Momentum Ventures: The studio that takes you on a journey.
Founded in 2012, Momentum Ventures is a Montreal-based venture studio responsible for established companies in the travel industry, such as FlightHub and Justfly, as well as in the entertainment sector. While the studio has quietly evolved over the years, its recent launch of the “Million-Dollar” competition to recruit entrepreneurs for the creation of the next startup has brought it into the spotlight.
Momentum Ventures focuses on execution and product excellence. The studio actively seeks out underexplored sectors and niches were innovation lags behind. Once opportunities are identified, they formulate a business strategy with a clear short-term profitability plan from the outset. Indeed, short-term profitability is a crucial criterion for a project to advance within the studio.
Subsequently, all efforts are directed towards product development. The studio internally funds his projects from start to exit. This financial support, coupled with in-house administrative assistance, allows the startup to concentrate entirely on product development and business growth.
This financial backing sets Momentum apart from the “classic” studio model, where startups, at a certain stage in their growth, must seek external financing. In addition to self-funding its startups, the studio currently produces only one startup per year. The goal is to focus all efforts on giving the startup an “unfair” competitive advantage by developing high-quality products compared to competitors with a competitive financial model.
The studio offers its incubated startups access to a network of experienced entrepreneurs and back-office services, including legal, accounting, and IT support.
The equity sharing with founders varies depending on the stage of development at which they join the project. For early-stage companies, entrepreneurs may receive equity in exchange for their efforts (sweat equity), with founders gaining additional share of the equity upon achieving key milestones. For more advanced companies, by invitation only, entrepreneurs can purchase shares at a significantly reduced price.
Interview with Matt Keezer, CEO of Momentum Ventures
With over 15 years of experience in the technology industry, Matthew has built and developed several successful businesses in various sectors, including travel, e-commerce, and video platforms. In addition to his professional achievements, Matthew is also an avid traveler and philanthropist, supporting numerous charitable organizations around the world.
1. Why did you choose the venture studio model?
We view it as a seamless progression of our business approach. Throughout our journey, we have never relied on external funding to build our companies. Instead, we have embraced bootstrapping, operating within tight budgets, and placing utmost emphasis on execution and developing sustainable revenue models that ensure our survival and fuel our expansion. Our team has honed remarkable expertise in creating startups, and we derive immense satisfaction from the process. The term ‘venture studio’ closely aligns with our endeavors, encapsulating our passion and dedication to continue fostering innovative ventures.
2. What differentiates you from other players (VCs, studios, gas pedals, etc.)?
Hard for me to judge others, but I’m always impressed with the level of enthusiasm everyone brings to the office. In the end of the day, the team is the greatest differentiator and I’m lucky to work with such talented people that are extremely aligned with one another.
3. From your point of view, what are the advantages of this concept for you?
Depends on from who’s perspective, but for us. This is what we know and it’s what we love to do so there is no alternative strategy for us. We simply love building startups from the ground up. From the perspective of the aspiring entrepreneur, this model greatly reduces the risk that they will fail as compared to going it alone or with being backed by a VC.
4. What are the challenges you (or your organisation) have encountered (costs, founderflow, etc.)?
The bottleneck is finding the right people that are uniquely wired for the task of growing a startup. There’s no school that will teach you how to do this.
5. What are the next steps for your organization?
With the recent launch of our million-dollar challenge and some other entrepreneur seeking initiatives, we’re hoping to launch 2 more startups this year.
6. Which of your startups is one to watch in the coming months, and why?
We’re soon launching Momentum AI, one of our founding partners is leading this new startup and we’re excited to see how it continues to evolve. We’re also working on a new business in the ultra luxury travel industry that we will likely announce later this year.
To learn more about Momentum Ventures, please visit mventures.ca