Launching a startup within an already established company . . .

The company I work for has been around for about 25yrs and does around $100m annually. They asked me to build a team but I want to build it with ownership. I have a plan to develop a service and a product that I think they will like but I want my "team" to actually be a company that we can spin out after certain milestones are met. I'm looking for someone to bounce ideas off of in terms of structure, how equity should be divided, milestones to trigger a spin out etc.


Puedes desarrollar una unidad de negocio o crear un producto externo. Algo como hace Microsoft (Microsoft teams, outlook, etc) o como hace Alibaba que es un holding empresarial (aliexpress, alipay, etc). En cuanto acciones,si es algo que se crea de la misma empresa. No todos los que trabajen en el proyecto pueden tenerlo. Todo depende de la política de la empresa. Si deseas crea una startup funciona así normalmente: 25% futuros empleados, 35% rondas de inversión, 40% inversores (puede ser variable).

Answered 2 years ago

I have been in your shoes! Short answer is that it is not easy (but not impossible!) to pull off. Happy to help via a call!

Answered 2 years ago

Talking from certain experiences as a serial entrepreneur, while the CEO of a large, hospitality industry organization:

Make "per piece" or "per unit" pay possible as much as you can for ALL areas/departments/roles. But transparency and ease of calculation for the users/employees would be of the essence.

For those who continue to perform the role(s) consistently and productively for a certain minimum period, say six months or more, may qualify to acquire a certain designation or get promoted.
Structure. Career growth.

Only when you're making profits.
Spin-off trigger.

Give me a call if you have any further questions or need any "clarity".


Answered 2 years ago

About Henry: A 20-year career in supporting leaders of Fortune 500’s and VC backed Start-ups through transformational change in consumer goods, retail, luxury, tech design, and automotive environments. Certified in Just in Time, Continuous Improvement, and Lean Management.

The short answer is that everything is possible. It all lies on real value to the company's current and desired ecosystem (brand, employees, customers, investors, and all stakeholders). It should bring loads of value if you are going to take your chances on not getting a second pitch again, if not liked.

My strategy in such case, is to reach for the stars, and go to the decision maker with the idea, often, a CEO.

You'll generally want to be extremely friendly, humble, and direct primarily on ecosystem value, price points, and margin.

You should be willing to accept the impression that you are looking to take advantage of might not happen again.

Once the decision maker is engaged on the idea, like a puppy to hear more, you offer the deal in order to share more of the patent and/or process.

Obviously, it would be best that you get a patent pending application going prior to discussing and some legal advice on NDA and what should and should not be discussed.

If the energy flows, you are being nice, good, humble, and having fun, no reason you can't achieve it. Happy to go on the journey with you and chat every now and then, thereof?

Answered 2 years ago

The most critical item here is intellectual property. Who owns the idea? The company.

So you have a potential issue there. They are unlikely to want to give up any ownership share since they already own the idea.

Did you sign a non-compete agreement when you came aboard? How about the team members you're considering?

The fact of the matter is a spinoff will only happen if senior leadership at the company agrees it should.

Now, are you stuck? No. You can talk to whoever asked you to form the team, and sound them out about the idea. You can use the argument that you'll be creating massive value, and one of the ways to remunerate you for doing that is by giving you ownership shares.

You'll see pretty quickly what their attitude is regarding the idea.

Note that there may be consequences to "tipping your hand early".

As another possibility, if you did not sign a non-compete clause, you have the option of forming a competing company. You can get paid to learn, developing the original idea with your current employer. Then, with the experience of having lead the creation of the idea and knowledge of what to do, you can take that track record to investors. You may even be able to bring some members of the team along.

I leave it to you to decide how ethical that approach is.

In my opinion, without knowing your boss or the people above them, it is difficult to see an easy path to a spinoff. There is too much for them to lose by giving up ownership. They can simply hire a manager, especially after you've done the hard startup work.

If you had an owner like Felix Dennis, I can imagine him setting you up with an ownership stake, fuel for the fire, and shouting an encouraging, "Go!" But people like him are rare.

So don't put the cart before the horse and come up with intricate plans for dividing up the spoils. You have a big sales job to do first. If you want to discuss that, I'm available.

Answered 2 years ago

First of all, Congratulations and all the best for this venture.

Coming to the problem, I am bouncing off a few ideas for you to consider

1. Hiring - Important to ensure you get people with high ownership
2. Project management - Since there are multiple work streams that will happen
3. Ownerships within the team for the various workstream
5. Trust and team work values

Answered 2 years ago

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