Antler - Day 3

Fri Mar 29, 2024

Naman's Founder Journey

Company #1 - netfares online

Company #2 - Farematrix

Company #3 - FlightNetwork

Company #4 - TripStack

Why did I join Antler?


Shambhabi Mishra's Perspective

What do VCs look for in a startup?

Antler's investment considerations

Examples of why Antler invested

Key lessons:

  1. Be customer obsessed. Before you code, or do anything, reach out to customers. Be focused on their needs and experience.
  2. Pivot if you need to. You don't need to make consistent, incremental progress. You don't need to get a little better, you need to fail and get up and try a different angle. This is not a school, you're not here to learn, we're not here to teach you
    • NOTE: I think the implicit message whenever something like this is said is something like "You're not at the gym, you're at the tournament. You should know what you know already, and be prepared to hit as hard as you can"
  3. Large Markets
  4. Disruption
  5. Tech/Data
  6. Potential for Moats

What are VC funds dreaming about?

Common Mistakes

  1. Not understanding your users. Validate your research. Validate. Your. Research.
  2. Not having a strategic mindset. A common complaint is "One week you're asking me about the high level vision, and then you're asking me about my micro progress. What's the deal with this approach switch". You need to do all of it. (I'm not transcribing faithfully because a lot of stuff is being thrown at the audience right now, but this sounds like it has a lot to do with cutting the enemy, rationalist style)


No specific in-the-moment notes here, but the "Team Building" ended up being an improv exercise. Possibly not for everyone? Almost certainly not introverts. This has been on my list of things to do, so I'm pretty happy about it.

I think we were supposed to do a continuation of speed-dating at this point? But we didn't; we ended up going back to founder fit spreadsheet filling. I think I'm going to join that and maybe nice these notes down a bit.

Pub Time

Breaking with long-standing tradition, and with permission and encouragement from those involved, here's an idea Sia had but isn't running with:

Automated Pho retail. Think cross between a vending machine and those robo cafes you see in a few places around town. There are apparently ramen-robot vending machines in use in Japan that you could source and mod for this, total prototype cost is around $5k (although AliBaba says more like $10k CAD; possibly there are simpler models). It's a food vending unit that requires no human contact, minimal real-estate, and can generate serious ROI depending on what kind of traffic area you get it into. WeWork/111/your-startup-incubator-of-choice might be good early deployment areas?

He's working on a fin-tech onboarding simplifier instead, so this one's up for grabs if anyone like combining hardware and soup.

If anyone has good ideas that they're just not the right person to pick up, or that they're deliberately not using right now, drop 'em here (or message me if you want me to include them in future notes)

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