We had the good fortune of connecting with Danny Cortenraede and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Danny, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I believe taking “risks” is a good thing. We fear rejection, change or failure. It is super easy to get stuck in a routine but that get’s me frustrated. I need go out of my comfort zone. I know I will grow at the end by taking the risk. Let’s be clear you need to make a wel calculated risk. You need to have a plan and do your research. There a couple moments in my life/ career that I took a risk. I left my high paid corporate job to start my first venture. My wife was pregnant of our first child so this was a risk. But I never regret it.. I always wanted to start my own business. Another risk is that I moved with my family from The Netherlands to the states. First to NYC to open our second office and to LA to open our third office. I learned so much from this expierence and I happy that we made this choice. It is a life changing choice a made but it brought me so much on all different levels, personal, emotional, cultural. How do you build a successful company in the US? You will loose so many chances by not taking the risk. You will know better what you want, build self trust, makes life more exciting and for me postive. Start taken action today!
What should our readers know about your business?
I am running a venture studio: InStudio Ventures. We are building the next generation Media, Sports & Tech companies. InStudio Ventures, based in Los Angeles, combines start-up expansion expertise and private capital to conceive, cultivate, and scale next-generation media, tech, and sport companies. We provide services for product development, sales and marketing strategy, financial support and augmentation, brand and design awareness, and media talent demand We are disrupting the VC world; more than investing capital. We have high involvement and help the company scale – we make them VC ready. We build ventures by investing beyond capital. Our focus is to validate start-ups by a wide metrics of indicators we defined as key elements to build a successful business. Aspects like: problem-solution fit, product-market fit, revenue model, psychological and physical engagement of the consumer in the brand and product at first sight and over time, level of innovation of the product and service, scalability of the business, product and business model. These indicators we evaluate before and also during our trajectory. Besides this we have access to Fortune top 500 companies, leagues like NFL, NBA, MLB, La La Liga and the biggest athletes like Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba and Eden Hazard. We just launched a fund together with leAD (backed by the Adidas family office) I’ve worked 10 years in the corporate world (Vodafone, Sony and T-Mobile) and left my high paid corporate job to build my own venture. Enterprise Media was my first venture we worked with Walt Disney, Disney Channel and clients like ABN AMRO. Is sold this company. Built a second venture together with an investor and my most recent venture Wannahaves & 433. 433 is the biggest soccer community in the world with 55M followers and 5B views. To build a successful company is difficult – I know it because you have a lot of setbacks. This is exactly why I started InStudio Ventures. We help to built a successful company. Not by leading the company we are looking for strong founders and act like co-founders. We help with the scaling the company and have funding available. We build ventures by investing beyond capital. Our focus is to validate start-ups by a wide metrics of indicators we defined as key elements to build a successful business. Aspects like: problem-solution fit, product-market fit, revenue model, psychological and physical engagement of the consumer in the brand and product at first sight and over time, level of innovation of the product and service, scalability of the business, product and business model. These indicators we evaluate before and also during our trajectory.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am living in Los Angels and this is a beautiful area – you can do almost everything you want. I would plan a road trip and visit all the amazing spots. We start in Los Angeles and will drive to Malibu – have lunch at Soho House and enjoy an amazing meal with drinks and an awesome sea view. After that we will drive north and drive the Highway one – The Highway one is one of the most beautiful routes that you can drive. You need to stop and enjoy the view with a nice coffee. First stop is Big Sur where we can stay over. Here you can watch McWay Falls, Bixby Creek bridge and visit Carmel (Carmel is a charming and small town on the Pacific Coast of California that is also referred to as “Carmel-by-the-Sea”). After this we driving to San Fransisco and enjoy this amazing city (1-2 days). Visiting Alcatraz , Golden Gate Park/ bridge and having great dinner and some good wine 😉 Next stop: Yosemite (1-2 days) Here we will enjoy attractions like Half Dome and El Capitan. And go on hikes include the Wapama Falls Trail. Last stop: Las Vegas Last take the California route because this is more scenic. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas 🙂
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to thank a lot of people, mentors and books. But I want to give my wife credits that she has always supported me in my entrepreneurial journey. We moved to America together with the family. This requires a lot from us and I realize that this could not have been done without her. You will have to make it a success together. I want to thank her for that!