Idea generation by BUILDERS

April 6, 2023

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StudioHub Advisory Board was proudly recently enriched by a new beautiful membership of a leading European Studio - Builders, represented by the co-founder of the Studio - Sharon Klaver. 

While each Studio is unique suggesting their individual approach to venture building, there are a few areas that are essential for Studio success. One of them is the idea generation. Folks at Builders - also known as one of the most successful European rising Studios, have their signature way of building things.

Builders have kindly shared their insights on idea generation within a startup studio included in the Data Report covering the industry situation of 2021. We have refreshed our conversation with Builders enhancing the insights with updated strategies and would like to share it publicly for those interested. Enjoy the read!

From Builders

Company creation is a structured process, and Builders likes to call it the “Spark to Champagne model”. From identifying challenges and problems worth solving to validating them, shaping a brand and launching the company all according to a fixed timeline.

The selection of business ideas is a critical part of their work; it’s fundamental to work on business ideas based on actual people’s needs. Only ideas that meet specific requirements move to the next stage of the process. At the end of the process, those are the ideas that transform from Spark to Champagne.

At first, during the idea generation phase, the team identifies emerging trends that fall within the studio's scope and can generate appealing business opportunities. From that point on, the future founders come into play. Together, with the help of AI-powered ideation tools, they process tons of small ideas into napkin-sized business cases. These business cases include everything - from the problem and value proposition to the ideal customer and even founder fit.

Idea generation is a structured process, and Builders likes to call it the “Spark to Champagne model”.

At the end of an ideation session, business cases are scored to generate a set that then gets validated in its market. Ideas that fall outside of this selection are put on ice in the “Spark Cellar” for later use as a starting point for a possible future venture.

The end goal is to create a lasting business and pop some celebratory Champagne to mark an exit or as a company with sustainable growth. To achieve this, Builders has three phases they aim to pass: Ideation, Validation, and Shaping. While the ideation and validation processes are repeated until there is enough confidence that an idea is worth pursuing, the shaping phase is where some real magic happens.

Builders introduced their 10-week shaping phase following their learnings from the first few company creation cycles. Up until this phase, their core team is very sparsely involved; During the shaping phase, the core team gets involved to build a mini-brand, create technically feasible prototypes, and search for a technical co-founder. All this while, the business co-founder is responsible for sharpening the solution and signing launching customers who believe the solution will change their day-to-day business.

When everything comes together, they have an excellent blend to incorporate the company officially. In Builders' structured, data-driven way of working, this translates to filling a scorecard that proves enough foundations are in place to move forward.

From that point on, everybody in the Builders team has touched the company and transitioned from shaping into company building. Following incorporation, the company focuses on reaching product-market fit and hiring its dedicated team.

About the Author

Sharon Klaver

Founder and Managing Director of Builders.
Sharon is a seasoned entrepreneur and the Co-founder and Managing Director of Builders, a startup studio in Rotterdam. She is dedicated to developing software companies that are shaping the future of work and living.

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