Venture-Building Nordic Cohort



Mach49’s venture building process is the most advanced and disciplined in the world.  It involves the latest thinking and customer research, product development, operating and business model analysis and risk mitigation. Mach49’s digital playbook and set of tools, based on the unprecedented real-life experience of our bench, and our refinedwork-from-anywhere hybrid working model, has allowed us to offer forward thinking companies the chance to conduct an incubation at a significantly reduced rate, whilst benefiting from sharing with other corporate venture-building founders and New Venture Board members.


Mach49’s process is simple, exhaustive, and highly effective.  Why would you invest in launching a business if you were not sure beyond reasonable doubt (through actual customer insights):

  • That you understood the pain /customer need you were solving, that the proposed solution is both feasible and solves the pain,
  • That the business and operating plan is viable,
  • That the team is capable of prosecuting the business (or you know who would be) AND
  • That you have customers willing to sign up and pay for the product/service/solution?  

This level of understanding cannot be done with a theoretical model put together in a few weeks by one or two subject matter experts, some outsourced customer research, and a few analysts.


There is no guarantee that an idea, however well formed, will produce a viable business. However, there are several best practice ‘pre-conditions for success’ that will give you the very best shot. Typically, when the recommended pre-conditions have been fulfilled, greater than 80% of ventures incubated using Mach49’s blueprint gain seed funding. Mach49’s preparation phase is designed to help your company achieve these pre-conditions with minimal impact.

  • Condition #1 - a well-formed idea
  • Condition #2 - a full time New Venture Team (NVT) for 20 weeks
  • Condition #3 - an engaged New Venture Board (NVB) with a dedicated sponsor (NVS)
  • Condition #4 - an empowered New Venture Board who can make go/no go decisions and help the venture seize the Mothership advantage
  • Condition #5 - funds earmarked and available for use to launch the venture if validated with customers willing to pilot/buy
  • Condition #6 - allow Mach49 to engage with all key stakeholders

Also learning to pivot and/or kill a venture is an important skill too. If we and your team discover within the first few weeks that the idea you are working on won’t work, we will let you bring in another venture idea.

  • Mach49 is 100% focused on execution.  
  • We believe in preparing for the minimum viable conditions for success and will work with you honestly and directly to that end.
  • We are a unique cadre of successful serial entrepreneurs, top-tier VCs, and C-suite executives who have collectively helped generate over $80 billion in market value during our operating careers with companies we have invested in, managed, created, or built.  
  • We have invested years developing a teachable, repeatable, scalable methodology and library of processes, tools, templates, activities, and more to build client capability — not dependency — across your entire organization.

NVT - New Venture Team

There are a number of key roles that must befilled for an Incubate. The roles are full time for the duration of the incubate.  In the first phases of an Incubate it’s all hands on deck interviewing customers.  Later the roles become more specific and focused. The size of the team depends on a number of factors including the roles and skills required for a new venture idea and the number of customers / segments the team needs to interview.  

The minimum size team is 3-4 people.

NVB - New Venture Board

All new ventures require a new venture board (NVB) to ensure startup success. These are the executives who become the venture’s internal venture capitalists who can:

  • Deliver funding and make Go / No-Go decisions.
  • Ensure the new venture can get access to customers, channels, and markets.
  • Provide access to core competencies, assets, and capabilities of the organization.
  • Remove Mothership friction to ensure the new venture can reach escape velocity.

 The minimum size team is 2-3 people including the New Venture Sponsor.

NVS - New Venture Sponsor

At least one member of the Board should be the New Venture Sponsor (NVS).  The NVS Plays a more hands-on role with the team, attends weekly synthesis sessions, and participates in a weekly project and personnel review with the Mach49 Lead and the venture’s GM / Business Owner.

A key part of this role is identifying and de-risking Mothership issues early. An NVS will help the new venture team leverage assets whilst helping remove roadblocks from the Mothership. The NVS will help drive the Mothership communication plan and will update the NVB regularly.


Mach49’s approach includes significant coaching on techniques and processes to build and run a new venture.  The new venture incubation is therefore a growth opportunity both for the company and a professional development opportunity for the new venture team members.  

The more people you can add the easier it will be for you — however the minimum roles for a cohort are as follows:

GM / BUSINESS OWNER - Leads the team at startup speed; drives strategy, story, and post-Incubate plans; interfaces with the NVB.

PRODUCT LEAD - Ultimately drives and iterates product vision, roadmap, MVP, and technical feasibility.  Note sometimes the GM and Product lead are the same person, depending on where the idea originated, in which case you should add one of the optional roles.  

SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT (SME) Serves as a leading voice regarding the nuances of the industry and market and typically has extensive domain knowledge. We can bring this person in if necessary.


TECH LEAD - Helps to define the technical art of the possible. Evaluates feasibility; defines and builds the product or service.  This is especially important to have if the product or service will rely heavily on the development / leveraging of new technology.  

Note: if technology is not a main stay, then a subject matter expert can be called upon later in the incubation to help define the product development roadmap.

GO-TO-MARKET LEAD - Develops and executes competitive analysis, marketing, sales, and pricing plans to engage customers for the venture.

PROGRAM MANAGER - if you are developing a new product from scratch, or your business requires extensive internal mothership coordination, then a program manager is usually an excellent addition to the team.  


Peer co-founders who are passionate about starting a business.  

High potentials with complementary skills and experience. Want to be entrepreneurs. Must be “doers,” not “delegators.” Facilitator-leaders with a light touch are ideal.

Personal characteristics often trump skills.  ​​

Creativity and empathy are key traits. Need visionaries to explore the art of the possible. Able to develop hypotheses on opportunities, but willing to let go if not customer validated.

Being comfortable with uncertainty is essential.
Incubation is about reducing risk. Month 1 uncertainty is especially challenging. Not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur.


NO! Mach49 is not a traditional consultancy. We have invested years developing a teachable, repeatable, scalable methodology and library of processes, tools, templates, activities, and more to build client capability — not dependency — across your entire organization.  Whereas we are 100% focused on execution, and we are very hands on, our approach is to help you execute and build your new business.  

Your company has the talent, ideas, brand, resources, capital, technology, channels, and customers to beat the start-ups at their own game. Time to unleash your unicorns within.


Yes, Mach49’s Venture Building process places great emphasis on enabling teams both to build new businesses and to work together effectively.  When we work with clients we become virtual members of their team, guiding and mentoring the talent that already exists and providing needed flexibility with access to abroader range of capability than it makes sense for a client to hire in-house.

Design Thinking — a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success — is at the heart of our methodology.


Operating Partner - A seasoned entrepreneur with experience building ventures from zero while in a C-level role. Works with the NVT and NVB throughout the venture-building process, highly focused on effective and efficient execution of the venture. Coaches the NVT’s lead and C-level executives as they validate and build out the venture. Supports Venture Executive throughout the Incubate and business planning process with an eye toward overall execution.

Venture Executive - An experienced entrepreneur with deep understanding of early-stage idea validation and the venture planning process. Responsible for guiding the NVT as they uncover customer pain, test and validate offerings, and build out the detailed business and execution plan.

Board Member in Residence - A successful venture capitalist with early-stage investment and operating experience. Appointed to the New Venture Board. Coaches on governance of early-stage startups and Mothership management. Coaches the startup team on execution, governance, and communications. Typically, the last member of Mach49 team to transition away from the Venture.

Customer Development Researcher - The CD Researcher guides and supports the NVT in the process of researching customer pain and desirability for the new venture to ensure that you will be building a product or service that people actually want and will buy. Their role includes teaching NVTs how to recruit and interview key stakeholders and customers using a discovery and testing-based approach.

Functional Specialists - Ancillary ad hoc support can be provided by Subject Matter Experts based on the New Venture Team’s needs. We provide SMEs in the following areas: Research & Design, Go-To-Market, Finance, Operations, Product, and Technology and can add others as needed.


During the sign-up process you will be given our concept assessment form to finalize the idea you wish to explore.  We will help you make a final decision on the selected new venture idea against your hypotheses related to five parameters: Desirability (Customer Need), Feasibility (Identification of Product or Service), Viability (Is there a Business, market and some white space?), Suitability (Is there an unfair Mothership Advantage and can we leverage it?), Capability (Do we have the right leader and team to execute).


Impact Framing is a proprietary Mach49 process designed to align senior management around the desired impact the new venture will have for the company across three primary metrics: Team, Finance, Strategy. This evolves throughout the project culminating in an Impact Roadmap closely tied to the operating / business plan of the new business.  The preparation phase includes Impact Framing interviews with senior stakeholders (e.g., CEO, CFO, CSO, etc.).


We design and conduct a Challenge Framing and Stakeholder Mapping session as the first step in the process. This defines the boundaries of the venture and critically ‘who matters most’ which will drive the outreach plan for customer development interviews.

Successful new ventures begin with customer pain. Good ideas come from trying to solve that customer pain. We work side by side with your team to gather and analyze all of the information and details needed to build a product/service informed by customer desire, breaking it down into the following process:

  • Identify stakeholders.
  • List significant trends.
  • Create business hypotheses.
  • Determine core assets and capabilities.

Once we’ve developed a thorough understanding of the customer, we can build a Challenge Statement, which accomplishes 3 things:

  • Establishes the aspiration for your new venture.
  • Points to some early hypotheses regarding the pain you want to solve that give the venture a starting point to test through customer “pain point” interviews.
  • Provides some boundaries so the venture isn’t trying to be all things to all people.

Mach49 assumes the senior leadership and project sponsors are all ‘on board’ with the project and will help facilitate the identified mothership advantages. Mach49 recognises that this can take time and effort.  We therefore offer support very early in the preparation phase to both inform and prepare those internal people (we call them Growth Advocates) responsible for mothership assets or corporate services that have been identified as potentially relevant to the new venture, and which might give it an unfair advantage.


There are certain principles of Silicon Valley that big companies can learn.  What does Silicon Valley do really well?  Explore and understand Customer Pain, and then build businesses around minimum viable solutions to solve that pain.

Big companies usually get customer insights via surveys. Our belief is that surveys are statistically significant and strategically irrelevant. All you have done is outsource your visceral understanding and empathy for the customer to somebody else.

You must do real customer interviews. They don't have to be face to face, but you've got to speak with potential customers and dig for pain. They can tell you their pain, but what they can’t tell you is how to solve that pain.

When we work with clients, we teach them to really understand that pain. Over the course of an incubation, our clients talk to between 100 – 200 customers.

Only after we understand the pain and believe that there is a lot of it to solve do we work out what current trends and technologies can be paired with that customer pain to solve that problem in order to launch a new venture, business, or product.


Mach49’s approach is based on removing the greatest amount of risk on the least amount of capital. Our methodology is based on placing a series of small bets mitigating risk throughout the process whilst building to learn, then to standardize or automate, and only then to scale. This starts at the incubation stage.

The check-in days are designed for the New Venture Board (supported by our BMiR and Operating Partner) to carefully review the new venture team’s findings, in order to gain approval to move forward to the next stage.


It is important to note that If, for some reason, after all the preparation and careful review of the original or evolved hypotheses (through our rigorous customer development process) your new venture board assesses there is not enough pain, the venture cannot build what the customer wants, the business will not move the revenue needle, or the unit economics don’t work, they will be encouraged to kill the idea. Whereas this is rare, especially if the new venture idea has been carefully thought through initially, killing ventures is not a failure - it’s actually a validation of the rigorous Mach49 process. And as we said, if we discover in the first few weeks that there isn’t enough pain to warrant continuing on with that idea, we will give you another chance!


Simple question - why would you even consider funding a new venture that didn’t have the following key attributes?

  • A Fundable Business with a Milestone-Driven, Detailed Execution Plan
  • A New Venture That is a Step-Function Improvement or a Potential Disruptor in a Large Market
  • A New Venture Board Trained to Help Seize the Mothership Advantage
  • A Startup Team Prepared to Help Launch the New Venture
  •  Pilot Customers Already Testing Products and Services in the Market

 We don’t actually call them pitch decks, we call them business, execution and operating plans!


An optional virtual or in-person exploration of Silicon Valley to meet and learn from visionaries shaping the future, selected for relevance to your organization and the venture you are building by Mach49.

Learn from: Best-in-class global enterprises, Startups, Venture capital firms, Academics and domain experts. The Disruptour ends with a half-day Strategy Accelerator Brainstorm, focused on synthesizing insights and generating actionable plans you can take back to your Mothership.

Get a glimpse of the future and the "art of the possible'' in domains relevant to you. Understand how Silicon Valley companies approach your current initiatives.  Visualize a portfolio of opportunities for external partnership or investment as well as internal venture strategy and team building.


An innovation event unlike any other with 3 highly interactive days of peer-to-peer exchange and learning on key innovation topics and challenges.

The Summit is open exclusively to innovation professionals in large multinational companies – the world’s largest gathering of its kind – providing a unique setting for in-depth dialogue and valuable networking among corporate peers.

It will happen in Copenhagen between 7-9 November 2023.  Linda Yates, CEO and Founder of Mach49 will be speaking.


Unlock venture-driven growth. At scale.