EF shifts your odds of building a globally important company.

Before you have an idea

There are many barriers to becoming a founder, but not knowing what you want to work on shouldn't be one of them. We work with many individuals who are at the very start of thinking about being a founder; they may have a technology that they know they want to use, but don't know where to apply it, or they may be an expert in a particular industry, but don't know what problem to focus on. EF helps you to work out how to use your skills and knowledge to develop a high value idea using and help you build a startup around it, from finding a cofounder all the way through to seed funding.

Read more about how EF thinks about developing ideas.

The Ambition Trap

The most important choice you make in your career is which trap you end up in.

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Find your edge

The best teams are built on complementary skill sets and strong founder-problem fit. We have a process to help you optimise for such teams on the programme, and it starts by helping you discover your Edge.

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How I became a founder

In this podcast series, Entrepreneur First unpacks the life stories of some of the world's most promising innovators.

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We bring together extraordinary people to build startups from scratch.

EF is the best place in the world to find your cofounder and build a seed-funded startup from scratch. Over the last six years, we’ve built more startups this way than anyone else.

EF has 3 phases:

  • Fellowship
  • Growth
  • Alumni

Each phase is designed to amplify your efforts to build a globally important company, regardless of your starting point.

Fellowship - the best way to find an exceptional co-founder

  • Introduction to your cofounder - Finding a cofounder in the wild is hard. The EF Fellowship is a unique opportunity designed to fast track finding your cofounder. We remove the transaction cost of finding a talented and committed cofounder. You start by joining one of our cohorts in London or Singapore. Each cohort is a group of outlier individuals who have been carefully screened before being selected to join. EF is highly competitive; we are looking for those with exceptional founder potential at any stage of their career. No other place in the world invests as much as we do in founder screening, or has as much experience.
  • Support to develop an idea - As you build your team, we will support you to develop an idea. Some individuals join us with a clear idea of what they want to work on, others join us while they are still exploring. Either way we help you to find strong team-idea alignment using our Edge-based frameworks.
  • Dedicated and experienced trusted advisor - To get to the right idea, you'll be working closely with the EF Team and an EF Venture Partner (VP). Our VPs are successful entrepreneurs who have already scaled and sold technology companies worth hundreds of millions. Once in a team you’ll work with one of our VPs to turn your idea quickly into a fundable business.
  • Funding from Day 1 - At EF, we pay you to find your cofounder; during the Fellowship, we provide a stipend to help you cover some of your living costs (£2,000 per a month in London up to 5 months, S$5,000 per month in Singapore up to 3 months).

After 8 weeks, if you have successfully built a team, you have the opportunity to pitch to join the next stage of EF, Growth. It is highly competitive and we don’t fund every individual or company at this stage. If we don’t fund you, we will support you to find the right next step for you and you keep the stipend paid. Many people join one of our alumni startups as an early employee.

Growth - your path to the world’s best investors

  • Pre-seed investment for your company - The next phase of EF is focused on helping you get ready for raising your seed round. Through this phase we invest £80,000 in London and S$25,000 in Singapore. Read more how investment works for our London cohort.
  • Introduction to the world's best investors - once you’re ready to raise a seed round you’ll pitch at Demo Day. This is an opportunity to meet 300+ active investors in Europe, US and Asia. EF companies raise larger than average rounds on the best possible terms. If you are part of our London cohort we will also invest 15% of your seed round alongside your external investors.
  • Continued mentoring for growth - you will continue to work with your Venture Partner who will now push you towards growing your business. The focus here is on product, customers and investment. They’ll prepare you for Demo Day alongside our Funding team, who’ll get you investor-ready.

After nine months of Growth support you’ll move into our Alumni phase, where we’ll continue to help you scale.

Alumni - lifelong membership to the most valuable global founder network

  • Commercial support and introductions to potential customers - our in-house Commercial team have built a network and relationships with leading corporates who want to work with startups. As a funded portfolio company you'll be invited to relevant Corporate Briefs - the opportunity to pitch CXOs from some of the world’s biggest companies. To name just a selection, briefs partners so far have included Cisco, BP, Samsung, Deutsche Bank, Thomson Reuters and Conde Nast.
  • Hiring through our talent platform - ability to hire top talent is one of the biggest threats to early-stage startups. Our team is continuously building rich pipelines of talent. You’ll be given access to hire through our curated talent community.
  • Continued mentoring for scale - after you leave the Growth phase you’ll still continue to meet with your VP on an ad-hoc basis. By now your relationship with us is deep and we’re committed to help you scale. We have helped many of our portfolio companies in the run up to raising their Series A.
  • Community events and socials - the EF community is one of the most valuable networks you’ll ever join. We foster tight-knit relationships by running monthly alumni-only dinners and workshops, often centred around a topic or theme to add maximum value. EF is a badge for life.

EF’s success suggests a revolutionary conclusion: entrepreneurs, long presumed to be born, can in fact be made” - WIRED