#WednesdayWisdom: What it takes to build a tech startup

Female Founders | Foreign Founders | Ep. 4
7th June 2019
Female Founders | Foreign Founders | Ep. 5
17th June 2019

Written by Estee Chaikin, Head of Marketing & PR for Antler Amsterdam

Entrepreneurial minds are everywhere! 66% of young professionals want to start a business, yet only 4% take the leap. The biggest success stories make us all dream about the accomplishments, but rarely educate us on all the struggles and challenges that make up a substantial part of the journey. “Founders need to overcome huge challenges using unique and creative ways”.

Starting a company is not smooth sailing

The hard truth is that starting a company is far from smooth sailing, and many entrepreneurs lack the knowledge on the type of support they need. In the last decade, the emergence of startup accelerators and incubators has grown rapidly across the Netherlands.

Such generators like: The Next Women, Rockstart, Yes!Delft, Startup Bootcamp and more are looking for early-stage startups and established teams working on an idea to contribute to the growing startup ecosystem. However, what about the majority of brilliant and determined people that want to become an entrepreneur but have no clue where to start. Should they look to find a co-founder to help them on their journey?

What does the ideal founder look like?

According to Magnus Grimeland, CEO of Antler, there are three main traits to look for in future founders: drive, problem-solving skills and a clear spike.

“We strongly believe that those provide a good foundation when building a fast-growing company.”

Common traits amongst the most successful startup founders include:

·        Leadership potential

·        Fast learner / quick thinker

·        Humble

·        Drive and discipline

·        Technical or domain expertise

·        An average of 7 – 8 years of professional experience

Entrepreneurs must realise that joining a startup generator program is a demanding task. Magnus reinforces that in order to succeed, “founders need to overcome huge challenges using unique and creative ways.”

The founder selection process

There are a couple of things you should prepare for in order to make a strong application to become a founder at Antler. Prospective entrepreneurs should expect a rigorous selection process, with both online and offline interviews as well as cognitive skills tests, which are conducted in order to access the candidate’s skills and mindset. All of these steps leads Antler to selecting only the top 3% of applications.

How a startup generator helps female entrepreneurs

“I learned a lot about startups, building teams and most importantly the kind of business I am passionate about.”

Participating in a startup generator program helps provide a ton of value to entrepreneurs. When looking for this type of program make sure you research well. Things that should weigh in your decision: ensure there is a broad mix of experienced tech and business/product founders; investigate the duration of the programs – shorter programs will enable you to be more ambitious; make sure you know whether you get funded to join the program or you need to pay.

Furthermore, look for programs which offer intensive mentorship, access to global networks and prestige, as this can positively impact your own personal brand.

Startup generator programs provide an outstanding opportunity to those that want to take an entrepreneurial leap and transform an early concept into a real enterprise. With the right ambition to become a founder, you can take the leap and help build the next big wave of tech companies.

According to this Forbes article, only 15% of venture capital funding is given to females. Antler Amsterdam’s first cohort had a 20% ratio of females with an aim to make it 50/50 in future cohorts.

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Founded in Singapore in 2017, Antler is a global startup generator and early-stage VC that is building the next wave of tech. With the mission to turn exceptional individuals into great founders, Antler aims to create thousands of companies globally. They help you find the right co-founder and connect you to a top tier network of advisors and experts worldwide.

Antler breaks the barriers to entrepreneurship by providing funding from day one and building strong teams from the ground up, while enabling founders to rapidly launch and scale their ideas. Find out more about their program in the Netherlands and London, starting January 2020. Applications are open now, apply here.