The Antler program is awesome. With each day, I am more and more impressed by the cohort, the Antler team, and the program overall.

Here are some of my takeaways so far:

  • A framework for creating and testing a new business
  • The best entrepreneurs are those that are dedicated to solving a problem and are thus rigorous about continuously testing their assumptions and hypotheses.
  • Idea conflict vs person conflict: Arguing over ideas is good and healthy, but fighting personally is bad.
  • Consumer behavior is incredibly hard to change, so starting a startup that relies on behavior change is very risky.
  • Investors want to invest in crazy, ambitious, disruptive ideas. So that if they do succeed, they succeed big.
  • The criteria for investment differ from investor to investor, but among the most important factors are:
    1. A great team (will they work together for the next 4-5 years? Do they have the experience to do this?)
    2. Market size for the startup (and market growth)
    3. Traction, particularly stickyness of users (do they come back? How much time do they spend on the platform/app/…?)
  • The investor-entrepreneur relationship should be on an eye-to-eye level. You are not (just) asking the investor for money, you are providing them with an opportunity to be part of an incredibly exciting startup.
  • Speaking of exciting, it’s incredibly important for early-stage startups to evoke emotion and excitement for their vision. It’s very difficult to tell if these early-stage startups will succeed, and so the investment is partially made on the excitement.
  • More on excitement: Make sure to work on something that excites you. When you start a startup, you are committing yourself to that startup for the next 4-5 years. And you should be waking up excited for work every single day of those years.

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