How do startups get off the ground? One way is to provide them a supportive space to create, and that’s what Working Title Labs is doing in Louisville, Kentucky. As a startup studio created to help founders build and launch companies, Working Title Labs explains on their website that they “plan to build several $40M+ companies for exit, with a few failures and maybe a unicorn along the way.” We asked the startup studio’s founder and CEO, Jennifer Williams, to share her story and predictions for the future of the startup scene.
How did you become interested in the startup scene?
I was doing just fine in my career as an actuary, but I did have a few business ideas over the years. I didn't really dive into the entrepreneurship world until enrolling in the entrepreneurship MBA program at the University of Louisville. It was there that my first startup, Cuddle Clones, was born—and from then on, I was hooked.
What inspired you to found a company?
Now that I've seen what it takes to grow a company from zero-to-exit, I'm ready to (and crazy enough to want to) do it again. I really enjoy the creation phase of entrepreneurship—thinking through the vision, the setup, the processes, and the product development.
Tell us about your team: Who’s on it, and how did you meet?
Our current team consists of three people: Myself, Shy Stalling, and Matt Eaton. Shy was the very first employee of Cuddle Clones and now joins Working Title Labs as its first employee. Her nickname is the Commander of Chaos, and she does just that! Matt is our CTO, and I have known him for several years now. He had done some development work long ago for Cuddle Clones, and I remembered his high-quality output and attention to detail.
Where do you see the startup scene headed in the near future?
I think the growth in co-working spaces available to entrepreneurs has been great. I hope that they continue to foster a network where entrepreneurs can hang out, collaborate, inspire each other, and sometimes complain about their shared struggles. I've also seen success in smaller and more specific peer groups of like-minded entrepreneurs (e.g. e-commerce only) than I have in bigger, more general groups.
Now that I've seen what it takes to grow a company from zero-to-exit, I'm ready to (and crazy enough to want to) do it again.
What does success look like to Working Title Labs in the short term and long term?
Short-term success for Working Title Labs is 1) the re-launch of one of our subsidiaries, Cartoonize My Pet, with new branding and functionality; 2) the soft launch of our pet mobile game called Shelter Story; and 3) the MVP launch of our second startup, Stuff By Text. 2022 has been a building year, and a big one at that. Once the launches happen, the real fun begins. While we're not a huge venture studio, our long-term goal for Working Title Labs is to produce four to six viable companies in a span of three years. We hope we can grow each company to the stage at which it will be ready to graduate from the nest and enter a growth phase with its own team.
Find out more about Working Title Labs at www.workingtitlelabs.com. Are you a startup based in or looking to relocate to Kentucky? Keyhorse’s current quarterly investment cycle is open until December 31st! Apply now.