START design studios

a different breed of Design, Innovation and Strategy consulting firm - located in Southern California

NOKIA 2520



Winner of CES 2015 Innovation Award

what we can do for you

we collaborate with companies by managing their product design, product experience, innovation and overall brand


This stems from our approach to product & experience creation and in the way we collaborate with companies of any size and maturity level. Everything we collaborate on is unique to the specific context and our process is flexible to allow for the best collaboration conditions

We collaborate with startups and entrepreneurs to provide design expertize, support, connections & resources.... and... we collaborate with mature organizations to provide design, innovation and strategy. Together with the leaders of the company we manage product design, product experiences, design strategies and innovation to maximize brand impact and success.

Your brand isn’t what you
think it is…

... it's what people think it is! Your products and product experiences become effectively multisensory expressions of your brand. We focus on centering people in our product and product experience creation and not the product. People matter to great product and brand design, and our design process is about understanding people, behavior and habits. This insight allows us to focus on humanizing the way people interpret and interact with technologies and products. We drive towards creating natural, intuitive, delightful and exciting products and experiences for real people.

The marketplace is fierce…

... and forces companies into a constant state of change. Companies need to constantly stay nimble, provide a steady flow of innovative products & services, expand on and build new expertise and even deliver the occasional market disruption to not be left in the dust. Innovation within companies can be challenging! We collaborate with companies on how innovation is best suited for your specific company through product & product experience design. We assist in identifying what might be hindering innovation at the time, establish new opportunity areas for building new expertise and help your company adapt a more innovation rich philosophy.

It starts with an idea…

..yet, unfortunately too many people stop there! People today live in a physical and digital world simultaneously and it's changing at the speed of the internet. The need for companies to adopt strategies which are felxible and adaptable to changes in market, technology and people is crucial to be successful. We understand the challenges and complexity of not only coming up with the great ideas, but also what it takes to see the ideas through to success. We collaborate with companies to establish short-, mid- and long-term product-, portfolio- and brand-strategies. More importantly, we collaborate on how to deploy and implement the strategies.

who we are

START Design Studios was founded by Jan Stillerman and Melissa Stillerman
with the goal to provide world class design services

Great design should be available to companies of any size and maturity level!

Jan R Stillerman
President & Co-Founder

Jan is an award winning designer who holds over 16+ years of total 360 product design and development experience in various industries, prior to founding START Design Studios. Jan has provided design soloutions and directed teams towards successful, innovative and market appropriate product solutions & experiences for top companies across the world. Jan held influential design positions both in design consulting firms and corporations.

Melissa Stillerman
CFO & Co-Founder

Melissa is an award winning business and sales professional who is passionate about establishing creative and profitable assistance for our collaborators. Melissa is the CFO, co-founder and active business manager for START Design Studios and holds a degree in Business & Journalism from which she graduated at the top her class. She has during her career worked within radio, print media and financial companies in both business and creative sides.

companies we have collaborated with

either as START Design Studios or Jan Stillerman

our visionaries and subject experts

During Jan's 16+ years of experience he built and developed a large network
of seasoned visionaries and subject experts who are utilized by START Design Studios on a regular basis

what START offers

world class design services
product, brand, innovation and strategy

observe & learn
phase 0.0
"a place to understand"

Trend, Market & Design Research
Color & Material Research
Competitive Analysis
Human Factors Research
Ergonomics Research
User Action & Interaction Studies
Behavioral & Cultural Studies
Product Audits
Brand Audits
Technology Audits
Manufacturing & Process Research

idenfity & define
phase 1.0
"a place to focus"

Innovation Workshops
End User Mapping
Contextual Scenarios
Product & Roadmap Definition
Portfolio Mapping
Business Opportunity Mapping
Product Experience Mapping
Brand Aspiration & Goal Setting
Brand Articulation & Expression Wish list
Digital Experience Aspiration & Goal Setting

design & create
phase 2.0
"a place for immersive & obsessive thinking"

Ideation of New Products, Services & Experiences
Ideation Generation of New Business Opportunities
Innovation & Re-Design of Existing Products
Color, Material & Finish Design
Visionary Design
Conceptual Entertainment & Character Design
End User Scenarios & Contextual Visualization
Product Portfolio Strategy
Brand Strategy
Design & Brand Identity/Language
Strategic Design
Packaging Design
Graphic Design
Conceptual Digital Experience Solutions

prototype & make
phase 3.0
"a place for making"

Functional Prototyping
Non-Functional Prototyping
Rapid Prototyping - 3D printing
Study Models
Size Models
Appearance Models
Conceptual Engineering
Contextual Simulation
POP/POS Simulation
Packaging Models
Out of Box Experience Simulation
Material Sampling
Color & Finish Sampling
3D CAD Creation

validate & refine
phase 4.0
"a place to test & improve"

Validation - Are we making the right product?
Verification - Are we making the product right?
End User Validation
Quality Setting, Testing & Control
Proof of Concept
Durability Testing
Engineering Validation
Regulatory Validation & Verification

develop & go to market
phase 5.0
"a place to develop and launch"

DFMA (design for product & assembly) preparation
Product Implementation
Tooling Specifications
3D CAD data transfer
Color & Materials data transfer
Vendor Sourcing & Review Liaison
Build Part Reviews
Product Life Cycle Liaison
Market Timing & Strategy Liaison
Marketing Graphics, Comms & Media Creation & Documentation


31324 via colinas, suite 114
westlake village, california 91362