Winnie Khoo’s 4 Essentials For Founder Success

After interviewing hundreds of founders and working with dozens of teams to build and grow their startups from scratch, Antler Partner Winnie Khoo shares some insights on her experiences and doles out some advice to aspiring founders.



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.

What are the qualities that make a founder successfully get into the Antler  program and get an investment?

 "First and foremost, they have to be passionate about solving a real problem.  If they're able to get into specifics about their domain expertise, they'll  also have a clear advantage if they build a business in that space. At the  same time, they should be creative, curious, quirky and have a superpower they  can clearly articulate. Too much to ask for? No, I have had the privilege of  working with many such individuals. "

Can you share names of one or two of the most impressive founders who have  worked with? What stood out about them?

"Nikita Okulov & Stephan Brüggemann  of Workclass-  They are super hackish and  creative with growth. They’re data-driven and have the ability to automate,  structure and scale their creative methods - it’s the best combination.  They’re super committed about their business - talk 24/7 about it to everyone  they see.

Jane Peh, Tay Sijun & Naveenath Sreekandan of Pawjourr - They are so  passionate about the business they are in and care deeply about their  customers and the community they are building. Their ability to transform  passion to a commercially profitable business is inspiring."

Fluffy white god is held on table by individual while four others sitting down with laptops look at dog and smile

With the recession and this year being the way it has been, what advice can  you give founders?

 "Focus on building a business that lasts rather than a sexy tech startup. Go  through your P/L with a fine tooth comb and optimise for profitability. Know  what is the worst case scenario for your business and have a “rescue” plan on  standby. Look around the ecosystem and ask yourself how you can contribute in  this difficult time with your resources. Can you create jobs? Can you refer  networks to another founder? If every business consciously thinks this way and  acts on it, recovery will be faster and it will inevitably be beneficial to  your business one way or another."

What kind of companies do you consider investible?

"At our stage, it's really about the founders, business models and products  that can pivot and change all the time to adapt to trends. The macro factors  are important. Is the space big enough? Is the problem they are solving  painful enough? Is the proposed solution different enough from the rest of the  players?"

At Antler, we strive to create a strong community of experts that founders can  rely on for advice and mentoring as they begin to build their startup. If  you're an aspiring founder, apply here to start your entrepreneurial journey  with us.

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.