Rokk3r Labs: Investing in the Entrepreneur, Not the Idea

October 28, 2014

8:00 am

One way to get your startup off the ground is to leverage the mentorship and investor relationship opportunities of a startup incubator and accelerator. But that is not the ONLY way to do so, and many times it’s not the best alternative for the startup founder.

“There are other alternatives for entrepreneurs to come into the ecosystem,” explains Rokk3r Labs’ co-founder and CEO Nabyl Charania. “You can cobuild.”

Miami-based Rokk3r Labs, a platform for entrepreneurs to create and launch companies, today announced the cobuilding methodology to launch startups in their portfolio. Cobuilding is the fusion of entrepreneurial vision and professional execution that transforms ideas into companies by focusing on 5 key areas:

1.     Sourcing proven entrepreneurs who understand how to build businesses.

2.     Validating the ideas that these entrepreneurs have through Rokk3r Labs’ thorough and methodical “Think Phase”, where product/market fit, technology roadmap, funding structure, and go-to-market strategy are defined.

3.     Taking ideas that go through the “Think Phase” into an execution phase where the entrepreneur partners with the strategists, creatives & engineers at Rokk3r Labs to transform ideas into companies.  This involves execution of a business roadmap, user experience and interaction, product & platform design, technology build and the go-to-market strategy.

4.     Launching companies to market with proper support to ensure growth and traction.

5.     Continuing to support portfolio companies within the Rokk3r Labs cobuilding ecosystem, where expert resources in marketing, HR, future investment, partnership and business development opportunities are available.

Rokk3r Labs has methodically introduced 21 select and proven entrepreneurs into its ecosystem using this methodology. Eight companies that Rokk3r Labs launched this year achieved their funding and strategic milestones. Rokk3r Labs success stories include LocalMaven, that raised over 1.4 million dollars and AdMobilizethat raised over 2.8 million dollars.

While accelerators and incubators are great programs for first time CEOs willing to risk (and many times fail) to quickly get up the learning curve, the cobuilding methodology works with seasoned entrepreneurs.

“This is based on the philosophy of mitigating risks in every step of the business,” says Charania. “We become partners with the entrepreneurs.”

That’s because Rokk3r Labs expect entrepreneurs to bring to the table their network and know-how in business. A great idea is just not enough. Entrepreneurs collaborate with Rokk3r’s team to leverage expertise in user experience, cloud technologies, investment, security, HR, intellectual property, marketing, business development and human insight to build successful companies. Rokk3r also takes some equity in the company.

“We created a platform to source and vet the right entrepreneur and deals, in a way that is profitable and results in strong equity positions,” said Charania. “We want to build and launch companies that are changing the face of their industries. At Rokk3r Labs, entrepreneurs can build their company within an ecosystem that has experience across the lifecycle of a company from an idea to execution without the risk of being on their own.

There is more value in investing in the entrepreneur, especially in a city like Miami built by entrepreneurs, many with very successful businesses in other industries coming into the digital space.

Rokk3r Labs has grown to over 80 employees, with offices in Miami and Bogotá, and offices opening soon in New York City (led by Fast Company’s Chris Dannen) and London. Charania leads Rokk3r Labs alongside co-founder and CEO and Germán Montoya and co-founder and Chief Strategy & Creative Officer.

 

 

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Camila has been heavily active in South Florida’s tech startup community, where she is a co-host of a local radio show called pFunkcast. Camila previously worked at Greenpeace International and the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in various communication roles. A proud Brazilian who spent most of he life in Peru, she is passionate about traveling and documentaries.

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