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.

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