There’s been some exciting momentum in a newer form of company creation in San Diego: venture studios . These are entities that incubate their own business ideas using both their own and external capital and recruit expert business leaders to launch new companies, aka startup factories. The trend I see is typically successful entrepreneurs start this model in the hopes of scaling their experience of going from start to finish, the chance to invest in more companies than their own, and be hands-on but also advise multiple companies compared to running one for 10+ years like they previously did.
In San Diego, we have had a data and artificial intelligence-focused studio called Analytics Ventures with the former WebSideStory founder as a backer since 2012. Experienced startup executives from Active.com and Kidzui started Cursive Labs in 2014 to incubate companies, which was acquired by Proper Media in 2018. The Sandbox was recently created by the founders of MaintenanceNet. Even biotech is getting in on the action as Greg Lucier, formerly of Life Technologies and NuVasive fame, is creating a healthcare company through M&A called Corza Health , backed by GTCR.
The latest studio is Launch Factory by the previous co-founder of Lumedyne, Brad Chisum and former Google technology executive James Hereford . In this month’s Tacos & Tech podcast, we get to know Brad’s journey of starting Lumedyne, selling to Google, and then building a new startup factory with an interesting scout program approach for sourcing leaders of the companies they will be launching. Launch Factory has just announced its first company and now you can help them refer the right founders and, in turn, gain stock in the entity. All of these studios are super interesting and exciting to see and are another creative way for us to grow great companies in San Diego. Let’s keep it going!