Entrepreneurship flourishes amid pandemic
Antler receives over 1500 applications for COVID-19 call
Global early-stage VC Antler has received over 1500 applications from 100 countries in barely two weeks since it launched its COVID-19 call to startups. Startups applied for funding with various solutions to tackle the current pandemic. Antler is currently shortlisting and interviewing the teams and plans to invest in up to 5 teams and deploy up to US$500,000 in aggregate.
Examples include drone delivered test kits for remote villages, patient monitoring systems, antiviral surface coating and manufacturers pivoting production to products currently needed. The response has been overwhelmingly positive from both new startups and existing businesses adapting their existing products and operations.
"Our approach for selection has been different compared to our usual Antler program. Due to the speed at which the solution needs to be implemented and put into action, we are selecting only existing teams and startups that already have a minimum viable product or a pilot project to show," said Jussi Salovaara, co-founder and Managing Partner of Antler.
Antler invited startups to propose solutions in Mitigation (e.g. masks, contact tracing, surveillance, data infrastructure), Medical Equipment (e.g. test kits, protective devices, ventilators), Remote Health (e.g. telehealth, remote patient monitoring, symptom checkers) and Digital Tools (e.g. remote work, smart delivery, e-learning). The purpose is to contribute towards the path to recovery from the crisis.
"From the breadth of applications received, we are seeing a coronavirus-induced acceleration of a digital-first mindset across many traditional industries, where entrepreneurs understand that COVID-19 will permanently change the landscape of our lives and are planning for the needs of a post-COVID society," added Salovaara.
The Investment criteria will take into account the relevance towards mitigating COVID-19, as well as how the startup works in a post-COVID-19 era.
Companies receiving the investment will receive access to Antler's global network of entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts, as well as coaching by Antler's leadership. Antler will help startups get their solutions off the ground and make them accessible to those who need them as quickly as possible. Given the overwhelming response, Antler is continuing to accept select applications on a rolling basis.