How to Build a Successful Venture Team

Viktoria Orlinsky
Learn how to build a successful venture team with the right roles and skill sets. From steering board to venture architects, discover the key players for success.

Have you ever watched The A-Team and marvelled at how the team always completed their impossible missions? They always had the right mix of skills and personalities to overcome any challenge. This is the magic of a well-constituted team – each member contributes unique strengths that, when combined, make the whole greater than the sum of its parts. In Venture Building, assembling the right team is crucial for success. In this article, we’ll explore the different roles and skill sets required in a Venture Building team and how to build a cohesive unit that can tackle any obstacle. Let’s dive in!

Definition of a Venture Team:

A new venture team is a group of founders, key employees and advisers that move a new venture from an idea to a fully functioning start-up or corporate. Usually the team doesn’t come all at once. Instead, after the initial team has been formed and the product market fit was reached new talents are brought in.

Creating the Minimum Viable Team

Those who launch or found an entrepreneurial venture have an important role in shaping the business model. In addition to the idea, the ability of the initial founder or founders to assemble a team that can execute the idea better than anyone else is the key to success.

A team constellation refers to the specific roles and skill sets needed for a venture-building team. While every venture is unique, in most cases, you’ll need a multi-team set-up that includes the following:

    • The Steering Board: Typically, this team comprises representatives from each company involved in the venture and is responsible for steering the projects. They are responsible for providing guidance and oversight to the venture team, ensuring that the venture is aligned with the overall strategy and goals of the participating companies.

    • The Venture Team: The core of this team consists of a Venture Lead, Venture Architects, Developers, Creatives and Experts who bring the ideas to life. The Lead is responsible for project coordination and leading the new business from idea to spin-out.

    • The Venture Expert Board: These corporate sponsors provide strategic advice and guidance to help steer the venture in the right direction. Think of them as your trusty advisors, helping you navigate through the ups and downs of the business world.


Infographic showing the multi-team set-up of venture building
Multi team set-up includes Steering Board, Venture Team and Expert Board

What are the responsibilities of the Steering Board?

These folks are the ultimate navigators, bringing together representatives from each company involved in the venture to provide guidance and oversight. They ensure that the venture stays on track and aligned with the overall strategy and goals of the participating companies. The Steering Board typically has the final say on major decisions, such as funding or changes to the venture’s direction. Ultimately, the Steering Board plays a critical role in ensuring that the venture is successful and meets the needs of all involved parties.


What are the roles in a new Venture Team?

The core team includes some heavy hitters, including the Venture Lead, Venture Architects, Developers, Creatives, and Experts who work together to bring their ideas to life. They work under the guidance of the venture board and the steering board.

The Venture Lead should be a master of project coordination, able to keep track of all the moving parts of the venture and ensure everything stays on track. Three non-negotiable skills:

    • Project Coordination
    • Excellent Communicator
    • Leadership Skills

    The Developers
    , aka the tech wizards, bring the venture’s ideas to life. These folks are responsible for building the platform, creating the user interface, and ensuring everything runs smoothly on the back end.
    Three non-negotiable skills:

      • Technical expertise
      • Collaboration
      • Problem-solving

      The Creatives
      are responsible for creating the brand, designing the user experience, and making the product visually appealing to users.
      Three non-negotiable skills:

        • Design Thinking
        • Collaboration
        • Branding & Marketing

        The Experts
        should be able to provide industry-specific knowledge and experience, whether it’s finance, marketing, or legal.
        Three non-negotiable skills:

          • Industry-specific knowledge and experience
          • Strong Communication
          • Flexibility and adaptability

          The Venture Architects
          should first and foremost be strategic thinkers, able to design and shape the venture’s overall architecture and roadmap. They also need to be excellent problem solvers, able to identify challenges and obstacles and develop creative solutions to overcome them.
          Three non-negotiable skills:

          • Strategic thinking
          • Problem-solving
          • Collaboration


          What makes a great Venture Lead?

          “A good venture lead is a professional translator that can speak two languages fluently:

           On the one hand, they have to understand the corporates strategy and objectives, aligning the venture’s and the corporate’s vision, as well as how to streamline existing expertise in the area of the venture. On the other hand, venture leads must easily navigate the startup ecosystem. This means they need strong methodological know-how, opportunity recognition skills, and entrepreneurial spirit.

           Only by combining the two can venture leads establish trust and credibility among top management, the startup world and other relevant stakeholders.”

          Person in a Venture Lead Role

          Christoph Hornik
          Venture Lead

          Of course, it’s also important that the entire team has excellent communication and teamwork skills because, without those, even the most talented individuals won’t be able to build a successful venture.

          Depending on the venture project, the skills and team members might change. A rule of thumb is to think of the team constellation during the venture problem and the solution phase.

          Infographic showing phases of venture project and required skills
          Different phases in the Venture Journey require different skills

          Let's build ventures together

          Pulling in the right partner can allow you to build a dedicated team for your new venture, which can act outside the core organization, decreasing dependencies on your existing structures. We can support you with exactly that. 

          All good things come in threes: The Venture Expert Board

          The members of this specific board are the ones who bring their wealth of experience and expertise to the table to help guide the venture in the right direction. They provide strategic advice and guidance on everything from market trends to financing options, helping to steer the venture towards success. And they don’t just pop in once in a blue moon either – they’re always available to provide expertise and insight whenever the venture needs it. So, if you’re considering starting a venture, gather a group of expert advisors to help guide you along the way – it could mean the difference between sinking or swimming!


          What makes a successful venture team

          “In my opinion, key factors that make a successful startup/venture team are the following: Mindset, Experience & Skills, in that order! One advantage about venture building is we bring all that to the table!”

          Person in a Venture Director Role

          Alex Schuh
          Venture Building Lead

          The Skillset for Success

          Creativity, Problem-Solving & Adaptability. Think of these skills as the secret sauce that can take your venture from good to great. But how do you foster these skills within a team? Well, it’s all about creating an environment where team members feel free to experiment, fail, and learn. It’s about encouraging collaboration, communication, and a willingness to try new things.

          And when it comes to success stories, there are plenty to choose from. Take, for example, the team that created the world’s first 3D-printed house – talk about creativity and problem-solving! By fostering these skills within their team, they were able to push the boundaries of what was possible and create something truly revolutionary. So, if you’re looking to build a successful venture team, remember to focus on those skills and create an environment that fosters these skills. Who knows – you could be the next success story!

          Why is diversity and inclusion especially important when setting up a new venture team?

          One of the most important aspects of building a team is to create a group that has a variety of skills and personality types. You don’t want a team that’s all full of Type-A personalities, or all full of introverts. It’s important to have a mix of both to create a dynamic team that can adapt to any situation. This also includes the importance of diversity in your team. Just like how the stars in a constellation have different sizes, colors, and brightness, your team members should have different backgrounds, perspectives, and skill sets. Because when you have diversity, you have innovation! You have new ideas and fresh perspectives that can help take your venture to the next level.


          The 4 key takeaways when creating a new venture team:

          In conclusion, building a successful venture team requires assembling a group of individuals with unique skill sets and personalities.

          1. The core team should include the Venture Lead, Venture Architects, Developers, Creatives, and Experts, who work together to bring their ideas to life.
          2. The Venture Expert Board provides strategic advice and guidance, while the Steering Board is responsible for steering the project and providing guidance and oversight.
          3. A great Venture Lead should be able to speak the language of both corporate strategy and the startup ecosystem.
          4. It’s important that the entire team has excellent communication and teamwork skills, as without those, even the most talented individuals won’t be able to build a successful venture.

          So, when building a venture team, keep these tips in mind and aim for a team that is greater than the sum of its parts. And remember, as the A-Team used to say, “I love it when a plan comes together!”


          Start your venture building process on the right foot with the right team

          Are you wondering how to get started and are excited to kick things off? Then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We would love to give you more insights on this topic and how to get started. Find our checklist below, or learn more about how we we can build ventures together.

          Your Ultimate Venture Building Checklist

          Learn how to navigate the world of Venture Building and leverage its potential.


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