’ll start testing it out. They’re very fast in killing the ones that don’t work, and everyone gets equity in every company created.
Sherpa is new a mixed foundry and fund headed by Shervin Pishevar and Scott Stanford. Looking forward to seeing what comes out of this, as the names behind it are really heavyweights.
Science is a new studio started by former MySpace CEO Mike Jones. It already created some very cool companies, including: EverySignal, HelloSociety and WittleBee.
HVF is Max Levchin’s new company. He seems to be focused on big-data problems with this one. Apparently Max tried the production model earlier and spun out Slide and Yelp. Not too bad. HVF stands for “HARD, VALUABLE, FUN”.
Tasty Labs - acquired by Walmart Labs
Tasty Labs is Joshua Schachter’s foundry. They’re working on Jig, Skills.to and Human.io.
Ooga is the vehicle of James Currier, former founder of Tickle. It already spun out Wonderhill, which was sold to Kabam, Jiff and IronPearl.
Expa is Garrett Camp‘s the new holding company. He is best known for having founded StumbleUpon, Uber and Blackjet.
Prehype is a foundry which works with corporations, acting as their external R&D studio.
Cofounder.co is exactly what it sounds like. It acts as an early co-founder for your company.
Probably the most famous one, having built Alando, StudyVZ, Jamba, BigPoint and a million other clones, but most European countries have a lot of them.
Forward labs is the foundry of the Forward group, which dabbles in entrepreneurship, venture capital and private equity as well. Their model makes a lot of sense as they’re able to leverage their services in all of their companies, no matter the stage.
Fastlane is Russia’s Rocket Internet, they launch companies in 50 days out of their office in Moscow.
Germany also has Project A, Found Fair, Venture Stars, Rheingau Founders, Hanse Ventures and Founders Link, Denmark has Rainmaking, Italy has Banzai, Boox, Nana Bianca, Digital Magics and H-Farm while Switzerland has Centralway. Europe is really big on the studio model, and I’m sure I’m missing many, many of them.
Let me know the ones I missed.
Pollenizer is an australian foundry who’s creating some really cool companies such as WooBoard and Pygg.
The premier Chinese incubator.
DFR is an asian studio with offices in Shanghai and Tokyo.
A foundry focused on Latin America.