What’s a studio? In what way is it different from Accelerators, Incubators, etc.?

The rising startup ecosystem is becoming more diverse and therefore complex every year. Accelerators, Incubators, Angels, Venture Capital firms, Crowdfunding platforms… And recently, Startup Studios.

If you feel confused about all these terms, which is very understandable, let’s see how each would describe what they do:

  • Accelerator: “Let’s take this existing startup, accept it into our (usually equity-based) program and give them the guidance, mentoring and network to grow quicker”.
  • Incubator: “Let’s brainstorm this idea of yours and, hopefully, invest in early operations and development to take it off the ground”
  • Venture capital:  “This startup looks promising, we think they can grow quickly. Let’s invest, make sure it’s well-managed, and exit in some years.”
  • Startup studio: “You have an idea and we have the tools to develop it. We’ll charge you, recruit experts and get our hands dirty to get this off the ground, we will be the interim co-founders of your startup.”

So you could say that Studios are the most hands-on when it comes to helping you launch your startup.

There are lots of comparison articles for Venture firms, accelerators and incubators out there, but very few for Startup studios, so we’ve decided to write one, in hope of helping you find the best partner.

  1. Othership
  2. Founders Factory
  3. Entrepreneurs First
  4. Rainmaking
  5. Blenheim Chalcot
  6. Innovify
  7. Activate

1. Othership Studio

“We build scalable businesses”

Yes, we put ourselves first, we wouldn’t have built a startup studio if we didn’t think it was one of the best.

The Othership studio is a launchpad for ambitious founders, providing the operational resources, expertise, and network needed to launch a successful and scalable business. This studio focuses on helping you enjoy the freedom of running your own business and not getting another headache. The Othership studio will help you build scalable tech & processes to save you time, whilst getting you ranked in Google with top-notch SEO.

You will gain access to a vetted talent pool of engineers, designers, marketers, data scientists, growth hackers, investors, and advisors.


Othership founders having fun at a brunch event

Arnaud Mardegan: Co-founder and Growth Hacker

Arnaud has over 10 years of experience in professional sales at the enterprise level. Having launched global accounts with Sanofi, Ford Motor Company, and many others, Arnaud decided to bring his skills to the start-up world.

Since launching his own business in 2018 and generating six-figure revenues Arnaud has also helped several french Startups raise Investment and grow to valuations in excess of several million euros. All while enjoying flexible working life as a father.

Benjamin Carew: Co-founder and Process Automator

Benjamin started life as an engineer and brought his experience of data-driven testing to Sales. Ben has experience in soft selling and digital sales having grown multi-million-pound professional services accounts for a boutique consultancy.

Ben Co-founded a tech start-up with Arnaud Mardegan, now worth over £2.5 million and growing. When not at work Ben can be found traveling and climbing and is often seen in a 5-star hotel lobby with a laptop, coffee and climbing shoes in tow.

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2. Founders Factory Studio

“We partner with entrepreneurs to develop new ideas, technologies and business models into high-growth companies”

Founders Factory team

Founders Factory offers both an accelerator program and a venture studio started by the founder of Lastminute.com. The studio focuses on Media, Beauty, Retail, AI & Big Data, Home & Hygiene and Travel.


Brent Hoberman, Co-Founder & Chairman

Brent is the co-founder and chairman of Founders Factory, Founders Forum, and firstminute capital ($320m seed fund with global remit, backed by over 120+ unicorn founders). Previously, Brent co-founded made.com in 2010 which went public last year with a valuation of $1.1bn, and lastminute.com in 1998 where he was CEO from its inception and sold it in 2005 to Sabre for $1.1bn.

3. Entrepreneurs First

The best place in the world to meet your co-founder.”

Entrepreneur first team

Entrepreneurs First angle is to select individuals they recognise to have huge founder potential, from all walks of life, and bring them together to find their co-founders.

They allow you to find co-founders they wouldn’t normally meet, but that makes the best partner for them. They will then create the ideal environment for you to trial partnerships, and test ideas at a rapid pace. They’ll cover your living costs while you do it. https://www.joinef.com/

If they believe the company you build has the potential to succeed at scale, they might invest.

There is a selection process, not all projects are taken on.


Matt Clifford, Co-founder & CEO

Matt Clifford is the co-founder and CEO of Entrepreneur First, which he started with Alice Bentinck in 2011. Over the last decade, he has supported thousands of founders to create companies worth billions.

Alice Bentinck, Co-founder & CPO

Alice Bentinck is the co-founder and CPO at Entrepreneur First, which she started with Matt Clifford in 2011. She has spent the last decade working with exceptional individuals to enable them to meet their co-founders, and build startups from scratch, creating a portfolio worth in excess of $10B.

4. Rainmaking

“We unleash the power of entrepreneurship to solve big problems with the world’s leading companies.”


Rainmaking is an international startup studio with a focus on Fintech, Insurtech, Smart Cities, Transport & Logistics, Digital Tech and SportsTech. They boast 46 exits & over £1 billion raised. 40% of their portfolio is female-led.


Carsten Kølbek, co-founder

Carsten Kølbek is the co-founder and chairman of Rainmaking. He previously worked at Cutis Development (true skin and ProSkin) as a Co-founder.

5. Blenheim Chalcot

“We build digital businesses that transform industries”

Blenheim Chalcot identifies high-growth sectors, typically undergoing some market, technology or regulatory discontinuity, and looks to build scalable platforms that satisfy a real customer need.

This studio has built over 40 businesses in IT services and outsourcing, financial services, education, travel, software, sport and media. Today, their companies have sales of over £350m and employ in excess of 3000 people.


Charles Mindenhall, co-founder

Since 1998, Charles and his business partner Manoj Badale have built more than 40 businesses, largely technology-related, managed through their investment company Blenheim Chalcot. The portfolio currently consists of over 20 companies in multiple sectors, with group assets under management of £2bn.

6. Innovify

“We build your #Web3 products for your business to be innovative”

Innovify team

Innovify is a specialist Web3.0 product development studio, providing new product development and digital innovation. They have built a wide range of award-winning digital products for start-ups, scale-ups, and corporates across multiple industries using the latest technologies like Crypto, Blockchain, Machine Learning, IoT, and more.

Innovify boasts clients like the BBC or the British Council.


Maulik Sailor, Co-founder

Maulik founded Innovify in 2011, with the BBC as the first client. He is an entrepreneurial product leader with experience in launching start-ups and leading new product development at global organizations such as Visa, Betfair, Microsoft and Nokia.

7. Activate

“Activate is a digital startup studio.”

Activate studio

This Studio will test your value proposition, refine your business model, and help you create a product roadmap. They support founders in putting all the pieces in place to raise their next round of capital.

Activate aims at removing the headache of hiring the team needed to support your business. They’ll put together a dedicated product team of professionals designed around your business and product needs. It can be a mixture of full and part-time resources.


Greg Rice, co-founder & director

Greg is a seasoned entrepreneur who spent the first 10 years of his working life in Silicon Valley. He has worked in a number of different countries and has been involved in many startups in various capacities over the years.

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