We help founders build great companies

Antler founders are turning their visions into reality—tackling pressing problems, creating jobs, and unlocking their personal potential. As the world’s issues become more complex, founders are more needed than ever to solve them. What are you waiting for?

Antler in Canada works with solo founders who are looking to find potential co-founders as well as preformed teams that are already in operation.

Who should apply to the Antler Residency?

We're looking for founders who want to change the world and possess a fierce ambition and an intense bias towards perseverance and execution. We admit individual founders, people looking for co-founders, and pre-existing teams, but we are entirely focused on the 0 to 1, the earliest stages of team and business building. You can come to us with just an idea - if you're truly ready to sprint forward and build, we'll work with you from day zero. You will have an immediate community of 50-70 founders in your Residency, working side by side with you at the Antler in Toronto.

Individuals

Looking for a co-founder?

Ambitious founders can join Antler before the inception of their company to find a co-founder(s) and receive their first cheque (CAD150k for 10%). We support these founders through team formation, idea validation, dedicated expert coaching, access to the world’s largest-growing community of like-minded entrepreneurs, and a clear pathway to capital.

This residency extends over 10 weeks and is in person in Toronto. Want to learn more about it? Join us for one of our Inside Antler sessions by signing up today.

Teams

Already have the dream team?

Early-stage startups with a complete founding team (2 or more co-founders) can apply to Antler's 6-week accelerated program and potentially secure pre-seed funding (CAD150k for 10%). These include complete teams who are at the stage of validating their idea, building out the early product, or having gained initial traction. We provide dedicated expert coaching, industry connections and a strong global network of VCs and angels.

This is a hybrid program that extends over 6 weeks.

What to expect once you join Antler in Canada

Join the Antler Residency to find your co-founder, validate your ideas, and launch your business as a solo founder or preformed team to grow faster with customized coaching support.

To find out more about how Antler in Canada can support you and your startup, sign up for and attend one of our weekly Inside Antler sessions.

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Formation and Validation

We start with venture development and testing your startup hypotheses. You will be surrounded with everything you need to build at lightning speed: a community of diverse founders so that you can find the right co-founder, coaching from our team of proven founders and advisors, and perks from partners and a global network. All founders will receive a grant of CAD3,000 gross, paid in two installments.

Build and pitch your company

Start talking to customers, develop your MVP, refine your business model, and develop your go-to-market strategy. You will get the opportunity to pitch your startup to Antler’s Investment Committee. If successful, Antler will invest CAD150,000 for a 10% equity stake.

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Scaling and fundraising

You will join the Antler portfolio in Toronto and receive continued support and access to a global capital pathway.

Our founders are diverse and exceptional

Antler is one of the most active investors in Canada—and around the world—backing game-changing companies. Here are some of the teams we've backed.

Application process

We are currently recruiting for our fifth cohort which will start in March 2024. Our scouting team will begin reviewing applications in November. The average response time is two weeks. We also run 6-week programs on an ongoing basis, for established teams that are ready to shape and scale their startup and take the market by storm.

Application

Once you submit your application, our scouting team will review it. Candidates who meet our criteria will move forward in our process.

1st-round interview

Your first interview will be with a member of our scouting team. We will get to know you, get a better understanding of your background, and figure out if our Residency would be an ideal fit for you, together.

2nd-round interview

Your second interview will be with an Antler partner to further evaluate your entrepreneurial aspirations and share more about our Residency.

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Application process

We are currently recruiting for our fifth cohort which will start in March 2024. Our scouting team will begin reviewing applications in November. The average response time is two weeks. We also run 6-week programs on an ongoing basis, for established teams that are ready to shape and scale their startup and take the market by storm.

Application

Once you submit your application, our scouting team will review it. Candidates who meet our criteria will move forward in our process.

1st-round interview

Your first interview will be with a member of our scouting team. We will get to know you, get a better understanding of your background, and figure out if our Residency would be an ideal fit for you, together.

2nd-round interview

Your second interview will be with an Antler partner to further evaluate your entrepreneurial aspirations and share more about our Residency.

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Want to find out more?

Stay up-to-date with Antler's upcoming cohorts, latest events, and information. Sign up for one of our Inside Antler Weekly sessions, where we answer all your questions.

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Application process

We are currently recruiting for our fifth cohort which will start in March 2024. Our scouting team will begin reviewing applications in November. The average response time is two weeks. We also run 6-week programs on an ongoing basis, for established teams that are ready to shape and scale their startup and take the market by storm.

Application

Once you submit your application, our scouting team will review it. Candidates who meet our criteria will move forward in our process.

1st-round interview

Your first interview will be with a member of our scouting team. We will get to know you, get a better understanding of your background, and figure out if our Residency would be an ideal fit for you, together.

2nd-round interview

Your second interview will be with an Antler partner to further evaluate your entrepreneurial aspirations and share more about our Residency.

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Founder testimonials

Don't just take it from us. Hear from phenomenal people who joined Antler in Canada to launch their company.

Tanika McLeod

MinuteSkill

Antler has played such a huge role in our growth. The team at Antler Canada believed in us at a time when all we had was the vision. They treated us like people first - that’s why we joined. They believed in our ability to figure things out as we go. They helped to give us the confidence to continue on our journey despite the barriers certainly we’d encounter. THAT’S what early-stage investment should look like. And that’s why Antler is among the best early-stage accelerators & VC funds in the world.

Pooya Mamaghani

Genuine Taste

When you think about Antler, you should think of more than a fund to start your business or a three months accelerator program. Antler is an affiliation that translates to professional, continuous, and dedicated support, mentorship, and connection to a global network of world-class entrepreneurs for the lifespan of your company.

Entrepass Partner

Our team

Naman Budhdeo
Partner

Naman has founded and exited 3 travel technology businesses. He has built original small teams from inception and growing them to over 700 people. His companies were able to grow with great people building great products using technology. Developing people, products and technology to rapidly scale business and leading to successful financial exits for investors are the skills and experience Naman brings to Antler Canada.

Bernie Li
Partner

Bernie combines his experience as a founder and investor to support entrepreneurs. He co-founded a technology based startup in the solar sector that grew from its homebase in Toronto, to over two hundred employees with an additional office in San Francisco, serving customers across the USA and Ontario. That company was VC backed and had a successful exit to a NYSE-listed acquirer. His experience as an investor includes working with premier VC funds, in addition to angel investing. Helping entrepreneurs think about value creation and building relationships with the capital markets are ways that Bernie enjoys working with founders.

Amy Zaghloul
Director (Canada)

Amy combines her global experience in Investor Relations and M&A to support fundraising for Funds and early-stage companies. Most recently, she led Investor Relations efforts at a Venture Fund focusing on the capital raising process for the Fund as well as providing strategic advisory to portfolio companies on growth initiatives. Previously, she spent several years in Investment Banking in New York focusing on M&A and capital raising projects in Healthcare and Technology. Amy enjoys building relationships and attracting strategic investors to help exceptional entrepreneurs build impactful businesses. She is an advisor to a mental healthcare start-up and sits on the board of the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association.

Yohann John
Director, Venture Scouting

Yohann leads Venture Scouting and Deal flow at Antler Canada. His entire career has been focused on growing early-stage Tech start-ups. In the past Yohann has worked for two of India's most successful unicorns - Zomato and Paytm, where he led their Strategic Growth Expansion. Yohann is also the co-founder of two Non-For Profit organizations that work towards the socio-economic enhancement of underprivileged families residing in the rural slums of India.

Shambhavi Mishra
Director of Portfolio

Shambhavi has led several cross-border venture investments in the early/growth stages for a leading Corporate VC/Family office. She has executed high-value venture capital investments and exits globally across Consumer Tech, Education, Gaming and Enterprise SaaS across US, Canada, EU and SE Asia. She brings a hands-on operator mindset for portfolio growth, a strong network of global VCs, accelerators, and institutions, and has helped numerous companies with strategy and GTM to expand into global markets.  

Her previous work experience includes management consulting at McKinsey and IBM. She has led several international consulting engagements for Fortune 500 companies toward global expansion and scaling.

She is passionate about gender inclusion, DEI in entrepreneurship and actively supports women, non-binary and underrepresented founders.

Alex Wright
Director of Finance

Alex is a relationship-driven finance professional with expertise in financial controls and project management. He is a Chartered Accountant trained through Ernst & Young as an Assurance Manager where he oversaw multinational public company audits. Recently, he gained senior leadership experience at a not-for-profit focused on founder education. Alex’s passion for entrepreneurship began at Queen’s University where he was an Ambassador for the Centre for Social Impact - a student group dedicated to social innovation and entrepreneurship.

Daphne McLarty
Program Manager

Daphne is a former strategic startup operator and Techstars consultant. Former Deals & Consulting Manager at PwC. She is also a certified yoga instructor.

Hersh Gandhi
Investment Associate

Hersh is an Associate at Antler Canada. He assisted an early-stage, venture-backed, future-of-work startup in building out its growth and partnerships strategy. As a former Chief of Staff, Hersh built a strong track record of enabling high-calibre elected officials through the early stages of their civic leadership journeys. Hersh studied Systems Design Engineering at Western University and Management at the Ivey Business School.

Klára Vítková
Investment Team

In addition to her bachelor's degree from King’s College London, Klára has pursued her master's degree at WHU in Germany and the University of Toronto in Canada. During her studies, she gained experience in PE from King’s Investment Fund, the only student-led investment fund with real investments. Apart from that she is a skilled journalist with a focus on stock markets, VC, and startups. Klára is also a member of the board at Family Business Network where she supports more than 6,400 young business family members from 65 countries from around the world.

Antler in Canada

Toronto is Antler’s first location in Canada. Since launching in 2022, our team in Canada has supported over 100 founders who are creating the next generation of startups.

Jasmeen Raghubans
Visiting Analyst

Jasmeen is a Visiting Analyst at Antler who supports deal sourcing, due diligence, and other aspects of Antler to accelerate the growth of founders. Jasmeen enjoys creating new relationships and diving into the analytical aspect of venture capital. Jasmeen brings experience from IBM, Creative Destruction Lab, Front Row Ventures, and Framework Venture Partners. With experience from pre-seed to Series B, she hopes to help founders with investor connections, business growth, and gain valuable experiences at Antler.

Almas Junussov
Visiting Associate

Almas is a Visiting Associate at Antler who leverages his experience in strategy consulting and entrepreneurship to support founders at all stages. Almas co-founded a FinTech startup and, as a CEO, led it to become a prominent payment processing services provider. As a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company, Almas has led multiple strategy and transformation engagements in banking, telecom, mining, and the public sector for clients across the globe.

Yohann John
Director, Venture Scouting

Yohann leads Venture Scouting and Deal flow at Antler Canada. His entire career has been focused on growing early-stage Tech start-ups. In the past Yohann has worked for two of India's most successful unicorns - Zomato and Paytm, where he led their Strategic Growth Expansion. Yohann is also the co-founder of two Non-For Profit organizations that work towards the socio-economic enhancement of underprivileged families residing in the rural slums of India.

Shray Mehra
Director of Growth & Portfolio

Shray is the Director of Growth & Portfolio at Antler Canada. His entire career has been focused on being an entrepreneur or developing startup ecosystems.Most recently, he was the Managing Director at a leading global deep tech startup program, where he coached and advised hundreds of early-stage founders on product-market fit, go-to-market strategies, fundraising, and more. His primary technology focus areas included AI, Spacetech, Quantum Computing, and Blockchain. Earlier in his career, he founded and scaled a successful SME in the retail sector.Born and raised in India, he has completed all three levels of the CFA examinations and holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

Naman Budhdeo
Partner

Naman has founded and exited 3 travel technology businesses. He has built original small teams from inception and growing them to over 700 people. His companies were able to grow with great people building great products using technology. Developing people, products and technology to rapidly scale business and leading to successful financial exits for investors are the skills and experience Naman brings to Antler Canada.

Derrick Raphael
Director

Derrick is a relationship builder and consistent advocate for startup founders. He has spent several years engaging and supporting the growing Canadian early stage tech ecosystem as an advisor and mentor. Most recently he served as a Managing Director at a venture accelerator based in the United States which supported Black led startups. Since 2019 Derrick has led a social enterprise, ICON Talent Partners, which enables high performing Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) to enter competitive sectors of the Canadian ecosystem such as venture capital, private equity and tech startups and sees his current role as an opportunity to amplify those efforts.

Bernie Li
Partner

Bernie combines his experience as a founder and investor to support entrepreneurs. He co-founded a technology based startup in the solar sector that grew from its homebase in Toronto, to over two hundred employees with an additional office in San Francisco, serving customers across the USA and Ontario. That company was VC backed and had a successful exit to a NYSE-listed acquirer. His experience as an investor includes working with premier VC funds, in addition to angel investing. Helping entrepreneurs think about value creation and building relationships with the capital markets are ways that Bernie enjoys working with founders.

Amy Zaghloul
Director (Canada)

Amy combines her global experience in Investor Relations and M&A to support fundraising for Funds and early-stage companies. Most recently, she led Investor Relations efforts at a Venture Fund focusing on the capital raising process for the Fund as well as providing strategic advisory to portfolio companies on growth initiatives. Previously, she spent several years in Investment Banking in New York focusing on M&A and capital raising projects in Healthcare and Technology. Amy enjoys building relationships and attracting strategic investors to help exceptional entrepreneurs build impactful businesses. She is an advisor to a mental healthcare start-up and sits on the board of the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association.

Alex Wright
Director of Finance

Alex is a relationship-driven finance professional with expertise in financial controls and project management. He is a Chartered Accountant trained through Ernst & Young as an Assurance Manager where he oversaw multinational public company audits. Recently, he gained senior leadership experience at a not-for-profit focused on founder education. Alex’s passion for entrepreneurship began at Queen’s University where he was an Ambassador for the Centre for Social Impact - a student group dedicated to social innovation and entrepreneurship.

News and views from Antler

Read our latest insights and stories about our phenomenal founders.

View all
Crossing borders, connecting ideas: Christabel Kim's entrepreneurial journey

Antler was founded on the belief that people innovating is the key to building a better future. In our latest founder spotlight, we explore the journey of Christabel Kim, whose diverse international background and keen interest in problem-solving led her to the crossroads of technology and entrepreneurship. Passionate about utilizing technology to streamline services and solve real-world problems, Christabel delves into her experiences in consulting and product management, and how they guided her to Antler. Today, she shares her insights and the pivotal moments that shaped her entrepreneurial path.

Mehdi Karamnejad, a tech savvy with an artistic soul, on his startup journey with Antler in Canada

Antler was founded on the belief that people innovating is the key to building a better future. For our latest founder spotlight, we sat down with Mehdi Karamneja, a tech-savvy with a unique perspective on the intersection of technology and interactive arts. He is passionate about creating interdisciplinary tech solutions that people use every day. Today Mehdi shares his experiences, and how they shaped him and led him to Antler.

Devyn Olin Tailoring the Future of Fashion with Tech

Antler was founded on the belief that people innovating is the key to building a better future. For our latest founder spotlight, we sat down with Devyn Olin, a tech enthusiast with a unique perspective on the intersection of technology and the fashion industry. She is passionate about moving the fashion industry forward by leveraging new tech solutions and data to engage and cater to the next generation of fashion consumers. Today Devyn shares her experiences, and how they shaped her and led her to Antler.

Elena Bassiachvili on her startup journey with Antler

Antler was founded on the belief that people innovating is the key to building a better future. For our latest founder spotlight, we sat down with Elena Bassiachvili, who is an engineer and a Jill of all trades. She is passionate about solving real-life problems with technology and having a positive impact on society by finding solutions in the Clean Tech space. She believes that this can be achieved by building her own venture. Today Elena shares her experiences, and how they shaped her and led her to Antler.

Tina shares her journey from startups through VC to becoming a founder herself at Antler in Canada

Antler was founded on the belief that people innovating is the key to building a better future. In our content series—” It All Starts with People”—we spotlight the exceptional founders we have the privilege of partnering with worldwide. Each story is a window into their passions, motivations, and vision—the reasons they build and the positive dent they aim to make in the world.

This time, we sat down with Tina Hashemnia, who decided to take on the founder journey with Antler, after years of experience as an operator in startups, scale-ups, and venture capital. Today, Tina shares her past experiences, and how they shaped her thinking, and helped her get ready to become a successful founder.

Natalia Bakaeva on her startup journey with Antler in Canada

Antler was founded on the belief that people innovating is the key to building a better future. In our latest founder spotlight, we sat down with Natalia Bakaeva, who is an architect and artist, and has over 15 years of experience in design and architecture. She is passionate about creating physical forms and believes architecture is a powerful tool for social change. With that, she strives to design solutions that are inclusive, accessible, and inspiring. Today Natalia shares her past experiences, how they shaped her and led her to Antler, and her plans for the future.

Curtis Carmichael on his startup journey with Antler in Canada

Antler was founded on the belief that people innovating is the key to building a better future. In our content series—”It All Starts with People”—we spotlight the exceptional founders we have the privilege of partnering with around the world. Each story is a window into their passions, motivations, and vision—the reasons they are building and the positive dent they are aiming to make on the world.

This time we sat down with Curtis Carmichael aka CC who is an entrepreneur, educator, programmer, athlete, Forbes 30u30 in Education, and author, just to name a few titles that describe him. Today he shares with us a little bit of his story and the key milestones that led him to Antler.

How Women Are Thriving In the Startup Ecosystem: Spotlight on Canadian Founders

It's 2023. Women should be able to pursue any career they choose and have an equal playing field to thrive in it.

While we would like to believe this is true, the reality is very different.

Simplifying B2B Payments - NetNow | Founder Files E1

Have you ever wondered what is it like to be a tech startup founder and bring an idea to life?

Founder Files is a series of conversations with founders in the earliest days of their entrepreneurial journey hosted by Antler Canada. Guests are founders of our portfolio companies and founders in residence, currently building the next big ventures. Learn about their experiences of finding a co-founder, idea validation and product-market fit.

Connecting podcasters and brands—Zane Hengsperger | Founder Files E2

Have you ever wondered what is it like to be a tech startup founder and bring an idea to life?

Founder Files is a series of conversations with founders in the earliest days of their entrepreneurial journey hosted by Antler Canada. Guests are founders of our portfolio companies and founders in residence, currently building the next big ventures. Learn about their experiences of finding a co-founder, idea validation and product-market fit.

In this episode of Antler Canada's Founder Files, Elif Hiz interviews Zane Hengsperger, the youngest founder in residence in our third residency. Zane is currently working with 2 other founders from the cohort and building Blymp, a platform that will empower podcasters to secure relevant brand partnerships. In this article, we’ll dive into Zane’s experience at Antler so far and his learnings from the first 6 weeks of the program.

Making the workspace more joyful—Justin Cuaresma | Founder Files E3

Have you ever wondered what is it like to be a tech startup founder and bring an idea to life?

Founder Files is a series of conversations with founders in the earliest days of their entrepreneurial journey hosted by Antler Canada. Guests are founders of our portfolio companies and founders in residence, currently building the next big ventures. Learn about their experiences of finding a co-founder, idea validation and product-market fit.

In the third episode of Antler Canada's Founder Files, Elif Hiz interviews Justin Cuaresma, a founder in residence in our third residency. Justin is a Software Developer turned entrepreneur. He believes that the future of work is joyful. He bootstrapped CrowdParty, the “Netflix of workplace games,” and is now working on Delightful, a platform made for employees to foster deeper relationships through shared hobbies and interests!  In this video, we’ll dive into Justin's experience at Antler so far and his learnings from the first 7 weeks of the program.

Changing the way Canadians pay rent—Liza Akhvledziani | Founder Files E4

Have you ever wondered what is it like to be a tech startup founder and bring an idea to life?

Founder Files is a series of conversations with founders in the earliest days of their entrepreneurial journey hosted by Antler Canada. Guests are founders of our portfolio companies and founders in residence, currently building the next big ventures. Learn about their experiences of finding a co-founder, idea validation and product-market fit.

In the fourth episode of Founder Files, Elif Hiz interviews Liza Akhvledziani, the CEO and co-founder of Chexy, a platform designed to help tenants pay rent online while earning rewards and building credit. As one of the first entrepreneurs that Antler Canada invested in, Liza highlights her experiences, struggles, and triumphs as a founder, and discusses her future ambitions. 

Day Zero Founders—Bernie Li | Toronto Starts Podcast

Founding a startup can be an incredibly tough process for any entrepreneur, no matter the experience level. To provide some insight into the entrepreneurship process, Bernie Li, General Partner at Antler Canada speaks with Craig Major of Toronto Starts on his podcast, and sheds some light on his own journey, the concept of “founder empathy”, trials and tribulations on the path to success, and some helpful advice on how to get your startup started.

Finding the Founding Path–Naman Budhdeo | The Hard Part Podcast

Founding a startup can be an incredibly tough process for any entrepreneur, no matter the experience level. To provide some insight into the entrepreneurship process, Naman Budheo, General Partner at Antler Canada speaks with Evan McCann of The Hard Part on his podcast, and discusses his own path to becoming a founder, how to move past entrepreneurship failures, entering developed industries with heavy-hitting competitors, and how exactly he became an integral part of Antler Canada.

From the outside looking in—Bernie Li | Building Blocks Podcast

Founding a startup can be an incredibly tough process for any entrepreneur, no matter the experience level. To provide some insight into the entrepreneurship process, Bernie Li, General Partner at Antler Canada speaks with Brendan Herjavec of the Building Blocks Podcast on a recent episode, and sheds some light on his entrepreneurship path, the concept of the “power rule” in investing, the founder mentality, and what it means to truly be a “good” founder.

A 6-Week Look Into Antler in Canada

Our 6 week program is a unique and valuable experience for exceptional founders who have been able to find their footing in the startup world and are at a more advanced stage of their journey. So if you're running your startup by yourself, or if you have a cofounding team already, there is definitely a place at the Antler founding table for you. Apply to take on this journey today! Sign up through this link and discover your potential.

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