What Antler looks for in a founder

Joel Cacciotti, Scouting Manager at Antler on why we believe founder DNA is crucial to a startup's success

Nina Leong

Growth Associate, Scouting
June 15, 2023
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At Antler, we believe every great company starts with remarkable people.

Our investment approach levels the playing field for innovative people from all backgrounds and geographies.

We bring them together so they can be surrounded by a dynamic community of thinkers and builders to find a co-founder(s), focus their vision and build an impactful startup at speed.

Over the four years to 2023, Antler Australia has received >5,000 applications and accepted ~500 founders to build with us. From this 106 new startups received investment from Antler.

This sheer volume of applicants, interviewing, the due diligence and investments, means we know what makes a great founders, or what we call 'Founder DNA', which translates to grit, resilience and creative problem solving.

Founder DNA combined with an unfair advantage in your area of expertise gives you the foundations for what we believe to be an exceptional founder who has the potential to build a venture scalable business.

Along with this, we have found that founders generally fit into one of three profiles. Here's what they:


Founders with a strong commercial skill set often are serial entrepreneurs and exited founders such as Lars Oleson, and strong business leaders such as Carl Prins. Commercial founders possess the skills and tenacity to grow and scale a business from 0 to 1.


Leaders with strong technical backgrounds either carry the skills to build products from the ground up such as Buddhika Jayawardhana or have a strong understanding of product strategy and direction such as Ksenia Svechnikova.


The final core skillset Antler looks for are industry leaders and PhD’s wanting to commercialise their research. Skye Theodorou and Joyce Ong are perfect examples of experts wanting to revolutionise their industry. 

If you are an early stage founder or looking to kick start your entrepreneurial journey, we would love to hear from you. Applications to join Antler Australia are open - apply here.

NOW WATCH: What Antler looks for in a founder

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Nina Leong

Growth Associate, Scouting

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.

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