What makes up a great co-founder team?

We believe that the #1 reason behind successful companies is the setup of the co-founder teams. The right mix of the right people is what transforms a great idea into a great company.




The investor backing the world's most driven founders, from day zero to greatness. Enabling thousands of founders every year to launch and scale companies that move the world forward.

A lot has been written about this. A popular concept introduced by several  notable investors and founders is the efficient founding team consists of  three types of people: a Hipster, a Hacker, and a Hustler ("The 3H"). The  Hipster designs the product or service, the Hacker builds it - and the Hustler  sells it.

The 3H concept is based on the belief that complementary skill sets in the  founding team are critical to effectively build and scale a company. We  believe this is more important in today's world than ever before. Technology  is getting cheaper, customers are increasingly connected and sophisticated,  and globalization means larger addressable markets. Albeit these trends are  great news for founders - it also means that investors expect to see results  sooner. Without in-house capabilities to address the tasks performed by the  3H, teams often end up wasting time or developing a suboptimal product or  service.

We observe the importance of these complementary skill sets in non-startup  team settings as well. Traditional management consultancies (e.g. McKinsey,  BCG, Bain) are increasingly including design and technology expertise in their  core teams that service its clients, to help the client design, build and sell  their products and services. In large companies, cross-functional teams are  also becoming increasingly popular to take advantage of the different  perspectives and backgrounds.

The 3H concept does not mean that you need three people in every co-founding  team. For example, some people can be both great "Hustler" and a  "Hipster", and others can be a fantastic CTO while also have tremendous  sales capabilities. It does, however, provide a framework to stress test  whether these critical skill sets sufficiently covered by the core team.

Why does this matter? We know from research (CBInsights, ArcticStartup &  Co-Founder Magazine) that the wrong founding team is amongst the top reasons  why companies fail. Great talent in itself does not lead to great companies if  the team is not right.

At Antler, we acknowledge the importance of getting exceptional talent into  the right teams, and we spend significant time and resources on getting it  right. If you are an aspiring founder looking to change the world - we want to  help you succeed!

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
Founder Stories
5 min read
Sharon Li & Vanessa Chen: Empowering employees to be their healthiest and most productive selves

“People sometimes think the emotional and professional are conflicting, but what we believe is when people love their organization, the emotional value will actually make them productive. It will make them give their full self to the organization and make the organization grow for the long term.” —Sharon Li, co-founder and CEO of CHOYS

Founder Stories
5 min read
Piet Hein van Dam: The seasoned data entrepreneur aiming to eradicate type 2 diabetes

Our content series "It All Starts with People" delves into the passions, motivations, and vision of the exceptional founders we have the privilege of partnering with around the world. Bringing a clarity of vision to our latest spotlight is Piet Hein van Dam, co-founder of Clear, the award-winning digital self-help tool for diabetes patients.

5 min read
Unpacking the $80+ billion ONDC opportunity: India’s next startup catalyst

India's approach to unbundle payments made the world look up and take notice. Now it's time to disrupt commerce with the Open Network for Digital Commerce or ONDC. In our latest Theory of Next deep dive we mapped, researched, and reached out to every network participant live on ONDC right now.

And we're excited to share with you a comprehensive what could be India's next unicorn catalyst with inputs from Vibhor Jain (COO of ONDC), Sujith Nair (Founding member of Beckn Protocol), and founders building on ONDC!

Co-authored by Nitin Sharma (Partner, Antler) and Gokul Kumaravelu.

5 min read
Five steps investors can take to support more diverse founders

Despite growing calls to create a more inclusive venture capital ecosystem and remove the barriers to entrepreneurship, only a fraction of funding is raised by founders from underrepresented communities.

The first step towards change is quantifying the challenge. While in-depth research has been conducted about women founders and founders from ethnic minority backgrounds, data has never existed about tech founders from the LGBTQ+ community—until now.

5 min read
A record year for Europe's leading day zero investor

A look back at 2022, a record year for the leading day zero investor in Europe—showcasing investment activity and key predictions for the early-stage tech ecosystem in 2023.

Founder Stories
5 min read
Antler and Microsoft for Startups partner to back women founders

Antler is proud to join forces with Microsoft for Startups to support rising entrepreneurs—starting with 23 non-dilutive grants to women founders in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and North America—and reduce the barriers to startup success. Meet some of these founders.

Founder Stories
5 min read
Tanika McLeod: The educator empowering the next generation with an on-demand social learning platform

Our content series—"It All Starts with People"—delves into the passions, motivations, and vision of the exceptional founders we have the privilege of partnering with around the world. In our latest spotlight, we spoke with Tanika McLeod, one of the three co-founders behind MinuteSkill, a Toronto-based social micro-learning platform that uses bite-sized content and knowledge-sharing communities to empower the next generation.

5 min read
Venture capital as an engine of positive transformation

Antler's second annual ESG and Impact Report shares learnings on how VCs can focus on creating sustainable value from the outset, and celebrates our portfolio companies' work in this space.