Company builders, or innovation factories

An increasing number of young entrepreneurs, instead of joining an investment fund, contact company builders – experienced company creators which help develop start-up ventures. This phenomenon originates from Silicon Valley, and for some time now it has also been developing in Poland.

To put it simply, company builders are companies building other companies. They are also known as venture builders or start-up builders. Although there are some subtle differences – some invest resources only in their own ideas, while others encourage external initiators to participate in building business ventures together – for the most part, the objective is the same: creation of viable enterprises to provide financing for other business ideas to come.

An idea for company builders was born – as almost everything which is linked to start-ups – in Silicon Valley. Entrepreneurs who were at the start of their business ventures no longer submitted their business projects to traditional investment funds as frequently as before. Instead, they chose experienced start-up builders which had both the know-how and financial resources to develop new enterprises.

The most important companies of this type are: Obvious Corporation set up by the founders of Twitter, Betaworks, Expa, Andreessen Horowitz, Techstars and Rocket Internet. To Reforge is a company builder in Poland, which has been in operation for several months now. They all have something in common with a seed fund, as they finance completely new businesses, but the term company builders suits them much better.

To Reforge is a Polish company which belongs to the sector of the so-called company builders. It employs nearly 100 people and operates in 26 countries, while its head office is located in the Powiśle district of Warsaw.

Venture builders comprise teams of marketing specialists, lawyers, project managers, as well as IT and HR specialists thanks to whom project development is much quicker, more effective and cheaper. Of the greatest importance; however, is the expert support of entrepreneurs who have set up many companies in the past and who are aware of the mistakes which new start-ups should avoid.

– We have full financial and legal support, so we can focus on being creative! Otherwise, I would be forced to waste my time on payroll documentation or DMCA [complicated copyright laws in the USA]. Betaworks does all this for me – explains Christian Rocha to TechCrunch, CEO of one of the projects under the wing of Betaworks from New York.

It was only a matter of time before company builders arrived in Poland. – As we have experience both in setting up viable companies and selling them to investors, we have decided to take advantage of our skills and create a company which builds other ventures – explains Łukasz Krasnopolski, CEO of To Reforge, one of the first Polish companies belonging to the sector of company builders. Currently, it operates in 26 European countries. It invests mostly in business projects from the financial, medical, education, biotechnological, mobile, entertainment as well as health and beauty industries. – We want to combine modern technologies with concrete offline business – emphasizes Krasnopolski.

There are almost 100 people employed at To Reforge. The company has invited the cooperation of not only creators of companies but also scientists. These diversified teams which perfectly complement each other are the basis for the effective functioning of company builders. Venture builders launch projects relatively quickly. Almost as quickly they change direction of their enterprise if the business model proves underdeveloped. Thanks to a great number of independent experts, they do not show excessive sentimentality to unscalable businesses – they extinguish them and use the potential of their creators in other, more promising projects. This approach has enabled companies such as Giphy, Zalando, Uber and Simply Measured to be developed by company builders. Łukasz Krasnopolski is the CEO of To Reforge. In the past, he created business ventures, some of which he successfully sold.

When will companies of this scale be developed by Polish venture builders? – It is a matter of time and change in approach. We are continuously on the lookout for individuals who want to take advantage of our know-how, as well as working conditions and development opportunities provided by To Reforge. If someone gets in touch with us to receive financial support only, we refer them to traditional investment funds. Our company offers much more but in the spirit of cooperation – adds Krasnopolski.




Article appeared on the website: 04-07-2016

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