Learn more about the Executive Cohort

Our program has seven main stages.

General FAQs
  • Who can join the Antler Executive Cohort?

    Individuals who want to start their own VC-backed company but are reluctant to quit their full-time job before putting the basics in place such a team, business idea and product, should consider joining the Executive Cohort.

  • What type of founders are we looking for?

    We are looking for individuals who want to have a real impact, have a track record of success in business or technology, and the persistence to continue when others quit. You have the drive to build high-growth and ground-breaking startups and are passionate about leveraging high-tech engineering and scientific research to create value.

  • What do you look for in founders?

    We look for:

    Inner drive

    You're a self-starter and can motivate yourself and others to join your mission. You set high goals and have proven to achieve them.

    Spike

    That strong attribute which enables your skills and experiences to stand out from the crowd. You have deep knowledge in an area where you can form a foundation of your company's competitive advantage.

    Grit

    Your source of energy never runs low. You always find a window when the door closes. You have the willingness and ability to keep going when you're faced with obstacles.

  • What is the difference between a full-time founder and a part-time founder in Phase 1?

    Two main differences:

    a) Time commitment:

    Founders who have quit their jobs and are able to commit 100% of their time from the start of the cohort should join as full-time founders. Founders who have not quit their jobs or are still serving their notice periods and cannot commit 100% of their time from day one of the cohort should join as part-time founders; and

    b) Economics:

    Full-time founders, who are in Singapore, receive a grant of SGD $4,000 paid in two monthly installments during the first phase of the program. Startups, that are formed in our full-time program and are successful in securing the investment from Antler will need to pay a US$40,000 service fee (out of the US$100,000 investment), hence net funding available to them is USD 60,000.

    Part-time founders pay a commitment fee of SG$ 2,500 to join the cohort. This fee is returned to the founders only if and once they receive Antler’s investment at the end of Phase 1 and have quit their jobs to commit 100% of their time to their startup. Startups, that are formed in our full-time program and are successful in securing the investment from Antler will need to pay a US$30,000 service fee (out of the US$100,000 investment), hence net funding available to them is USD 70,000.

  • Do I have to pay to join the Executive Cohort?

    Founders who have not quit their jobs or are still serving their notice periods and cannot commit 100% of their time from day one of the cohort, will pay a commitment fee of S$2,500 to secure a place in the cohort. This fee is returned to the founders only if and once they receive Antler’s investment at the end of Phase 1 and have quit their jobs to commit 100% of their time to their startup.

    Startups who are successful in securing the investment from Antler will need to pay a US$30,000 service fee (out of the US$100,000 investment).

  • How much time do I need to make available for Executive Cohort?

    You will be expected to take 7 working days off during the first two weeks of the cohort as we require full-time attendance from everyone to cover intensive sessions.

    For the next two months, you are expected to spend up to 50 percent of your time focusing on finding your co-founder and identifying and validating your business idea. 

    Post the midway review, as you prepare to pitch to Antler, you are expected to spend at least 75 percent of your time and take your remaining annual leaves to focus on validation.

    Once Antler decides to invest in you, you must quit your job to spend 100 percent of your time building and scaling your business.

  • Do I have to quit my job?

    Yes, you must quit your job to receive Antler's investment in your start-up's corporate bank account.

    No investment will be wired into your corporate bank account until you incorporate a company, sign an employment contract with your new startup and become a full-time entrepreneur. Also, note that teams who have yet to go full-time, that is they are still serving their notice period, should expect to continue to spend at least 50 percent of their time working on their business. 

  • When do I have to quit my job?

    In the case you are successful in Antler’s midway review session (1.5 - 2 months after the program start), you shall quit your full-time job in order to continue receiving Antler coaching support and be able to present at the investment committee 1-1.5 months later.

  • What type of support can I expect from Antler?

    Throughout your entrepreneurial journey with Antler, we will provide you with support to build and grow your start-up.

    Subject to your progress, our dedicated coaches and advisors will support you weekly to validate your business idea and technology. We will facilitate brainstorming workshops and boot camps to help you identify the right co-founder and business idea, build a basic prototype and validate with potential customers. We also host training and speaker sessions with experienced investors and entrepreneurs to further support you in your journey.

    After successfully securing Antler's investment, you continue building your business. We actively connect you with other angel investors and VCs to help you raise your seed round (typically an investment of $1-2 million). Our dedicated coaches and advisors continue to advise you on developing customers, refining your product, and developing your business case and strategy.

    Towards the end of the cohort, we invite you to our Demo Day where you get the chance to pitch in front of hundreds of professional investors. We also do our best to introduce you to our investor's network (Antler has extensive networks in Asia and globally), and to open doors to advisors and customers e.g. corporates. Our dedicated coaches and advisors are still available to support you as you continue scaling your business.

  • How are the sessions for Executive Cohort conducted?

    We have carefully curated the cohort with a mix of offline and online sessions. Sessions that require a gathering of larger groups will be held via online platforms. Sessions that require a gathering of smaller groups, such as bootcamps and coaching sessions, will take place offline, subject to prevailing Gov’t guidelines.

  • Will I have office space available to work from?

    Antler’s office space (Prinsep Str.) may be used for onsite sessions and meetings during Friday afternoons, weekday evenings and weekends.

  • Do I need an idea to join the Executive Cohort?

    No, you do not need an idea to join the cohort. During Phase I, you will work towards developing ideas and connecting with the right co-founders. Having said that, it is always beneficial that you join the cohort with some idea of which sector you ’d like to build a company in, and/or have a few problem statements in mind.

  • What if I need more time to validate my idea?

    In case your team needs more time to validate the idea, you may apply for an extension which may be approved on a case-to-case basis.

  • When will Antler invest in my startup?

    Antler invests in a startup after it is successful through the Antler investment committee. You pitch to us typically within 3.5 months after the cohort starts. However, if your team needs more time to validate the idea, then you may apply for an extension, which may be approved on a case-to-case basis.

  • What are the investment criteria?

    We look at both the team and the business model. On the team front, we invest in strong founders with complementary skill sets, a good team-market fit, and the ability to execute fast. On the business model, we are looking for companies solving real problems in large and growing markets. We are also looking for a great product with defensible IP, a superior go-to-market strategy, and a clear customer validation. We evaluate the team’s momentum and speed of execution during the program to make our investment decisions. We also look for external validation in terms of sign-ups, interested customers, LOIs, and others.

  • Can I negotiate the equity during Phase I?

    No, when you decide to join Antler, you also agree to our investment terms. We have the same terms for all companies.

  • Which industry or sector does Antler focus on?

    We are vertical agnostic and look to invest in fast-growing companies with a strong regional or global potential. We welcome a wide range of companies across industries. Most companies have a tech component - e.g. utilizing machine learning, blockchain or IoT technology - in industries such as healthcare, fintech, property tech and more.

  • Do I need a team to join the cohort?

    No, you don't need a team to join the cohort. The cohort is designed for both solo founders and for pre-formed teams.