Antler welcomes it's tenth cohort in Australia

Meet the 75 founders kicking off Antler's tenth cohort in Australia

adele-moynihan

Adele Moynihan

Adele is responsible for leading Scouting and Angel fundraising. Scouting is a pivotal function for Antler to secure exceptional founders to build businesses with the Fund. Turning to fundraising, Antler holds a powerful angel community that deploys post Antler's initial investment. Prior to Antler, she was an early hire of now unicorn SafetyCulture and with corporate VC the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Digital Ventures.

Adele is responsible for leading Scouting and Angel fundraising at Antler Australia.

Antler's tenth cohort in Australia has kicked off with 75 founders running across two locations: Sydney and Melbourne. The program has seen a 15% increase in founder numbers from the last intake.

 

Sydney founders

These founders are choosing to initiate their startup journeys in a prolonged period of rising interest rates and slower capital markets. But, they do so undeterred and on the shoulders of Antler, a VC firm that has notched up some big wins in 2023, including the close of a$425m global vehicle raised to double down on the fund’s high potential startups across all its geographies.

For this intake, Antler Australia attracted ~830 applications - an increase from 780 for the previous - and conducted >700 interviews to select this cohort of experienced and budding entrepreneurs. As always, it contains a plethora of experience and skills, including those who have successfully pitched on Shark Tank, founded and scaled companies to $70m ARR, Bio-Medic PhDs, and individuals possessing the latest AI mastery know-how.

A snapshot of the cohort

Entrepreneurialism and experience

  • 20% have raised funds before
  • Average 5 years of experience in startups
  • Average 11 years of overall professional experience
  • 57:43 commercial to technical skillset split

Background and education

  • 30 nationalities represented
  • 33% hold a Masters and 11% a Doctorate
  • 21% women

What the founders are saying

What the founders have done so far

Week one kicked off on Monday 14 with a mix of masterclasses, founder networking opportunities, and launching straight into ideating with three design sprints.

Masterclasses

The Masterclasses opened with an Introduction to Antler to position the scope of the opportunity presented by building with the only truly global VC operating from here in Australia and Antler’s View on Ideas to share insights on where great ideas come from.   

Antler Associate Partner, Adele Moynihan

A unique aspect of Antler’s founder proposition is that you do not need to join with a formed idea so this session is invaluable for those seeking inspiration and usually receives the highest NPS of all Masterclasses.

It lays the foundations of where ideas can form, a framework to test if they are VC backable, and steps to validation.

Then a session on Why Antler Invests in Great Co-founding Teams which covers the investor’s view and data to support that teams outperform solo founders and tips on how to find your co-founder in an Antler cohort. 

And the final masterclass of week one, How Antler Makes Investment Decisions, which covers what to expect in an Antler Investment Committee and the must haves in a pitch.

 

Networking

Not all, but most individuals come to Antler in search of a co-founder, so networking is also a key component of the first week. This is facilitated via a couple of tools, including Fingerprint4Success, the world’s largest data set on founder motivators, and 'The 50 Questions', designed to provoke honest introspection on areas like values and purpose. The purpose of this exercise is to generate a deep conversation that will bring personal circumstances and beliefs to the surface to mitigate against founder break-ups 6 -18 months down the track. Also, the week is populated with a mix of virtual and in-person speed networking sessions, plus lunches and social drinks to enable everyone to meet in both a professional and more relaxed context.

Founders networking in Melbourne


Design Sprints

In previous Antler cohorts, founders have undertaken one design sprint in week one, whereas for this cohort they have completed three.

This move throws founders straight into the thick of testing ideas and working styles. Founders split into groups of ~six and self-initiated problem statements. They then had 24 hours to validate the problem and proposed solutions alongside drawing out a product and GTM, which the team then wholly presented to the cohort.

Founders Pitching

What lies ahead?

Over the coming six weeks, these individuals will form teams or add team members to existing ones, consume further masterclasses on GTM, product market fit, and raising from VCs, and validate ideas. This all happens in preparation for teams to pitch to our Investment Committee to secure the Antler funding.

Stay tuned for their progress. 

If you would like to build a business with Antler, the world’s day zero investor, the next cohort kicks off in January 2024. Apply to join here.

For more information on building with Antler click here.

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