From bootstrapping to building a truly scalable venture — Why I joined Antler

A conversation with Annika (Kreil) Breu, founder of OH MY! Fantasy and former Bain Consultant.

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Antler

The investor backing the world's most driven founders, from day zero to greatness. Enabling thousands of founders every year to launch and scale companies that move the world forward.

Could you tell me a little bit about yourself and your background in   general?

I am originally from Munich. I hold a business degree from LMU and a master's degree from TUM and CDTM. After finishing my studies, I was a consultant for Bain & Company for three years. I was mainly working in the healthcare insurance sector. On a more personal note, I'm really passionate about culture in general. I love to go to the theater, to the opera, and I also enjoy playing the piano myself. Also being originally from Munich, I love to go to the mountains in nature skiing, in the winter, climbing in the summer. Anything that relates to nature gives me energy.

Why did you make the transition from a prestigious consulting job at Bain to entrepreneurship?

Even during my time at Bain, I knew I wanted to start something on my own. I was also part of the city team in Munich in the Center for Digital Technology and Management, which is a program really designed to prepare you for entrepreneurship. I was very much influenced by this program to start something on my own.

What often holds people back from jumping or just trying out ideas is this level of security that they feel they have in a corporate job, it's all very secure. At some point I thought, Oh, I will regret it in 10 years if I wouldn't have tried it. And this thought was so powerful that I just said, OK, I want to try it and see what happens.

Having gone down the road of building my own business, I can only encourage many more people out there who are reading this to just start something new and see what happens, because the limitations that we set ourselves are often only in our minds. And once we start doing it, a lot of great things will happen.

Finally, also, the pandemic gave me a reason to start my own venture because a lot of things were suddenly in motion. And I thought after two and a half years in consulting, it's a good way to take that leap now. The pandemic was however the final reason to say, OK, let's do it. I chose the sexual wellness market for a start, mostly because during a project work during my studies at CDTM, I got in touch with the sexual wellness market and discovered a lot of potential there. This is why I left Bain and started making OH MY! Fantasy a reality last year — creating and selling date boxes for couples.

How has the Antler journey been so far?

Very intense, but very rewarding at the same time. I really enjoy that you are in such a group of great people from a variety of backgrounds, industries, as well as different age and experience levels. People are coming into the founder cohort with their own ideas but they are also open to exploring new ideas or further developing theirs. I think this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to think really broadly and then start a new chapter.

Right now, I am narrowing down on one idea to really get focused, validate the problem space as well as the potential solutions, build first traction and rock the IC. Right now my co-founder — who brings a strong technical background and deep expertise in building tech products — and I are identifying first customers who are willing to pay for the solution that we want to offer. So this would be the ultimate validation of an idea: showing that there is a demand for it. We are right now going broad on conducting user interviews and running questionnaires that help us refine the idea and develop a compelling USP.

Want to join Annika and other exceptional founders?

Applications for the Antler Berlin cohort starting April, 2022, have just  opened a few weeks ago. Apply here.

So far, founders in this cohort come with 9+ years of professional experience  on average. >50% are repeat founders with very diverse skill sets and  backgrounds from various industries — such as gaming, entertainment,  mEdTech, or FinTech, and have helped build some of the regions' most  successful tech companies — such as GetYourGuide, Zalando,Penta, Asana  Rebel, Tourlane, N26, Rocket Internet, HERE, and many more.

Read more Founder Stories 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.

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