Founders vs. VCs


If you’re really ambitious in startups, there’s only ever been two paths: founder vs. VC.

  • Founders go deep on one company.
  • VCs get to build a broad portfolio.
Why Not Both Meme - Porque No Los Dos
It’s possible to do both, and I don’t mean being a founder with a seed fund on the side.

Startup studios are the best of both sides of the table:

  • Founders should build a portfolio of companies themselves.

“The power dynamic between venture capitalists and founders massively favors venture capitalists; after all, founders only have their one company, the survival of which depends on gaining funding, while venture capitalists see hundreds if not thousands of companies, and the default answer is “no.””

Ben Thompson

How can we fund founders’ whole portfolios, not individual startups?

  • Startup studios are perfect for this type of founder.
  • I’ve explored this idea before with my Founder Accelerator idea.

I’m now building Utopic, the Dreamville (or Roc-A-Fella) for startups.

This idea is a work-in-progress. If you’d like to riff on it, hit me up @neilthanedar on Twitter.

Published by Neil Thanedar

Neil Thanedar is a scientist, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and activist. He is the founder & CEO of Air to All, a 501(c)3 nonprofit medical device startup designing low-cost respirators and ventilators for COVID-19 and beyond. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Labdoor, a consumer watchdog that independently tests and ranks supplements and other health products for its 20M+ users. He previously co-founded Avomeen Analytical Services, a product development and testing lab acquired for $30M+ in 2016. He has worked with community organizations since 2007 and political campaigns since 2016 to fight for better education and economic opportunities in Michigan.