The value of building with a co-founder

Ben Billy, Co-Founder of StoryTiling, shares his experience working with Antler, including networking, finding the right Co-Founder with shared values, and team breakups

nina-leong

Nina Leong

Nina is an Associate in Scouting based in the Melbourne office. She has a passion for data and analytics and uses it to strategically identify the most exceptional founders and onboard them into the Antler program. Prior to Antler, she worked in PwC's Deals Advisory business and lead operations for the expansion of Deliveroo across Australia.

Benjamin Billy, Co-Founder of StoryTiling, shares his experience finding a co-founder, navigating co-founder breakups, and advancing through the Antler pre-launch program. 

Antler portfolio company StoryTiling simplifies video gifting for personal and professional milestones. Since launching, StoryTiling has made strong traction in the b2b space, with over 20 paying and pilot customers, including Google and Robinhood.

Benjamin Billy, Co-Founder of StoryTiling, sat down with Scouting Manager and exited founder Joel Cacciotti in an open conversation about building StoryTiling with his Co-Founder, Aliaa Remtilla.

Pre-program networking

At the beginning of the conversation, Ben speaks about how he utilised his time before the official Antler program started to meet as many of the founders who would be joining him. Taking advantage of the Slack community, Ben met half of the cohort individually before day one of the program to chat through principles and objectives that were important to him.

"The main points that were important to me in building a company was shared values, vision, and the type of company they wanted to build."

That is how Ben first met Ailaa. However, they didn't team up immediately: "At one point, I teamed up with another guy. He had an idea, and we worked on it for a couple of days then we actually realised that the idea was not viable”

After a few more conversations with various Founders, Ben decided Aliaa’s vision for StoryTiling was the finishing touch to his. 

The value of a co-founding team

Since teaming up with Aliaa, Ben spoke about the importance of building with a Co-Founder, especially when life inevitably gets in the way.

“A lot has happened to us personally as well. So we've supported each other through that because there's a potential impact on the company in terms of motivation and time you have available.”

Ben also sheds light on his Co-Founders background and how it complements his. “She's got a very different and complementary background…social science is Aliaa’s background, and tech is more my side of it.”

Navigating a co-founder break up

StoryTiling initially launched with a three-person co-founding team; however, shortly after launch, one of the co-founders could no longer commit to the business.

“Our third co-founder Pete was the tech guy. He left about three months after Antler. So, nearly two years ago now. It was mainly for personal reasons and, at some point, he realised that it was not a good time for him to build a company.”

After being asked how he navigated that, Ben spoke about the role values played initially when the team formed. “It was very amicable, and I think the reason for that is when we first got together, we shared the same values. And so those values were still there when we had to divorce.”

Watch the full AMA covering Ben’s experience finding a co-founder here.

And, if you're an individual looking for a Co-Founder(s) or seeking to build a startup, applications to join Antler Australia are open!

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