‘For founders by founders’: Why a network of serial entrepreneurs is the secret weapon every startup needs

Sarah Kimmorley
Antler
Published in
3 min readSep 24, 2020

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At Antler, we share a lot of information about how founders benefit from working with us when building their company, but the value that the VC firm provides portfolio companies beyond this phase is just as significant. This series aims to share the experiences of the founders, and what they have benefited from most.

Imagine: You’ve just had your startup acquired and you’re ready to leverage the momentum to throw yourself into launching a new venture.

You take the leap and join Antler, a global early-stage VC, to meet a co-founder and build a business. Then, Covid-19 hits.

What is normally a physical work environment to network and learn becomes 100% virtual. You’re restricted to the confinements of your home. You’re hearing early reports of an economic downturn and you have spent just a few hours with your new co-founder — a person who you’ll potentially spend every day of the next five years with as you grow and scale a company.

Would you do it?

Alex Millar, co-founder of Hudled, did. Despite the challenges brought on by the global coronavirus pandemic, Alex was able to launch a business, grow a team, attract customers and acquire $300K in early-stage funding.

So what’s his secret? A network of serial entrepreneurs to tap into and leverage their wisdom for the benefit of his startup.

“We were just going into lockdown when we started working together. We’d only met twice in person for an hour,” says Alex.

“To meet, work 100% remotely, get early traction, receive funding and do all this without getting to know each other face to face was a surreal experience.

“My whole life turned around in that space of time, in such a crazy way”.

According to Alex, the most valuable part of building a business with Antler is “the advisor network and the broad support from the whole team from fundraising to recruitment.”

“Having been involved with startups in the past, already I can see it makes such a big difference,” he said.

“There are a lot of programs out there, but facilitators don’t always necessarily have the experience. Antler’s network of advisors have been through it all — it’s made a huge difference.”

Together with his co-founder Santiago Bravo, the pair have built Hudled, a SaaS manager powered by employee software reviews.

They have also secured $300K pre-seed (with the plan to close $1 million), grown their team to six and acquired 20 early adopters to their platform.

“We’re really excited to be working with innovative companies such as Weploy, Employment Hero, LegalVision, DisplayR and Autopilot,” says Alex.

“We are gaining such a deep understanding of how teams use software, which is helping us develop our optimisation algorithm.

“We’ve been able to achieve so much in such a short space of time, more than anything we would have been able to do on our own.

“Because of Antler’s network, we get introductions from all over the world that we wouldn’t ordinarily have access to.

“In the last four months I would have spoken to with the best part of 40 VCs, angel investors and global Antler alumni”.

Right now, the team is continuing to leverage the exposure from Antler’s Demo Day in June.

“We’ve amassed of over 100 customers on the waitlist, and we’re working quickly through our private beta with the goal to launch before Christmas.”

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Sarah Kimmorley
Antler

Sarah is the VP of Marketing & PR at Antler. She was formerly the General Manager of Business Insider Australia, and Gizmodo Media Group.