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IC Studio - helping startups scale fast

So you have a great idea, but do you also have a great team and the resources to turn it into a business? It used to be one of the eternal startup struggles, but the rise of startup studios could be one of the solutions. We are glad to have Rafal Czerniawski, CEO and Co-founder of IC Studio to share some insights with us.

Startup studios are also known as startup factories and work like movie studios! Just like a movie studio can create several films at a time, using the same crew and film set, startup studios aim to repeatedly create several startups at a time, using shared infrastructure and resources, while providing human capital and financial resources to each project.

IC Studio - helping startups scale fast

Many compare startup studios to accelerator programs. While startups mainly get mentor advice, connections and office space from accelerators and incubators, startup studios act as a co-founder, providing intensive human efforts in addition to funding seed money.

Launching a startup is not easy as there are thousands of things to do. “It starts with the mundane such as incorporation, legal, equity structure,” says Rafal. “Then the next steps are building the product, launching a website, getting user feedback, running the infrastructure, marketing analytics, SEO, App store approvals, etc. It is difficult for a small founding team to have knowledge and expertise in all the above areas so one is forced to learn on the job, trial and error which can be very time and energy consuming process, also costly,” Rafal explains.

Startup studios can offer a multi-disciplinary team with diverse skill sets and experiences which help to reduce the time and effort needed to launch a startup. Furthermore, since startup studios repeat the process of startup creation, they get better building upon the previous experiences, which makes the time spent on startup creation shorter each time.

IC Studio - helping startups scale fast

Rafal says IC Studio acts as early pre-seed stage investor, there are very few objective metrics to be used during the evaluation of a potential startup. But eventually, a convincing and accessible future vision presented by the founders, combined with great opportunity, the right people, and the right timing is the potential success they are looking for.

“Finding co-founders with vision matching above attributes is a challenge regardless if you are in Silicon Valley or Hong Kong,” says Rafal.

IC Studio has been working with some startups in Hong Kong including Quikspaces, online marketplace for flexible workspace rentals connecting space owners with people looking for office space and Hopsee, a taxi sharing P2P community. Looking to the future of IC Studio, Rafal reveals that the team is exploring how to scale the current studio model, help to make more impact to Hong Kong Startup ecosystem. Rafal also discloses that a seed accelerator program designed for Hong Kong startup ecosystem is planned to launch by the end of the year.

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