Why now is the best time in history to build a business

Startups and founders around the world have been building against a rocky backdrop in recent years. After the shock of the COVID pandemic, uncertainty and angst have persisted about inflation, interest rates, market declines, bank failures, and the looming threat of recession.

Despite this, entrepreneurship and innovation are accelerating around the globe. Why is this happening? Why is now the best time in history to build a business?



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.

At Antler, we are focused on the tremendous opportunities available to founders in the current environment. Here are three of the biggest reasons we believe now is an ideal time to build a company:

Accessible and affordable technology

The cost and barriers to launching a business have declined dramatically as technologies reach vast global audiences faster than ever, making the world and our communities borderless. Never before have the tools available to support aspiring entrepreneurs been more accessible, affordable, and powerful. Turbo-charged by the cloud, distribution channels, and cost-saving AI, founders can now build a business and reach vast audiences from anywhere in the world with minimal upfront investment.  

The technology adoption S-curve is becoming almost vertical. While airplanes took 68 years and the television took 22 years to reach 50 million users, Twitter took two years and Pokémon Go did it in just 19 days. 

The quest for purpose, fulfillment, and impact

More people than ever before are determined to leave the formal economy to build high-growth technology companies. There are a number of powerful forces fueling this entrepreneurship megatrend.

Millennials and Gen Zers are increasingly seeking purpose, fulfillment, and impact in their work and lives. Becoming a founder offers the ownership, control, and positive influence many people are seeking, especially as traditional career safety nets become increasingly unreliable. While the cost and barriers to launching a business have declined dramatically, so has the opportunity cost of taking the leap to build a business. The pandemic prompted a growth in entrepreneurship in markets including the US, France, Japan, and the UK, and widespread tech layoffs since then have compounded this growth. 

Meanwhile, as the problems the world faces grow more complex by the day and trust in traditional institutions as problem-solvers declines, entrepreneurship offers ambitious people the chance to have concrete and lasting impact. By tackling a meaningful issue, you have the opportunity to improve the quality of life for people around the world. This is a major motivation for many of the founders we work with in our residencies and ultimately invest in—in fact, approaching half (41%) of our global portfolio are impact companies.

Unprecedented access to capital and global markets

It has never been easier to access capital and global markets as a founder. Antler is an example of this—we remove the barriers to entry so anyone with enough determination and grit can build a great business. We have consciously spread our roots around the world to help make investment (and entrepreneurship) accessible to all. Since launching in 2018, we have expanded to 27 cities in six continents, spanning both developing and developed countries. Over that time, we’ve helped create and invested in over 1,000 portfolio companies with our funded founders representing nearly 100 nationalities.

Despite an overall challenging fundraising landscape and investors markedly pulling back from late-stage VC in 2023, February 2024 insights from Carta on distribution of investor interest show capital is still flowing to the earliest-stage startups. Fundraising for pre-seed companies—companies raising <$1 million on a SAFE or a convertible note—is more than 50% higher than in 2021. Venture firms have record dry powder to put to work and are still seeking high-quality companies to back.

With the majority of traditional legacy industries not yet deeply transformed by technology, vast opportunities await those who are ready to build a great company solving one of the big issues of our time. 

Are you ready to move the world forward?

The most driven founders are joining Antler—the world's day zero investor—to solve important problems. Apply to one of our residencies in 27 cities around the world.

Read Antler founder and CEO Magnus Grimeland's thoughts in Forbes on why now is the ideal time to build a world-changing startup.

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