Antler Australia welcomes its ninth cohort

Antler Australia welcomes its ninth cohort of founders - meet the founders it works with and invests in

Adele Moynihan

May 17, 2023
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Antler Australia’s ninth cohort has kicked off with 64 founders running across two locations: Sydney and Melbourne. Those joining this cohort are opting to do so in the face of continued economic headwinds seen through the cost of living increases, stubborn inflation, and tech layoffs. They are doing so as they recognised that economic downturns are often breeding grounds for startups that go on to be household names. Initiating a startup in the face of all odds is a testament to their conviction and a cornerstone of founder DNA.

For this intake, Antler Australia attracted ~800 applications and conducted ~600 interviews to select 64 joining founders - here’s a look at who they are.

A snapshot of the cohort

Founder Profile

  • 51:49 split commercial and technical skill set split
  • 8% are coming to commercialise PhD research in areas such as biomedicine, AI, pathology, electrical engineering, chemical engineering
  • 29% identify as women


  • Bachelors: 53%
  • Masters: 26%
  • Doctorate: 11%


  • 18 nationalities 
  • Australia: 30%
  • UK: 13%
  • India: 9%

Entrepreneurialism and Experience

  • 76% previous founders
  • 15% are an existing team
  • 30% have an MVP
  • Many from corporates, tech scale-ups and banking

What the founders are saying

What the founders have done so far

Week one kicked off last Monday delivering a mix of masterclasses, founder networking opportunities, and launching straight into ideating with the first design sprint.

Antler Australia Partner Cath Rogers


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. This was followed on day two with Antler’s View on Ideas to share our thoughts on where great ideas come from. The session is to support those coming to the program in search of an idea and, for those that have brought a concept, some pillars to start validation from. The content dives into how the best problems to solve are frequent and painful, plus how incoming regulation can serve as a great startup catalyst. On day three, the content shifts to Finance for Startups. This served to educate on the mechanics of the Antler Investment Committee, the Antler Term Sheet, what it means to take on VC equity funding, and capital pathways post-Antler.

Founders participating in our recent masterclasses


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' which is designed to provoke honest introspection on areas such as 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 all to meet in both a professional and more relaxed context.

Founders networking in Melbourne

Design Sprint

Also, we dive straight into ideation and validation with an opening design sprint. In this instance, Antler sets the topic of 'Build a Business With a Billion Touchpoints'. This is designed to move founders away from their own concepts and into lofty idea generation. It promotes founders observing each other’s human skills and working styles over assessing the hard skills that are required to build out any specific ideas that many have joined to validate.

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. 

Founders undertaking design sprints in Sydney

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 August 2023. Apply to join here.

For more information on building with Antler click here.

About the author

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.

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