GLOBAL startup generator and early-stage venture capitalist, Antler, unveiled 13 start-ups on 10 January 2019 at the inaugural Demo Day held at the Google Campus. These companies were built as part of Antler’s first cohort in 2018 over five months of hard work from founders covering a wide range of industries including real estate, E-sports, hiring, future of work, robotics and automation, retail, and E-commerce.
Starting Up in Singapore
Antler was started in 2017 in Singapore by McKinsey, Google, Spotify, Harvard, MIT, and Stanford alumni. They now recruit talented entrepreneurs worldwide and provide funding from day one to help them focus full-time on finding the right idea and co-founders. They also connect them to a global mentor network of fitting business and academic subject matter experts worldwide.
The inaugural cohort kicked off in July 2018 in Singapore, with a selection of 62 entrepreneurs from 22 countries with expertise in applied chemistry, structural research and development (R&D), and biomedical engineering, education technology, E-commerce, marketing, user experience (UX), and the identity and privacy market. Antler invested in 13 companies after an intensive two-month period of in-depth knowledge sharing, hands-on coaching to refine and validate business ideas, and long nights building new products.
The teams are attacking problems from a wide range of industries including tech-enabled solutions for better rental experience, a smarter and more holistic recruitment marketplace, human-in-the-loop robotics software, and more.
Startups in the Making
Among Antler’s current investments are companies such as Cove, a smart rental company helping millennials find their homes seamlessly, and Cognicept, a technology and teleoperator service provider that resolves reliability issues for robotic systems, aiming to become the trusted platform for all robotics companies.
"Being part of Antler’s first cohort in Singapore is one of the best decisions in my life,” says Mr Michael Sayre, a robotics engineer from Austin, Texas, with more than 12 years of experience in the field. “I have learnt a lot and received a tremendous amount of support from the Antler team and their network. I feel that Antler offers a truly holistic ecosystem for any aspiring entrepreneur. We have already received huge interest in our work at Cognicept, thanks to the coaching and guidance from Antler through the early stages of our growth journey.”
Growing Network of Global Advisers
The startup generator also announced today that the former US Treasury Secretary Professor Lawrence H. Summers, and Global Managing Partner Emeritus of McKinsey & Company Mr Dominic Barton, are joining Antler’s global advisory board. Professor Summers and Mr Barton will be part of the US Antler team of advisers that lend their decades of experience in helping to build the next generation of disruptive technology companies.
“The world needs the brightest minds working on solving its largest problems,” says Professor Summers. “The opportunities for positive change through innovation are bigger than ever. I’m very happy to support Antler in building a global platform to enable this.”
The Antler team is also proud to announce the addition of seasoned venture capitalist Mr Stefan Jung to their partnership, previously founder and managing director of Rocket Internet Southeast Asia, where he co-founded among others, Lazada, which was acquired by Alibaba Group in 2016.
“As an early-stage investor, I often come across great teams or great ideas—but not always combined together,” says Mr Jung. “At Antler, we are focussing on getting the combination of the idea and the founding team right, before investing and helping the team scale. Given that talent is at our core, we are tremendously excited to continue launching companies in SEA as well as expanding our global network of generator locations.”
With live locations in Singapore and Stockholm, Antler plans to launch in London, Amsterdam, Sydney, and two locations in the US in 2019 to further expand their innovation platform.
In addition to global technology centres, Antler also wants to bring its platform to developing countries that are in need of innovation and growth, wherever in the world aspiring entrepreneurs are located.
“We built Antler because we believe the world needs more talented people to develop technology companies that tackle big problems around the globe,” says Mr Magnus Grimeland, Antler founder and chief executive officer (CEO). “We offer global support and aid market entry to our founders looking to set up in any part of the world. There has never been a better time to capitalise on our global connectivity and to bridge the gap in building businesses around the world.”
Antler currently receives a run-rate of 15,000 applicants per year for its programmes worldwide and selects about three per cent to join the programme—an acceptance rate similar to top universities such as Harvard, Stanford, and MIT.
“We want to get more of the world’s premier talent into innovation,” says Mr Grimeland. “Many of these incredibly talented people never make the leap into entrepreneurship and are instead stuck in large organisations, having only a marginal impact on the product or service that they develop. By connecting them with equally talented potential co-founders, easing their financial strain of leaving their full-time jobs and by connecting them with a world-class advisory board, Antler enables more of the world’s brightest minds to build great companies that positively impact society.”
are now open for Antler’s next cohorts starting in January 2019 in Singapore and the Nordics, with applications also open for Amsterdam, London, and Sydney for the spring and summer of 2019. The first location in the US is expected to open in 2019. Aspiring entrepreneurs interested in the programme can learn more here
about how to get through Antler’s highly competitive selection process.