There are a lot of factors that propel startups to success and global reach.
A few key prerequisites that all success stories share, though, are the following: diverse and professional teams, a strong element of mentorship internally and externally, and a powerful network as a strong backbone to rely on on the emerging company’s path towards successful establishment and scaling.
Today, with the world ailing from a pandemic and the normal transforming day-to-day, these factors still stay the same — but more than ever, their scale has been magnified due to the increased rate of global digitization. In this new context, startups aren’t simply fighting to establish a strong foothold in the physical world — the battle is gradually and quickly moving into the digital world as technology comes to create a new realm for people to connect, teams to collaborate, and brands to interact with customers. In short, startups today face the challenge of becoming strong companies in our reality and powerful competitors in the digital space — both at the same time.
And this is exactly where venture studios such as GSD Venture Studios come in — to help startups think bigger, think global — across borders and time zones and backed by the latest technological advancements.
For a long time — and during the previous “normal” we were used to — the traditional starting point for a lot of entrepreneurs with strong visions have been through VCs and accelerators such as Y Combinator, Techstars or 500 Startups. These incubators offer development programs that often last up to 13 weeks; through these programs, winning ideas and teams receive the beginning seed funding necessary for the company launch, while the accelerators acquire equity in the respective portfolio companies as they make their way to maturation. These programs offer the necessary training and instruction to their portfolio startups, and the end results of the programs are presented on final Demo Day, when the graduating teams get a chance to showcase the final versions of their undertakings to garner further investments and fuel their success in amassing future funding post-graduation.
But while the accelerator and incubator models worked in the past, venture studios — and GSD’s model with a focus on global reach and growth — are the models in line with the changes to the present and new, digital-first future transformed by the pandemic.
Where GSD Venture Studios is different from the traditional startup founding enterprises is its new approach to startup nurturing and growth based on globally sourced professional resources and a global network — and with this, a unique method of customizing the necessary resources to each portfolio company’s needs. The key advantage of the venture studio approach that puts them above the traditional accelerators is their unique ability to identify opportunities on a far-reaching scale and carefully procure these resources for each of their portfolio companies individually — an important value that isn’t just beneficial to the startups, but to the potential investors as well.
GSD Venture Studios was created with the mission to scout and discover the best and most resilient teams on a global scale and foster partnerships that will help emerging companies grow in the right direction with the right guidance, making confident and secure steps along the way.
Where traditional investors or accelerator programs assisted portfolio companies in raising capital without getting directly involved, my partner Derek and I step in as senior executives and co-founders in the studio’s portfolio companies and help build it by leveraging our collective reputation, global network, and management experience to ensure fast growth. This allows GSD’s team to remain directly involved, invest more time and energy into each company’s future, help the companies gain momentum, while being able to identify areas of improvement and fill the gaps as soon as possible.
GSD Venture Studio’s primary initiative of helping companies go global comes at the right time, when the world seeks escape from the disconnected reality hit by the pandemic in the digital realm and when physical distance and borders are blurring day by day. GSD’s mission is to discover the best intellectual resources across the world and develop diverse teams with talent sourced from other countries — something that was considered impossible or too convoluted in the past due to the barriers that dissipate as COVID-19 spreads and the world becomes more digital. With the best of the best at its fingertips, GSD Venture Studios helps emerging companies in AI, blockchain, and VR reach their full potential and establish a strong presence globally.
So, what makes venture studios — and GSD specifically — the key to global success in the current situation and how do they account for the three key factors that account for a successful and global company growth?
Top talent from around the world
Before, many emerging companies limited their search for the brightest and best professionals locally — something that has become a severe limitation nowadays, given the rise in digitization and increased interconnectedness across countries globally.
But today, startups need to look beyond their immediate vicinity to create teams that can offer a wide range of perspectives and skills that can take the new business to a whole new level.
This is where GSD’s advantage comes in: unlike any other venture studios, accelerators or incubators, GSD considers the entire world as a source for the best experts across a wide variety of industries. GSDVS’s purpose is to negate any former limitations that would normally prevent companies from sourcing teams globally and instead embrace the opportunity to turn a diverse team into a competitive advantage.
With GSD, growing startups can tap into and leverage the strength and skills that various regions — near or far — can offer, maximizing the diversity and differences between various cultures, backgrounds, countries, and other elements in this puzzle. Whether it’s recruiting the best mechanical engineers from Germany or the expert software engineers from Russia, R&D innovators from Israel, the world is the new playground for the future startups, and GSD has the global resources to accelerate the global scaling of portfolio companies.
So, with GSD, rising companies can further their reach and open their minds more to the opportunities they might have not given much thought before, assuming they are out of reach.
AI, VR, Blockchain, and all that jazz
Innovation is what makes the global calamity we face today unprecedented — while the toll it had on humanity globally is heartbreaking, it has also unlocked new opportunities for increased adaptation and creation of innovative solutions that allow us to cope with the difficulties we come across.
With a global approach to business growth and resource collection, GSD’s portfolio includes emerging companies from around the world with solutions powered by AI, VR and blockchain — and the solutions they offer have the potential to give humanity a chance to put up a worthy fight against COVID-19.
With AI-powered video technology allowing to identify carriers of the virus, thermal cameras allowing stores and facilities to identify people with elevated body temperatures, to unique object identification technology helping enforce masks in enclosed spaces, these are solutions that can help the world open sooner and stand strong against the coronavirus — and GSD is here to provide the resources to further the development of the companies that created these innovations.
Mentorship and support across generations
GSD’s focus on diversity goes beyond global talent search and cross-cultural engagement. With GSD’s team’s direct involvement in each startup’s future, cultural diversity is further empowered with enriching the teams with experts from different generations, fostering two-way mentorship relationships. GSD makes its goal to pair the visionaries from younger generations with the life-long experts from older generations to foster partnerships and collaborations through which the representatives can drive company growth through unique contributions and exchanges in knowledge.
Not only do the teams GSD builds hold a powerful combination of experts holding skills and points of view specific to their generations, this collaboration is further powered by GSD’s direct involvement in the startup’s growth at a senior level: this way, GSD achieves the balance between the young startup’s desire for change and innovation with the years of experience and stability of GSD’s executive experts.
So, to all the young and visionary entrepreneurs hoping to transform the world through innovation, now is the time to step up and assist humanity with ideas and technological advancements to continue the battle against the virus and end the pandemic. And of course, with all the changes happening every second, the arena young startups navigate seems more dangerous and difficult than ever before. But what GSD offers in times of overwhelming uncertainty is the reliability and certainty of teams of experts who are the best of the best on a global scale — experts that emerging companies can trust with their future and global expansion.
With GSD behind their backs, young startups can assert themselves and begin establishing a strong foothold globally across five key fronts of effort: Product, Investment, Influence, Sales/Marketing, and Systems. As GSD’s team gets more and more involved with portfolio startups and uncovers the true areas the companies need help with for improvement, the rising companies emerge stronger than ever by efficiently channeling effort in the right direction and leveraging GSD’s partner network of law firms, banks, co-working spaces, HR professionals and strategists to achieve the global goals they have set.
As times change and new challenges emerge for companies to face and solve, three things remain unchanged for startups to reach a point where they are powerful enough to generate positive change: global and diverse teams, cross-generational mentorship, and a far-reaching network to rely on to gain trust. And with all the three bases covered — and with the support of venture studios to begin the journey towards success — the world can hope to leave the pandemic behind and reemerge in a more digitized, globalized, and innovative world.
Co-Founder & CEO of GSDVS