Antler Global
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Antler Global

These 83 Founders Chose to Build a Company in the Midst of a Prolonged Global Pandemic

I’ve taken a deep dive to reveal who they are and what you need to know.

As the Director of Founder Recruiting for Antler Sydney, I have just completed assembling our fourth cohort of aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs who have joined Antler to build the defining companies of tomorrow. What is particularly notable about this group is that they are choosing to build a company in the midst of a prolonged global pandemic.

A question I was often asked during this recruiting cycle was how did the pandemic shape our search and selection practices, as well as the profiles of the joining Founders. Well, here is a breakdown of both:

Recruiting for Sydney’s 4th cohort

  • 83 Founders
  • 1,100 applications
  • 477 candidates selected to interview
  • 929 total interviews completed by the Antler team

Make up of Sydney’s 4th cohort

Business builders

🚀 60% previously founded a company

📈 26% have exited a company as founder or director, reached USD$1m annual revenue or received VC funding

Education and commercial experience

💼12 years of average work experience

👩‍🎓 34% hold a Masters and 9% PhD

Diversity of skills and backgrounds

💃 25% women

🌍 60% hold non-Australian nationality

How do the entrepreneurs feel about embarking on this journey with Antler?

“I hadn’t felt this level of excitement since I was promoted to CTO or when I moved to Australia … so cool to connect with this feeling again…” — Carlos Martinez

“Wow, the energy and diversity of the cohort is amazing” — Vibs Wardhen

“We’re super excited about the incredible opportunities this milestone brings to Baresop and can’t wait to connect and work with other amazing Australian change makers in this cohort! The support of Antler Team and mentors will see us grow and create impactful change with speed and accuracy!” — Prisca Ongonga-Daehn

“I’m really looking forward to being involved in what I’ve heard to be such a supportive environment full of people looking to make the world a better place. I can’t wait to meet everyone involved in the cohort as well as potentially find a technical co-founder that can help us take TogetherWe. to the world.” — Jarrad Dober

It has been heartening to bring this group, who are excited and committed to bringing about world change in the continued face of global uncertainty, together. They recognise the opportunity created through changing user behaviour and major shifts in market conditions. In fact, they are following in the footsteps of many now household brands we know and love today who were born from the last global economic downturn — think Pinterest, Uber, Slack, Airbnb. All these companies were founded and funded between 2007 and 2009, the peak of the financial crisis.

Running a hybrid program

Similarly to our last program we will be starting in a hybrid in-person and online format due to the implications of Covid-19. We have the majority of our founders on-site with us in Sydney, as well as a Melbourne office set up for those restricted by border closures, and all content delivered digitally for those outside of these two states.

In a marked difference to prior cohorts, Antler has welcomed existing businesses to pitch for our investment. These companies are in the early stages of product and company development, and have joined so they can fast track their continued growth via Antler’s expert coaching and global platform.

Over the next 12 weeks, our 83 founders will form or grow their teams, validate ideas and, ultimately, pitch to Antler for pre-seed investment. Following funding, these successful founders will then work towards building their MVP or further advancing development, making first hires and attracting first customers or growing their existing customer base in preparation for Demo Day in June.

To date Antler Sydney has invested in 39 companies covering SaaS, Fintech, Clean Tech, Fashion Tech, Deep Tech and beyond. Many of these companies, in less than 18 months, have reached validations of over AU$10m and have made 10+ hires. You can check out our local and global portfolio here.

Our next cohort will kick off June 2021. Apply here.

Antler enables exceptional people to create exceptional companies. If you want to become a startup founder, find the perfect co-founder and create impactful companies to shape the future, apply now and begin your Antler journey.

This article is written by Adele Moynihan, Director of Recruiting, Antler Australia.

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