The adrenaline of building something new & challenging — Why I joined Antler

A conversation with Gina Xydias Charmanta, MBA, entrepreneur, and former consultant.


Venture Insider

Welcome to Antler, Gina! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

Throughout my life, I've had two driving forces: growth and change. Even in school, I was not the best student, but I was always growing steadily. This passion for growth and change fascinates me and has led me to make the biggest and more impactful decisions. Being top of my class, I received a scholarship for the completion of my master's in finance, before completing an MBA at ESADE Barcelona. Professionally, the industry that I grew in was pharmaceutical distribution & I have always been at the forefront of international biz dev, innovative projects & expansion strategies that helped me shape a well-rounded view of how international business is done and driven.

Why did you choose to leave corporate and start your journey as an  entrepreneur?

Working in corporate was great for a few years and I loved many aspects of it, especially the rush of going after challenging opportunities, markets and projects that required a lot of out-of-the-box thinking, hands-on approach and strategy. However, soon enough, I reached a point where the level of my growth and freedom was not what I wanted it to be. I realised that the adrenaline of building something new and challenging, the freedom to make choices, the flexibility to map out strategies and the excitement to take risks were very important to me. The entrepreneurial spirit runs in my family, and these realisations made me see myself as one.

Why did you decide to join Antler?

After I established that I want to found a business, I went on the lookout for a co-founder. I love working in teams, I believe that two brains are better than just one, I always excelled when teamwork was involved. Very early in the co-founder journey, I realised that it is super difficult to find like-minded people with the same motivation at the right time. Therefore, I started asking more experienced people, successful founders, VCs, and mentors for their experiences and advice. Every single one of them recommended Antler, as the best early-stage VC that helps you find a co-founder and build up your venture. I am super glad I listened to them.

What makes you say that?

All of the positive expectations that I had regarding Antler became true. I love the hands-on approach of the Antler team, directly helping you tackle the problems you identify, rather than focusing just on theory. It feels that the team is with us on the entire journey from 0 to 1. But even more importantly, I really like the cohort of founders. The people are super smart, and even if they come from completely different backgrounds and expertise, I can relate to them quickly, have interesting conversations with them and explore various different areas of opportunity. It has been 4 weeks since the cohort kicked off, but we already have high cohesion and a strong team spirit of being in this together, even if we are working on different problem spaces solving different problems.

What are you currently working on and where do you want to be by the end of the year?

Right now, I am exploring a few ideas in the space of personalised health, pharmacy & wellness. There are a lot of changes happening globally in this area and I feel there is a lot of room for development and improvement in the current landscape in Europe. Of course, having worked in this industry for many years has given me useful insights and a head start on the journey. Yet, at the same time, I still want to keep validating and exploring additional problem spaces with other founders. Until December I really want to be part of a diverse and strong team, have initial validation of our problem and idea, be wired & excited to solve it and rock the investment committee.

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
Introducing Canada's Next Big Thing: A blueprint for future entrepreneurs

Exciting news for entrepreneurs ready to leave their mark: We've launched a pivotal initiative that spotlights the diverse opportunities within Canada's thriving industries.

Our report curates pivotal problem statements from Canada's leading tech visionaries, founders, and VCs, offering aspiring entrepreneurs a pathway to impactful innovation.

Discover 20+ big opportunities pinpointed by top Canadian minds, spread across six fast-growing industries. Each challenge is an invitation to create and innovate—leading the way to the future.

We hope it will serve as a roadmap for aspiring founders ready to build tomorrow's solutions today.

5 min read
Invest in women: fast-track progress

Making progress a certainty—our north star goal at Antler—can’t happen if driven and visionary people aren’t firing at all cylinders with the support they need to tackle the pressing problems of our time. We’re marking International Women’s Day by asking women founders and team members in Antler’s global community why women are essential to progress.

5 min read
How to secure venture capital as an underrepresented founder

There is growing recognition that diverse founders and diverse teams generate more innovative solutions, ultimately building stronger businesses in the long run. Read Antler in the UK portfolio director Sarah Finegan's recent article in Startups Magazine, offering 10 tips on securing venture capital as an underrepresented founder.

5 min read
From day zero to greatness: Magnus Grimeland on the Capital Allocators podcast

How can the world tackle the increasingly complex problems of our time? With a new global infrastructure backing the most driven founders. Listen to Antler founder and CEO Magnus Grimeland discuss this—and why we're building Antler—on the Capital Allocators podcast.

5 min read
Antler expands into Queensland, Australia

Antler is charting a new course for innovation by expanding our presence in Australia. We are launching in Queensland and partnering with the Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC).

Supported by the Queensland Government's Queensland Venture Capital Development Fund (QVCDF), the partnership is poised to transform the state's innovation sector. With a focus on bridging the early-stage funding gap, Antler and QIC are committed to attracting and nurturing the nation's top talent, driving forward Queensland's position on the global innovation stage.

5 min read
Bridging startups and industry leaders to drive purposeful innovation

As Jeff Bezos once said: “What’s dangerous is to not evolve.” While most business leaders understand that stagnation is fatal, for a host of reasons established companies often struggle to innovate—purposefully and powerfully.

Antler’s Business Development and Collaborations Group helps global corporates drive innovation excellence through high value-generating collaborations with Antler’s 1,000+ (and growing) global startup portfolio. In our collaboration with Investa, a leading Australian real estate investment manager and developer, we are connecting them to our global community of founders and the cutting-edge solutions they are building.

Read more about the powerful outcomes that happen when ambitious startups and industry leaders come together.

5 min read
The next wave of innovation: 27 industry trends set to define 2024

What will innovation look like as we move deeper into 2024? What are the biggest industry trends that will define the coming year?

We asked our global network of Antler Operators—founders, sector leaders, CxOs, and VPs from companies including Roblox, Airtable, Shopify, Spotify, Affirm, DoorDash, Uber, Hubspot, and more, who offer 1:1 advice to Antler portfolio companies, giving them extra firepower to help fast-track their growth.

5 min read
Antler leads $5.1M pre-seed funding for 37 startups across Southeast Asia

This marks the highest number of pre-seed deals completed in a single round in the region.