After successful programs in Singapore and Stockholm, global startup generator and early-stage VC Antler, founded by Magnus Grimeland, co-founder of Zalora, the Rocket Internet VC backed e-commerce platform, has set up its operations in Sydney.
Antler differs to traditional startup accelerators because it builds companies from the ground up by focusing on ambitious professionals and removing the barriers which normally prevents people from starting their own business.
Commencing in June 2019, the first Australian cohort will include between 50-100 future founders, aiming to form up to 50 startups a year.
The Antler team
Running Antler’s local operation is a team of accomplished tech and business professionals, including technology entrepreneur and former TechSydney CEO Bede Moore, and former CEO of BrickX Anthony Millet.
The global network also consists of more than 150 advisors considered to be global business powerhouses, such as Andreas Ehn, Spotify’s first CTO, Lawrence Summers, former US Secretary of the Treasury, and Dominic Barton, Global Managing Partner Emeritus of McKinsey & Company.
According to Startup Muster’s most recent annual report, 40.4% existing startups revealed that in the next six months the thing they needed most was mentorship. While 36.6% said they needed seed investment, and an additional 35.4% said they needed corporate customers.
Antler works to unlock the power of brilliant people stuck creating gradual change for large corporations. The program doesn’t require an idea, an existing team, or previous founder experience. Instead, it help individuals find the right co-founders by leveraging Antler’s global data insights, experience, network, research and a rigorous recruitment process. Many of our applicants come from tech companies like Google, Spotify and Uber, and have on average 10 years’ work experience.
How the Antler program works
Antler also supports entrepreneurs build disruptive tech companies by providing $4,000 a month in the first half of the program, in addition to a further $100,000 investment offered to each of the most successful graduates of the program.
The program itself consists of two phases over five months. The first connects highly-skilled individuals to strong founder teams through workshops, personality tests and hackathons, with support from Antler coaches, advisors and VCs. At the end of this phase, Antler invests in the best teams for a minority equity stake.
In the second phase, teams build their companies to the same level most startups reach after a year. Former founders help with product launches and connect companies with their first customers. At the end of the program, teams pitch their business to leading investors to secure seed funding. Post-program, founders continue to receive advice and tools; they also enter Antler’s alumni network.
Magnus Grimeland, CEO and founder of Antler, says, “Antler exists to enable extraordinary people to tackle the world’s biggest problems through innovation and entrepreneurship. Many never make this leap and are instead stuck in unproductive jobs. We want to change that and help individuals transform great ideas into great companies that have a positive impact on the world around us. Our program methodology and the top calibre of our advisors gives our founders a massive advantage over other startups in the tech sector.”
Bede Moore, Managing Partner of Antler, ANZ says, “We’re excited to be launching Antler in Sydney to help support enable entrepreneurship and support innovation in Australia. Antler’s program will generate up to 200 companies across the next four years, stimulating innovation and jobs and helping to cultivate a deeper tech industry in this country.
“Not only does the Antler program provide financial support to founders from day one, it offers unique access to a global network that will help to support Australian companies seeking to scale internationally.
“We’re already seeing powerful success out of our programs in Singapore and Stockholm, and we’re excited to replicate similar results here in Australia.”
Antler’s first program in Singapore in 2018 generated 13 new high growth tech companies, including Sampingan, a task-based workforce platform that has recently secured $500,000 from Golden Gate Ventures. Last month, Antler launched in London and Amsterdam. All locations are now accepting applications via www.antler.co. Antler will also be launching programs in New York and Nairobi in H2 2019.