Who is answering the call to build?

Lars Hamilton

Over the course of the last few months, our lives have drastically changed and the uncertainty about our future has never been more tangible. There has never been a greater need to create opportunity for our loved ones, our neighbors, our communities, and the world abroad. The time has come to usher in a new age of recovery and resiliency in order to thrive once again. This is our answer to Marc Andreessen’s call to build.

We Are Builders

As makers, creators, designers, and builders we dream big. We lead through vision and we take action. Our time has come to lead with conviction in the face of risk: be bold, embrace that uncertainty, and be comfortable with discomfort.

Startups are messy. You need permission to fail — because it's highly probable that you will fail. Over and over. But it’s in the process of failing forward, learning along the way, that we pave the way for the breakout ideas, the moonshots, the creative leaps that lead to wild ideas that just might save the world.

Luckily, we have a history of failures that have become the greatest icons of innovation.

History of Failure

From Henry Ford’s failed jungle utopia “Fordlandia” to Alphabet’s X - The Moonshot Factory, we challenge our assumptions, embrace, and even reward failure: we optimize for learning and growth. Our society today benefits immensely from the “failures” of the legends of our times: Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, Xerox PARC,  global design and innovation company IDEO — the list goes on and on.

We continue to learn how to fail more effectively and over time the model for failure has become a flywheel of success. By failing early and failing cheaply, we learn so much faster and avoid waste that comes with running too far with assumptions. The model for innovation has expanded beyond the R&D lab through corporate venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, hackathons, incubators, accelerators, and strategic partnerships.

Building on the inertia of the innovation flywheel, we see a better path forward than what often results in innovation theater — or expensive failures that don’t cross the finish line, only to be shelved in some archival basement or digital repository.

The Age of the Venture Studio

Welcome to the Age of the Venture Studio — a new model for entrepreneurship that combines the deep knowledge and scale of corporations with the agility and permission-to-fail of startups. The pioneers of the venture studio model each have their own distinct flavor.

Starting in a trailer behind the school, making its way to a different trailer, then a small room, a small building, then a bigger building, the Stanford is a perfect story that illustrates how the inertia of the innovation flywheel works: we create a movement and then scale. Everything in the space is on casters, modular, and designed to build — even the concrete floors encourage breaking things and getting messy! Outside of academia, IDEO continues to show their business model leadership, with IDEO CoLab designing the future (not to be confused with another innovation pioneer, Idealab’s, impressive portfolio of success).

Who is Doing this Well?

This movement goes far beyond Palo Alto and Pasadena. In the last 5 years, we have seen a proliferation of corporations redefining their industries and business models by expanding their innovation efforts through startup and venture studio creation. To name a few:

Allegion’s Pin & Tumbler

Walmart’s Store Nº8

Samsung NEXT

P&G Ventures and M13’s Launchpad

Kroger’s 84.51

Jaguar Land Rover’s Inmotion Ventures and Studio 107

Founders Factory partners J&J, L’Oreal, and easyJet

Koch Disruptive Technologies


Bosch Grow

Bayer CoLaborator

Plug and Play

Bitwise Industries

Lego Ventures

Citi Ventures

ZX Ventures @ AB InBev

BMW Startup Garage

Possible Future @ Société Général

And the list goes on...

Let's Build Together

Organizations are defined not by how they lead in times of peace, but how they emerge from times of challenge. There are many lessons to be learned today, and those who run towards these lessons will win. What better time than now to build a better tomorrow?

We know first-hand the power that the venture studio lends meaningful innovation. Five years ago, High Alpha was created with the goal of creating world-class, B2B startups. We've since launched 20 companies, with plans to launch even more companies this year. High Alpha Innovation applies the venture studio playbook — pioneered by High Alpha — to enable organizations to leverage the venture studio model to achieve the same degree of success launching and scaling startups.

We’ll build your confidence to face uncertainty with conviction and thrive as a result. Augment your innovation flywheel portfolio with a better way to face risk head on. Now is the time for action. Let’s build the future together!

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