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Antler: kickstarting the start-up system

by Alexandra Cain | 02 Apr 2019
Global start-up incubator Antler has a goal to launch 100 early-stage ventures into the local start-up ecosystem within the next 12-months, with a plan to have 200 start-ups up and running in the domestic market within four years.

The start-up hub and venture capital firm, founded in 2017, aims to eventually help create thousands of new businesses around the world.

Antler has a unique model that matches founders with a network of experts and advisers worldwide. In contrast to other incubators, it also provides finance for successful applications from day one, with founders receiving $4,000 in their first and second months. 

The program runs for four months, with the first two months spent developing the idea and the subsequent months spent developing the business. At the end of the program, founders have an opportunity to present their idea in front of 500 investors. 

The Antler model also differs from other programs in that successful applicants don’t even need to have an idea, co-founder or experience to apply. 

Antler Partner Anthony Millet, previously the CEO of real estate start-up BrickX, will be outlining how the program works at two upcoming FINSIA events in Sydney and Melbourne. 

Millett successfully attracted $9 million in Series A funding for BrickX, so he understands well the start-up journey and how difficult it can be to attract investors. More than 12,000 investors eventually had positions in BrickX, including Westpac's Reinventure fund and NAB Ventures.

His aim now is to give the next cohort of fintech founders the chance to launch influential and disruptive tech-based companies using new technologies including big data, digital currencies, blockchain and robo-advice.

Commenting on Antler’s arrival, Millett noted that today, technological and regulatory barriers to allow people to build businesses are constantly being lowered. 

“But we have a waste of human capital because talented individuals with drive, tenacity, resilience and a track record are locked in the corporate world. This holds them back from finding co-founders,” he said.

This means they don not have the opportunity to develop a high-conviction idea for a start-up, as well as seek investors and build enough confidence to leave their high-paying job to set out on their own. Antler’s aim is to help founders jump these hurdles.

“We’re all about democratising entrepreneurship, removing barriers and helping to validate ideas for new businesses,” Millett says.

The Antler approach seeks to de-risk the funding ‘runway’ – the start-up launch path – for everyone. The program gives participants access to all the support they need to build a successful business. On the investor side, having such a large pool of start-ups in which to invest helps reduce the risk for investors, as does the opportunity to do significant due diligence on the emerging firms in the program.

Sydney will be the fifth city in which the Antler program launches after Singapore, Stockholm, London and Amsterdam. Antler is also poised to launch in the US and East Africa and by the end of next year it should be fully operational in 20 countries. The global network to which applications will have access is an important feature of the program. 

“Antler was founded by owners and partners in Singapore. We operate a low-cost model with a 10-person team, with plans to grow this to 14 people,” Millett expands.

Commenting on the upcoming FINSIA events, Millett said: “we want financial services firms and people to see a clear path to build the fintechs of tomorrow.”

The Sydney event is being held on 16 April, while the Melbourne event will take place on 1 May. 

Register for the Sydney event >>
Register for the Melbourne event >>

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