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Eindhoven-based design bureau OWOW is launching its own Venture Studio this fall. With 12.5 years of experience in digital product development, OWOW expects to be able to support startups in minimizing their failure rate. As temporary co-founders, the bureau offers its expertise and resources. OWOW aims to support two promising startups annually with strategy, product development and market launch.

Focusing on B2B software in automation, eID, Web3, and AI, OWOW’s ambition is to improve one billion lives through better-designed technology. This approach promises to bridge the “Valley of Death” phenomenon and dramatically increase startup success.

What is a Venture Studio?

A venture studio is not a new phenomenon. The model, based on the principle of a company building other companies, was first introduced by Bill Gross after the founding of Idealab in 1996. Venture studios internally generate ideas for startups, match them with experienced founders, and guide them to a successful launch. This model offers a combination of financial investment and operational support, allowing startups to grow faster and more efficiently than traditional methods.

What does OWOW want to add?

OWOW’s approach expects to add value “through direct involvement in the development of startups.” This includes access to its network of software developers and designers and playbooks for efficient execution. Startups can benefit from the accumulated knowledge and experience of the 35 designers within OWOW. In addition, OWOW offers its network of potential customers and investors.


“We believe our team of wizkids can make a big difference by helping and building up startups,” said co-founder and CEO Robin Dohmen on Linkedin. “We do that by investing not only with capital but also with our venture and product development expertise, our high-performance product teams and our large network of customers – who can be potential launching customers – and the network of our investors.”

To manage all that, OWOW has appointed Elliott Rayner as Head of Growth “to become one of the leading product & venture studios over the next 10 years.” Rayner previously worked for Adidas and Babbel.

The Benefits of a Venture Studio

According to recent studies, startups from venture studios have a much higher chance of success. 84% of these startups reach the seed round, and 72% achieve Series A funding. This success is attributed to venture studios’ early involvement and hands-on management approach. OWOW’s model fits well with this trend by providing startups with the right resources and guidance.

“We will recruit a select number of ventures,” says co-founder Pieter-Jan Pieters. “They will be part of our studio to develop scalable B2B software in areas such as business automation, eID, Web3, and AI. These ventures will, therefore, directly add value to OWOW’s extensive customer network, giving us deep market insights and a robust network of new customers for the new ventures.”

Ready for the next decade

“With our Venture Studio, we are all set for the next 10 years and the next level, where we are on a mission to impact the lives of at least 1 billion people through better-designed technology,” Dohmen writes. “It’s a shame to see still so many great ideas and teams don’t reach their full potential – and fail. Most people know the so-called ‘Valley of Death’, especially in Dutch and European markets. And yes, we’ve been there too. We use many lessons in our day-to-day life when building & investing in tech ventures.”