Connecting podcasters and brands—Zane Hengsperger | Founder Files E2

Have you ever wondered what is it like to be a tech startup founder and bring an idea to life?

Founder Files is a series of conversations with founders in the earliest days of their entrepreneurial journey hosted by Antler Canada. Guests are founders of our portfolio companies and founders in residence, currently building the next big ventures. Learn about their experiences of finding a co-founder, idea validation and product-market fit.

In this episode of Antler Canada's Founder Files, Elif Hiz interviews Zane Hengsperger, the youngest founder in residence in our third residency. Zane is currently working with 2 other founders from the cohort and building Blymp, a platform that will empower podcasters to secure relevant brand partnerships. In this article, we’ll dive into Zane’s experience at Antler so far and his learnings from the first 6 weeks of the program.


Antler Canada

Toronto is Antler’s Canada’s first location. Since launching in 2022, Antler Canada has supported over 100 founders who are creating the next generation of startups.

Finding the Idea for Blymp

The idea for Blymp came from Zane's job at a series B company in NYC after he graduated college. His manager wanted to fly a blimp with their logo over a trade show in Vegas, and that got Zane thinking about the challenges of advertising. He realized that small businesses and regular people had a hard time getting their ads seen, compared to big companies with lots of money. So he came up with the idea to make a website where anyone could find different types of ad spaces for their marketing needs.

Solving a Problem for Creators and Podcasters

Digging further into the ad tech space, Zane recognized the difficulty that many podcasters and creators face when communicating the value of their work to brands. Insert Blymp. A platform where creators can communicate their offerings to brands easily, and brands can identify which shows they want to place advertisements in. Blymp aims to streamline the process of getting brand deals, sponsorships, or ads for creators and podcasters. The team is currently focused on talking to podcasters and creators to learn about their problems and how they can solve them with their solutions.

Finding the Right Co-founders at Antler

“I took a lot of time. I think I was a little slower than some of the other founders in residences at Antler Canada. Primarily because I came in with this idea and wanted to make sure that there was a strong fit with some of the other co-founders I was gonna bring onto my team.”

Zane teamed up with Dan Guberman and Alex Gordiienko in week 5 and the team has now moved past pre-investment committee milestone of the program, which takes place on week 7. Building continues. 

“Antler Canada was awesome and bringing in a really talented room. I had a lot of opportunities to meet many people and see who would be a good fit for this problem, for the solution and this customer outreach stage that we're at. I met some really incredible people and decided to team up with two guys who were super experienced at where I lacked.”

In conclusion, Zane's journey as a startup founder is an inspiration to many entrepreneurs. He came up with a unique idea for a startup and found the right co-founders at Antler to turn his idea into a reality. Blymp Full has the potential to revolutionize the way creators and podcasters communicate their value to brands, and we can't wait to see where Zane's journey takes him next.

Validating the Idea for Blymp

From attending a podcasting event to talking with tens of podcasters, the team’s top priority is making sure they are onto solving a meaningful problem. 

“I think we're optimizing for learning. We're definitely getting some signups or people who are interested, but I think we're trying to stay away from the idea of it, but more focused on the problem for the time being.”

Meeting VCs and Other Mentors Through Antler

Coming into Antler, Zane was committed to making the most of this experience, learning as much as he could and meeting cool people. From meeting exceptional founders to meeting his now business advisor and VCs, Zane’s expectations were exceeded. 

“I'd recommend this program to almost anyone who's working on an early-stage idea.”

What’s Next for Blymp?

Zane continues to validate and build Blymp with his team and is preparing to present to the Investment Committee at Week 10. If you or anyone you know is in the intersection of podcasting and advertising, sign up to Blymp to get notified when they have a beta. 

You can watch the full interview on YouTube.

Blymp is empowering podcasters to secure relevant brand partnerships.

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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