Build your company with Antler in Berlin

Antler backs the world’s most driven founders, from day zero to greatness. In Berlin’s vibrant tech hub, we bring together entrepreneurs from all backgrounds to build the defining companies of tomorrow. Our value promise to founders:

1) We are the best place on the planet to find exceptional co-founders.

2) Our companies scale faster, backed by our truly global community of founders, advisors, and investors.

3) We invest from day zero and keep backing our companies for their whole journey.

Join our next cohort on January 16th

The founder cohort will start on January 16th and run for 10 weeks. You get 3 months of free office space after the conclusion of the program. Antler will continue supporting you and your venture even after.

Pre-Launch

Individual Founders and Teams

Pre-idea and pre-team. Ambitious founders can join Antler before the inception of their company to find a co-founder(s) and receive their first cheque. 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.

Pre-Seed

Startups

As part of the established Startup cohort, Antler welcomes teams in the very early stage of their start-up journey. These include complete teams who are at the stage of validating their idea, building out the early product, or have gained initial traction. We provide you with a strong global network of VCs and angels providing our portfolio companies with better chances of accessing the right funding at the right time

Pre-Launch

Individual Founders and Teams

Pre-idea and pre-team. Ambitious founders can join Antler before the inception of their company to find a co-founder(s) and receive their first cheque. 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.

Pre-Seed

Startups

As part of the established Startup cohort, Antler welcomes teams in the very early stage of their start-up journey. These include complete teams who are at the stage of validating their idea, building out the early product, or have gained initial traction. We provide you with a strong global network of VCs and angels providing our portfolio companies with better chances of accessing the right funding at the right time

Mobilizing entrepreneurship in Central Europe's largest tech hub

From day one, we provide access to an unrivaled set of co-founders, strong ecosystem, network and expertise to support exceptional founders building what will define tomorrow. Having invested in hundreds of companies and worked with thousands of entrepreneurs, we know what works and what doesn't. This helps us better support our founders and help maximize their chances of success.

01

Formation and Validation

Form your co-founding team, develop your idea, and get buy-in for your vision.

Build your company

Start talking to customers, develop your MVP, refine your business model, and develop your go-to-market strategy with the support and guidance of expert coaches.

02
03

Pitch to Antler’s Investment Committee

It’s show time. Pitch to our Investment Committee to secure pre-seed funding.

Ongoing Fundraising Support

We back you for the entire life cycle of your company—through follow-up funding (to Series C and beyond), tier-one VC access, and our truly global community that supports you forever.

04

Application process

The full application process takes about 2-3 weeks to complete. Once you apply, our scouting team will guide you through the full process and will be available to answer all your questions.

First Interview

Introduce yourself through a first call with our Investment Team where we get to know you, get a better understanding of your background and figure out if our cohort would be an ideal fit for you, together.

Second Interview and Reference Check

This second meeting is with one of our Partners and the goal is to better understand how you approach problems and handle challenges. In parallel we will also do a Reference Check.

Third Interview for technical Co-Founders

Technical Co-Founders will have a final interview with one of our technical Venture Partners to demonstrate ability to lead tech teams

Offer to join Antler!

Once we have made an offer, the next steps are simple. You’ll sign an Antler Founder Agreement and shortly after, we will send you a welcome package containing instructions on how to participate in our pre-cohort activities to prepare you for your first day, as well as help you get to know the other founders in your cohort ahead of Day 1.

01
0
02
1
03
2
04
3

Application process

The full application process takes about 2-3 weeks to complete. Once you apply, our scouting team will guide you through the full process and will be available to answer all your questions.

First Interview

Introduce yourself through a first call with our Investment Team where we get to know you, get a better understanding of your background and figure out if our cohort would be an ideal fit for you, together.

Second Interview and Reference Check

This second meeting is with one of our Partners and the goal is to better understand how you approach problems and handle challenges. In parallel we will also do a Reference Check.

Third Interview for technical Co-Founders

Technical Co-Founders will have a final interview with one of our technical Venture Partners to demonstrate ability to lead tech teams

Offer to join Antler!

Once we have made an offer, the next steps are simple. You’ll sign an Antler Founder Agreement and shortly after, we will send you a welcome package containing instructions on how to participate in our pre-cohort activities to prepare you for your first day, as well as help you get to know the other founders in your cohort ahead of Day 1.

01
0
02
1
03
2
04
3
05
4

Meet an Antler Partner

Join us for an open session with one of our partners to discuss how we work with founders and what to expect.

Thursday at 1PM CET: Join here.

By clicking Sign Up you're confirming that you agree with our Privacy Policy.
Thanks for being part of Antler's community
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Application process

The full application process takes about 2-3 weeks to complete. Once you apply, our scouting team will guide you through the full process and will be available to answer all your questions.

First Interview

Introduce yourself through a first call with our Investment Team where we get to know you, get a better understanding of your background and figure out if our cohort would be an ideal fit for you, together.

Second Interview and Reference Check

This second meeting is with one of our Partners and the goal is to better understand how you approach problems and handle challenges. In parallel we will also do a Reference Check.

Third Interview for technical Co-Founders

Technical Co-Founders will have a final interview with one of our technical Venture Partners to demonstrate ability to lead tech teams

01
0
02
1
03
2
No items found.

Founder testimonials

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

Celina Messner

clare&me

Leaving my job at Google to go on the journey of entrepreneurship, I was sceptical whether I would find such inspiring people and work-environment again. Joining Antler I quickly realized my doubts were unjustified!

Teo Ortega

Reach

I’m a big fan of the different team challenges Antler has been organizing for us, allowing the founders to work on different types of projects with different people and team settings. This is how you can actually understand who you can work with especially well. This special combination of people generates an energy that takes you further and enables you to build something and to stick to it when things get tough.

Gina Xydias Charmanta

Pillio

All of the positive expectations that I had regarding Antler became true. I love the hands-on approach of the Antler team, directly helping you tackle the problems you identify, rather than focusing just on theory. It feels that the team is with us on the entire journey from 0 to 1.

Rafael Alain Rolli

infinit Bio

Each individual I meet, I understand why they are in the cohort. Being surrounded by these founders, and the support that is given from the Antler team from day one makes it much easier to move forward. They're here with you. They want you to succeed and they do everything in their power to do for you and your company to succeed.

The best time to launch was 10 years ago. The second best time is today.

There has never been a better time to start a business. The barrier to entry is lower than ever, and the dynamic economy provides endless opportunities to the spirited entrepreneur. Join Antler and get started.

Our Team

Our experienced team will support your process of finding the perfect co-founder and starting the businesses of tomorrow.

Dr. Christoph Klink
Partner

As Partner in Central Europe, Christoph supports exceptional entrepreneurs along their journey - from entering into a cohort to building and scaling their ventures successfully. He draws on his background as Business Angel and Partner with McKinsey & Company. Before joining Antler he served a range of leading technology organizations, amongst others from the mobility and transportation space, on disruptive strategy and building innovative business models. Building and nurturing top talent organizations is one of his key passions and a great source of inspiration for Christoph.

Alan Poensgen
Partner

Alan brings extensive experience in building and scaling technology businesses. He was previously MD and Co-Founder at Westwing, a home & living e-commerce company, and one of Europe’s few e-commerce IPOs of the past years. Before Westwing, he built the software development hub at Rocket Internet, and was CEO of a SEA e-commerce company, along with working for a VC and starting his own company in Spain.

Andrea Hajdu-Howe
Partner, Co-head of Capital

Andrea will help you get in front of your next investor and help you to iterate your fintech idea. She has spent 17 years in the financial services industry, most recently at Goldman Sachs in the investment management division. Andrea heads up Antler's capital team and work with fundraising for both Antler's funds globally as well as supporting founders who are raising external capital. Before joining Goldman Sachs, Andrea spent over a decade at HSBC.

Sarah Finegan
Investment Team

Sarah brings a depth of experience working across finance, early stage technology companies and venture capital including with Goldman Sachs, MiddleGame Ventures and Outlier Ventures. She has spent the past 2 years helping build and invest in early-stage companies with a focus across energy, fintech and blockchain. Sarah will help build the office in Berlin, work closely with founders and lead the team in sourcing the best founders across Central Europe and beyond.

Rafael Urdaneta
Head of Finance - DACH

Rafael started his career as an entrepreneur in Barcelona, shortly after completing his IMBA. Startups and Finance have been his passion all along, so he has started a number of companies in Europe and Asia. After living and working in China for 8+ years, he moved back to Europe several years ago and has since then been actively involved in Startups.

Linda Queck
Investment Team

Linda draws on rich experience from working across the financial as well as early stage space. She started her career at Goldman Sachs Asset Management and previously helped build up the pension buyout market in Germany at Deutsche Betriebsrenten Holding. Linda is passionate about identifying and backing founders that are building disruptive tech businesses. At Antler, she works with founders along their entire journey and supports them from day 0 on.

Yash Gadiya
Investment Team

Yash began his career putting his finance knowledge into practice at PwC. He later moved to the startup and VC space, including operational stints with Selina Finance and early stage VC experience with Cavalry Ventures. He is excited by trends in the fintech space and likes discussing new B2B software plays. Yash has a Masters in Strategy & International Management from the University of St. Gallen and a qualified Chartered Accountant.

Gentian Kuqica
Investment Team

Gentian began his career by working in Investment Management and HRTech startups. He later became a part of the Investment Team at APX where he helped source and select startups. Gentian loves to follow the trends of the quantified self industry and med-tech. Gentian obtained a degree in Economics from Bocconi University. He will be supporting Antler as an Investment Associate.

Friederike Tietz
Working Student

Friederike began her career by putting her knowledge into practice at LINUS Digital Finance. She moved on to the investment banking and consulting space, including experiences at Deutsche Bank and boutique management consulting. She is always happy to apply her training and experience within Process Management and is excited by recent developments in the FinTech, EdTech and FoodTech space. Currently she is pursuing an M.Sc. in Management Science at Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management and holds a B.Sc. in International Business from European University Viadrina.

Daniel Smeds
Venture Partner

Daniel is CEO & Founder of optile. Previously he founded Pay.On which got acquired by ACI Worldwide. Before that, he was Director of Technology at Wirecard.

Juan Galan
Venture Partner

Technology leader with 15+ years of experience leading engineering teams building solutions in B2C, B2B and IoT in companies of all sizes. Currently CTO @ EQS Group AG

Dr. Nikolaus Föbus
Venture Partner

Niko was previously a partner at McKinsey, where he was a core member of the Retail & Consumer Goods Practice and led the store ops practice in EMEA. He left McKinsey in 2019 to build his own business, eagle lsp, a legal service provider focusing on tech-enabled, scalable solution in mass litigation and e-Discovery. His first Angel investments include successful Y-Combinator applications.

Pria Koll
Investment Team

Pria’s interest in entrepreneurship started when she joined a community-building startup whilst a student at the University of Southern California. Keen to learn more, she worked at a mental health tech startup, which deepened her interest in this field. After completing her B.A. in Communications, Pria is eager to learn more about entrepreneurship from a new perspective and has joined Antler as a Visiting Investment Associate.

Tilman Besch
Investment Team

Tilman has experience working in consulting, tech and real estate investments. He gained his professional and academic experiences in London, Helsinki, Milan, Hamburg and Berlin. Having an academic background in Law and Business, Tilman obtained his degree from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. He is eager to work more closely with founders from their earliest days in their journey.

Alexander Brunner
Investment Team

Alex finished his Bachelors at the University of Mannheim and is currently in progress of defending his thesis in order to finish his Masters at Catolica Lisbon SBE. He became interested in entrepreneurship and the startup ecosystem through Q-Summit and startup experiences from friends. Because of that he decided to intern in Venture Development at Razor Group and tink to experience startups in different stages. He rejoined Razor in the M&A Integrations team to get insights into deal making. Now he is eager to explore Venture Capital and the other part of the startup ecosystem.

Antler in Berlin

Since our first Berlin residency in 2021, Antler has become one of the most active investors in Germany.

Alexander Brunner
Investment Team

Alex finished his Bachelors at the University of Mannheim and is currently in progress of defending his thesis in order to finish his Masters at Catolica Lisbon SBE. He became interested in entrepreneurship and the startup ecosystem through Q-Summit and startup experiences from friends. Because of that he decided to intern in Venture Development at Razor Group and tink to experience startups in different stages. He rejoined Razor in the M&A Integrations team to get insights into deal making. Now he is eager to explore Venture Capital and the other part of the startup ecosystem.

Tilman Besch
Investment Team

Tilman has experience working in consulting, tech and real estate investments. He gained his professional and academic experiences in London, Helsinki, Milan, Hamburg and Berlin. Having an academic background in Law and Business, Tilman obtained his degree from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. He is eager to work more closely with founders from their earliest days in their journey.

Rafael Alain Rolli
Co-founder
Gina Xydias Charmanta
Co-founder
Teo Ortega
Co-founder
Celina Messner
Co-founder
Antler in Germany
Yash Gadiya
Investment Team

Yash began his career putting his finance knowledge into practice at PwC. He later moved to the startup and VC space, including operational stints with Selina Finance and early stage VC experience with Cavalry Ventures. He is excited by trends in the fintech space and likes discussing new B2B software plays. Yash has a Masters in Strategy & International Management from the University of St. Gallen and a qualified Chartered Accountant.

Sarah Finegan
Investment Team

Sarah brings a depth of experience working across finance, early stage technology companies and venture capital including with Goldman Sachs, MiddleGame Ventures and Outlier Ventures. She has spent the past 2 years helping build and invest in early-stage companies with a focus across energy, fintech and blockchain. Sarah will help build the office in Berlin, work closely with founders and lead the team in sourcing the best founders across Central Europe and beyond.

Rafael Urdaneta
Head of Finance - DACH

Rafael started his career as an entrepreneur in Barcelona, shortly after completing his IMBA. Startups and Finance have been his passion all along, so he has started a number of companies in Europe and Asia. After living and working in China for 8+ years, he moved back to Europe several years ago and has since then been actively involved in Startups.

Pria Koll
Investment Team

Pria’s interest in entrepreneurship started when she joined a community-building startup whilst a student at the University of Southern California. Keen to learn more, she worked at a mental health tech startup, which deepened her interest in this field. After completing her B.A. in Communications, Pria is eager to learn more about entrepreneurship from a new perspective and has joined Antler as a Visiting Investment Associate.

Linda Queck
Investment Team

Linda draws on rich experience from working across the financial as well as early stage space. She started her career at Goldman Sachs Asset Management and previously helped build up the pension buyout market in Germany at Deutsche Betriebsrenten Holding. Linda is passionate about identifying and backing founders that are building disruptive tech businesses. At Antler, she works with founders along their entire journey and supports them from day 0 on.

Juan Galan
Venture Partner

Technology leader with 15+ years of experience leading engineering teams building solutions in B2C, B2B and IoT in companies of all sizes. Currently CTO @ EQS Group AG

Gentian Kuqica
Investment Team

Gentian began his career by working in Investment Management and HRTech startups. He later became a part of the Investment Team at APX where he helped source and select startups. Gentian loves to follow the trends of the quantified self industry and med-tech. Gentian obtained a degree in Economics from Bocconi University. He will be supporting Antler as an Investment Associate.

Friederike Tietz
Working Student

Friederike began her career by putting her knowledge into practice at LINUS Digital Finance. She moved on to the investment banking and consulting space, including experiences at Deutsche Bank and boutique management consulting. She is always happy to apply her training and experience within Process Management and is excited by recent developments in the FinTech, EdTech and FoodTech space. Currently she is pursuing an M.Sc. in Management Science at Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management and holds a B.Sc. in International Business from European University Viadrina.

Dr. Nikolaus Föbus
Venture Partner

Niko was previously a partner at McKinsey, where he was a core member of the Retail & Consumer Goods Practice and led the store ops practice in EMEA. He left McKinsey in 2019 to build his own business, eagle lsp, a legal service provider focusing on tech-enabled, scalable solution in mass litigation and e-Discovery. His first Angel investments include successful Y-Combinator applications.

Dr. Christoph Klink
Partner

As Partner in Central Europe, Christoph supports exceptional entrepreneurs along their journey - from entering into a cohort to building and scaling their ventures successfully. He draws on his background as Business Angel and Partner with McKinsey & Company. Before joining Antler he served a range of leading technology organizations, amongst others from the mobility and transportation space, on disruptive strategy and building innovative business models. Building and nurturing top talent organizations is one of his key passions and a great source of inspiration for Christoph.

Daniel Smeds
Venture Partner

Daniel is CEO & Founder of optile. Previously he founded Pay.On which got acquired by ACI Worldwide. Before that, he was Director of Technology at Wirecard.

Alan Poensgen
Partner

Alan brings extensive experience in building and scaling technology businesses. He was previously MD and Co-Founder at Westwing, a home & living e-commerce company, and one of Europe’s few e-commerce IPOs of the past years. Before Westwing, he built the software development hub at Rocket Internet, and was CEO of a SEA e-commerce company, along with working for a VC and starting his own company in Spain.

Alkaios Bournias Varotsis
Product Marketing Manager
Adeline Lee
Head of Product
Anna Drescher
Marketing Project & Account Manager

We're hiring!

Our founders aren't the only ones building incredible teams. Check out our open positions at Antler Germany!

Our Blog

Get an inside look at what goes on at Antler Germany

View all
The 2022 DACH Unicorn Founder Roadmap: An Unprecedented Time in Unicorn-Land

For the second consecutive year, we took a systematic look at the founders behind unicorn and soonicorn companies in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland). Just like in our inaugural DACH Unicorn Founder Roadmap released last year, we focus on the founders of the most valuable startups to better understand what makes these entrepreneurs and the companies they built so successful.

Emilia Theye: The psychologist using AI to democratize access to mental health solutions

Antler was founded on the belief that people innovating is the key to building a better future. To honor them, we are launching a new content series—”It All Starts with People”—spotlighting 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.

In our first spotlight, we sat down with Emilia Theye, the co-founder of clare&me—a mental health app that uses language-based AI to develop an innovative approach to virtual self-help.

The Unicorn founder roadmap: Two decades of insights into the DACH startup ecosystem

Have you ever wondered who the most successful entrepreneurs are? What career paths they pursued, what network they tapped into, and whether these stereotypical rules still apply today if you want to build the next billion-dollar business?

Taking a systematic look at the most exceptional founders of the 21st century in the DACH region, we have observed similar patterns that led up to founding a unicorn.

Meaningful work: building products to empower people

Sitting down with Viktoria Prantauer: digital marketing expert, breast cancer survivor, and now working on making her mark on the world.

Finding the right solution

A conversation with Raj Kukreja, software developer, engineering manager and now working on finding the right solution.

Building a startup is your best opportunity to positively impact the world

Antler Germany founders are using their skills and experience to build startups that will have a positive impact on the world. They're solving the most pressing problems, creating jobs and amplifying their personal trajectory. What are you waiting for?

FAQs

How many companies does Antler have in its portfolio?

Antler has more than 600 companies in its portfolio.

How big are the teams?

Most Antler teams consist of two or three co-founders.

What’s our gender split?

40% of our startups have at least one female co-founder.

What companies do we back?

We are industry agnostic. We invest in exceptional people building scalable companies. However, we do not invest in alcohol, tobacco or gambling.

Does Antler provide business ideas?

Our industry partners may provide problem statements they would like to solve, and the Antler team and mentors will help find the right area and business model to work in, but we don’t believe in providing ready-made ideas for you to work on. Ultimately this will be up to you and your co-founder(s)!

What makes us different from other VCs?

Antler specialises in bringing the most exceptional people together and enabling them to build a great startup. Our cohort members are often pre-team, pre-idea and pre-funding. Furthermore, we promote diversity at every level: background, career stage and skills.

How is Antler different from accelerators?

Antler is not an accelerator; we come in before that. We focus on selecting and helping build a strong co-founding team, rather than a specific industry or startup idea. At Antler, we identify exceptional people and help them succeed in founding and scaling great companies. We help entrepreneurs from day zero– before the company is founded. Accelerator programs support companies that are already established. Participants who join Antler’s cohorts have the opportunity to join accelerator programs after Antler.

What does a day in the cohort look like?

Phase 1 is dedicated to finding a co-founder, validating your ideas and starting to build your business. At the end of this phase, teams present to our Investment Committee and those that receive an investment continue to the next phase. Phase 2 is an acceleration track where you will use Antler funding to get enough traction to raise your seed round. Throughout these 6 months, we offer dedicated coaches from our team and access to our global network - we bring in successful entrepreneurs, industry experts and advisors to host master classes that will help you thrive in your entrepreneurial journey.

Is this a full-time commitment?

Yes. Please consider your current notice period, plus the personal and financial investment starting a business requires. We advise you not to work on side projects. You might have obligations, and depending on the situation, we may offer flexibility.

Where is the office?

Antler is in Novalisstrasse 10, Berlin. Cohort members are required to be in Germany.

Are participants remunerated?

Every cohort member receives a EUR 3000 grant paid in two instalments. Teams that pass the Investment Committee receive investment for EUR 100,000 net cash. No program fees will be deducted from the amount.

Can I negotiate Terms & Conditions?

Our terms are non-negotiable. Any further investment would be distinct from Antler’s investment and subject to new terms.

Do I need an idea to join Antler?

No, you don't. Some founders have a clear idea of what they want to build, however, most join us with areas of interest and expertise. Phase 1 is spent developing ideas and connecting with the right co-founders.

If I have an idea and a team, am I still able to join Antler?

Yes, you can still join us even if you already have a team. You should apply individually and mention your team in the application. However, we encourage all founders to keep an open mind once you join and consider the opportunity to work with other innovators on other great ideas.

Is the program on-site in Berlin?

Yes. We fully believe in meeting each other in-person to develop meaningful relationships. You can incorporate your company anywhere.

Can I apply to more than one location?

Yes, but only one location at a time will consider your application.

Do all my co-founders and I need to be committed full-time?

Yes.

Contact Antler Germany

Get in touch with our team!

Germany