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.




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.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get the latest news and views from Antler’s global community

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Must-read articles from Antler

Browse our collection of founder stories, industry insights and latest startup successes from Antler Australia

See articles
5 min read
The 2022 Benelux Unicorn Founder Roadmap: How to build unicorns in Benelux

As everyone anticipates the next wave of ultra-successful companies in Benelux, what does it take to get there? What do the successful founders of Benelux unicorns look like? This report is an in-depth look at the Benelux startup ecosystem and its brightest stars. And above all, it is for anyone who is helping build the next 50 unicorns in Benelux.

5 min read
The Angle: Why the long-term view is the hard but right one

The Angle is a new content series from Antler, featuring perspectives from our team members on the biggest events and trends impacting founders and early-stage investors today. Every article is that person's unique angle on a hot topic—what they see from their vantage point in one of our 25 offices around the globe—not Antler's stance. In our first edition, Jeff Becker draws lessons from the demise of FTX and turbulent tech moments in recent years. This article first appeared in Jeff's Monday Morning Meeting on Substack.

Founder Stories
5 min read
Jamie Bubb: The tech marketing venture developer connecting brands and content creators

Our new content series—"It All Starts with People"—delves into the passions, motivations, and vision of the exceptional founders we have the privilege of partnering wtih around the world. In our second spotlight, we sat down with Jamie Bubb, co-founder of Twirl, a remote content studio powered by top-quality creators that helps brands scale their content engines rapidly and cost-effectively.

5 min read
Venture investing in the downturn

We are living two simultaneous realities: the uncertainty of the current downturn and the unstoppable wave of innovation disrupting every industry. Against this backdrop, Antler's Kevin Brennan shares perspectives on assessing your position in venture capital for the rest of 2022 and into 2023. Might 2023 be the best vintage for the coming decade?

Founder Stories
5 min read
Emilia Theye: The psychologist using AI to democratize access to mental health solutions

Antler was founded on the belief that people innovating is the key to building a better future. To honor them, we are launching a new content series—”It All Starts with People”—spotlighting the exceptional founders we have the privilege of partnering with around the world. Each story is a window into their passions, motivations, and vision—the reasons they are building and the positive dent they are aiming to make on the world.

In our first spotlight, we sat down with Emilia Theye, the co-founder of clare&me—a mental health app that uses language-based AI to develop an innovative approach to virtual self-help.

5 min read
Backing founders from day zero to greatness

Today we are sharing our new brand that reflects that commitment and the reason Antler exists: to stand behind our founders from day zero and to keep backing them on their paths to greatness.

Founder Stories
5 min read
Seven ways founders can prioritize mental well-being as they build

Founders are the life force of the startup ecosystem. They give their all, betting on their seemingly “crazy” convictions and executing on abstract ideas that can potentially make our lives and work easier, faster, healthier, and better optimized.

But sometimes they do this to the detriment of their health. Being a founder means being beholden to customers, employees, and investors while balancing personal life. Often founders trade their stable, well-paying jobs to prioritize the restless inquisitivity of their mind. In the quest to answer the question “what if?”, they sometimes sacrifice their mental and physical health, only realizing the effects on their state of mind once they have impacted their ability to function as a leader. We have also seen how the mental pressure on founders can cause distress to those who depend on them for their livelihood and direction.

5 min read
A fresh take on early-stage VC: Harvard Business School publishes a case study on Antler

Harvard Business School (HBS) recently published a case study about Antler’s fresh approach to early-stage venture capital. Antler Co-Founder Fridtjof Berge shares thoughts on how the case sparks discussion about the best ways to identify and support great people anywhere on earth.