Startup Studios are a growing trend within the innovation community for good reason. The entire reason they exist is to perfect the art and science of starting, launching, and scaling a startup venture.
A good startup studio has a clearly defined business model and understands exactly how they add value to the marketplace of entrepreneurship. Some Studios focus on internal ideation using their killer team of experienced founders to disrupt big industries while other Studios add more value as a vehicle for entrepreneurship through investment and resource provisions.
Each Studio is different, but they all have one very important thing in common: every Studio’s mission is to drive innovation forward.
I learned that this Studio has a bold vision and a strong focus on strategy execution. It is their understanding of revenue models, resource needs, time efficiency, and deep-dive evaluation that allows their team to provide so much value to founders and new startup ventures.
The Origins of Beeso Studio:
Beeso.io was initially founded in August of 2018 by John Bunting. John has experience in the startup sphere from his time at another Studio launched in Vegas where he was a founding member. John describes that Studio’s concept as great in mission but fundamentally flawed in business model.
“The model was flawed. Our team didn’t do enough business development- we needed to find more startups and bring them into the studio- and we weren’t charging appropriately for services.”
He details that the business model was to provide startup founders with services like financial forecasting and tech development but pricing was an issue. Startup founders like clear pricing because projects can quickly go “over budget” without set-in-stone numbers, but most service businesses can’t operate this way. This Studio tried to maintain “flat pricing” but they were doing more work than they were getting paid for.
“The pricing needed to be flexible and it just wasn’t”
After a quick detour through corporate life, John was back on the Startup Studio scene and Beeso Studio was officially launched in January of 2019.
Beeso Studio: The Premise
Beeso Studio is a low-cost, professional services studio that partners with founders to help them take their idea to market.
“We partner with entrepreneurs and assist with anything from startup development operations, to fundraising, to marketing, all the way to handling the back office stuff. Our objective is to help the startup grow. All founders need to do is focus on the concept and reaching your next step. We’re the engine that makes the car run.”
Rather than following the traditional path of Startup Studio operation, Beeso doesn’t generate their own venture ideas and work on them as a team internally. Instead, they source ideas from outside the Studio and help founders bring them to life using their deep expertise in operational areas like business planning, pitching, fundraising, tech development, and revenue modeling.
“The challenge with internal-idea driven startup studios is that you need deep industry expertise in a given space to make it work. Wouldn’t it be better to find a founder that has a killer idea rather than find a market and try to develop an idea to fit it?”
When asked if there were any areas of startup launching and scaling that Beeso doesn’t help with, John was hardpressed to find one. Upon further discussion, it was clear that the Beeso studio team doesn’t personally (as a firm) invest in startups and that their business model is to provide founders with help for below market value rates.
For example, if a founder was going to hire someone from UpWork to write their business plan or forecast their financials, they would likely be paying this person $50+ an hour. With Beeso studio, these same activities would be much less expensive and you would be working with a true partner, rather than a one-off freelancer.
“We help with fundraising efforts, putting together the investor strategy- including who to talk to, how much to ask for, why the funds are needed, we’ll even go to meet the investors with you! We’ll help develop your MVP- we can do almost anything when it comes to startup growth.”
Beeso’s Revenue Theory: Explained
On the Beeso website, it states that “Beeso Studio follows the revenue theory to help startups accelerate growth or make a pivot.” I asked John to explain this theory to me and give me a few examples of how this concept applies to startup development.
Essentially, the Beeso Studio revenue theory is a roadmap playbook whereas every decision that is made in the launch and growth of a startup venture is meant to answer one simple question: what’s the fastest path to revenue?
When this question is asked, major decisions become no-brainers. If a startup founder doesn’t know what to work on next, asking this question is incredibly valuable. The Beeso Studio team helps design a roadmap through the winding path of startup acceleration by providing clarity.
If the thing you’re about to work on isn’t the thing that will get you to revenue the fastest- don’t work on it.
“It’s not about how many features you can add or how many downloads you can get. When you say, “we’re here to get revenue” it helps with decision making. It can get everyone on the same page and the goal is clear. The path gets lit. What drives revenue?”
I must admit, I wholeheartedly agree with Beeso’s revenue theory as I often have to remind founders that, 9 times out of 10, the goal of creating a business is to make money. Obviously a mission of good intention to change the world and eradicate injustice is necessary for success, but you can’t change the world if you don’t know how to pay for that change.
How To Get Involved With Beeso Studio:
The last question I asked John was how founders should look to reach out to Beeso studio. Whether they want to pitch an idea, ask a question, or just chat- what’s the best way for a founder to do this?
We do have a process: we start with an initial discovery conversation, move into an evaluation phase where we evaluate the startup and opportunity, and then form the relationship if we decide there if should be a partnership.
I should mention that these conversations are worth their words in gold. The evaluation piece is unlike any other in the space. Founders send all the information on their startup and the Beeso studio (after signing an NDA) begins a deep dive into the opportunity, the market, industry risks, and what differentiation factors the venture might have. They also conduct light financial forecasting and modeling at this early stage and even map out a path to customer adoption, and technology development. All after just one conversation and no formal agreement to partner.
“The evaluation is more for us than the founders but we often come back and present something to the founders that they didn’t even know themselves. We know startups aren’t always grounded in reality and so we really take this opportunity to evaluate your business from an unbiased perspective and we understand it from a business-practicality approach.”
Get In Touch:
Special thanks to John Bunting for taking the time to chat with me!