After successful programs in Singapore and Stockholm, global startup generator and early-stage VC Antler has today launched in London.
Antler is different to traditional startup accelerators which focus on established early-stage companies because it builds companies from the ground up, starting with one ambitious individual.
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.
Founded by Magnus Grimeland, co-founder of Zalora, the Rocket Internet VC backed e-commerce platform, Antler removes the barriers which normally prevent the world’s most brilliant and determined people from starting their own business. These include not having the right co-founder and lacking a clear business idea. Antler looks for people with a clear “spike” (a specific skill), strong inner drive and grit. Many come from tech companies like Google, Spotify, Uber and Klarna and have on average 10 years’ work experience. Antler pushes them out of their comfort zones by paying them a nominal grant so they can quit their job and focus on building their startup – essentially paying them to build their own million dollar company.
Founders are coached throughout their entrepreneurial journey by a panel of 150+ advisors – many meeting with participants on a weekly basis. Antler’s Advisors are all global business royalty, including Andreas Ehn, Spotify’s first CTO, Lawrence Summers, former US Secretary of the Treasury for President Clinton; and Dominic Barton, Global Managing Partner Emeritus of McKinsey & Company. Antler’s wider team also comprises accomplished tech and business professionals who can support founders every step of their way: these include industry leaders from the likes of Bloomberg, PayPal, Harvard, Google and Stanford. Many have first hand experience of building their own startup.
The program itself consists of two phases over five months. The first lasts two months, connecting brilliant individuals to create strong founder teams. This is facilitated through workshops, personality tests and focused hackathons where teams rapidly develop product ideas, with support from Antler coaches, advisors and VCs. At the end of phase one, Antler invests in the best teams for a minority equity stake.
The second phase lasts three months. Teams build their companies to the same level other startups only 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, said, “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.”
All open locations (London, Amsterdam, Sydney, Stockholm and Singapore) are now accepting applications via www.antler.co. Antler will also be launching programs in New York and Nairobi in H2 2019.