Author Archives: Molly Heath

  1. Announcing Global Reveal 2022

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    I’m excited to announce that Entrepreneur First will be hosting our first Global Reveal on the 28th September, unveiling 30+ new companies innovating across sustainability, healthcare, web3, finance, the consumer space and more. 

    Replacing our previous Demo Days, Global Reveal 2022 will take place via a digital portal, giving you the opportunity to search, filter and learn more about the companies at your own pace, before requesting meetings with the teams you want to meet. 

    Entrepreneur First runs programmes twice a year in six cities across the world. From tens of thousands of applications from aspiring founders, we select the very few we believe are capable of building billion-dollar companies.  We invite them to leave their jobs or academic positions and spend three months getting paid to test ideas and co-founders with a community of other exceptional people. 

    At the end of this period, we back the best of the best. That’s who we’re now ready to introduce: more than 30 companies, backed by us at inception, ready for the next stage of their journey.

    Our model has so far produced a long list of outstanding companies that wouldn’t have otherwise existed – including Tractable, accuRx, Cleo, Aztec, Omnipresent, AirBank, and Transcelestial

    This is your opportunity to meet the next generation of winners right from the start.

    The companies we’ll reveal are hugely diverse, tackling issues from commerce to crypto, sustainability to supply chains. We have companies tackling issues as varied as creating a factory in space; producing non-polluting decaffeinated coffee; and providing on the spot diagnosis for women’s health issues. 

    You’re not going to want to miss this. Join us on 28th September.

  2. The 4 most common myths about CTOs

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    Thousands of aspiring founders have applied to EF. Many are immediately keen to take up the title of CTO, while others are a little more nervous about what the role entails. A concern that we see come up from time to time is that the CTOs will have to simply execute the CEO’s vision. 

    In reality, the CTO is incredibly involved in the company’s vision and strategy. The best co-founding partnerships we see manage to leverage the expertise and creativity of both founders, to create a product that wouldn’t have been possible as a sole founder.

  3. In the future, you’ll reject your friend, so you can cofound with a stranger

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    This week, we announced Entrepreneur First’s (EF’s) Series C, $158m from an alliance of some of the world’s best founders and investors, including John and Patrick Collison (founders of Stripe), Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn), Taavet Hinrikus (founder of Wise), Sara Clemens (former COO Twitch) and Nat Friedman (former CEO of Github).

    This capital, raised as a round, rather than a fund, will help us to fulfill our mission of making great companies happen that otherwise wouldn’t. This raise will enable us to move from being a single product company, to developing a full product suite which enables individuals to rapidly and effectively find a cofounder at every stage of their founding career.

    We know that EF is the best place in the world to find a cofounder having built $10B+ of companies through our unique methodology.

  4. Why we’ve raised our $158M Series C to invest in the next generation of co-founders

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    Entrepreneur First (EF) is the best place in the world to find a co-founder and start a startup from scratch. We are excited to announce we’ve raised a $158 million Series C round from a global alliance of some of the world’s top technology founders and investors.

    They include:

    • Patrick and John Collison, co-founders of Stripe
    • Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of Wise
    • Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn
    • Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress
    • Tom Blomfield, co-founder of Monzo and GoCardless
    • Nat Friedman, former CEO of Github
    • Claire Hughes Johnson, former COO of Stripe
    • Sarah Clemens, former COO of Twitch and Pandora
    • Matt Robinson, co-founder of Nested and GoCardless
    • Patrick O’Shaughnessy, founding partner of Positive Sum and host of Invest Like the Best
    • Demis Hassabis and Mustafa Suleyman, co-founders of Deepmind
    • Rob Bishop and Zehan Wang, EF alum and co-founders of Magic Pony Technology 
    • … and many more, including our long-standing institutional backers Transpose Platform, Vitruvian Partners, Encore Capital and Isomer Capital

    The value of companies built at EF just passed $10B. With our new capital and supporters, we’re excited to see this cross $100bn, then $1T in the years ahead…

  5. Opportunity: Ask our co-founders your startup questions

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    We’re offering the opportunity for early stage founders to be a part of our latest podcast, and have your burning questions answered by our co-founders.

    In this series, our co-founders Matt and Alice will be offering advice to early-stage founders on how to maximise the value of their co-founding partnership, idea, raise and more.

    Matt and Alice supported thousands of founders who’ve built companies worth billions of dollars, and this series aims to apply what they’ve learned to the challenges startups face at the very beginning of their journeys.

    For the chance to take part, please either:

    • Fill in the form below to submit a letter to be answered on the show
    • Send a voice note* outlining the challenge or area Matt and Alice can advise you on to [email protected]

    If you’re selected, you’ll receive Matt and Alice’s guidance before the episode goes live, so you can get to work putting it to action.

    *By sending a voice note, you consent to it being played on the podcast.

  6. How to survive a bear attack

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    It’s no secret that Venture Capital has entered a bear market. Things have changed; public market tech stocks are down 50-80%. That impacts the price that late stage investors are willing to pay, which eventually filters down to Series A and sometimes to Seed too. 

    Most VCs will slow their investment pace and raise their bar. In short, it’s not going to be a lot of fun out there. 

    But that doesn’t mean that the strongest aspiring founders should be deterred from starting up. 

    The long term bull case for tech hasn’t changed. It’s hard to imagine that technology won’t be an even more important part of every aspect of life ten years from now. What we’re seeing is a loss of faith in tech valuations, not a loss of faith in tech companies.

    Most importantly, one of my fundamental learnings from the last decade, working with hundreds of companies to raise investment, is that the best companies can always raise. The money is there – it’s now just going to be harder to get it.

    A few weeks ago, I visited San Francisco with some of the strongest teams co-founded in EF’s recent cohorts. What I witnessed were hugely resilient and productive co-founding partnerships, building the products they uniquely had a right to win in, gearing up to pitch businesses with market fit. 

    What I didn’t see was any freakout from early stage investors. They still want to meet with great founders and deals are still getting done. There is no reason any aspiring founder should think their dreams have been dashed. It just means that the bar to reach them is a bit higher.

    It’s not time to panic or to put your entrepreneurial plans on hold. It’s time to ensure you’ve got the strongest foundation possible, to ensure you clear the new bar.

    Here’s what I recommend pre-seed founders should focus on to build globally important companies – despite the market:

  7. 6 considerations for building your company’s community – and how to expand your own

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    Online and ‘irl’ communities are fast moving to the center of companies’ growth strategy. You only need to look at the rapid growth of web3 to see the critical role that communities can play in expansion, idea adoption and customer retention.

    Equally, as a founder, your community can be an invaluable tool. Building is an intense commitment, where you’ll probably find yourself thinking about your company most of the time, working longer hours, and even down the line, potentially relocating. 

    To stay sane, it helps to be around people who get what you’re going through. It’s why at EF, we focus as heavily as we do on community. Your cohort aren’t just where you meet your co-founder – they’re your people, and your support.

    A lifelong founder, Amber Atherton is an expert in both functions. 

    She has spent a career immersed in community-building, perhaps most prominently as CEO of Y Combinator-backed startup Zyper, and following its acquisition in 2021, as Head of Strategic Communities at Discord. In addition, she serves as Executive Director at GBx, a private community for British founders in Silicon Valley to meet both professionally and socially.

    So it doesn’t come as a surprise that she shares our passion for community.

    In this interview, she shares her advice on how founders, from their earliest stages and beyond, can build community – both as a part of their growth strategy, and as support on their journey.

  8. Why the major brands are shifting to recycled plastics: Christian Schiller, CEO of cirplus

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    Christian Schiller is no stranger to the world of startups, having grown German car-sharing platform BlaBlaCar from zero to launch and then to monetisation, all within a short span of four and a half years.

    He left the company to go for a year-long sabbatical, fulfilling his lifelong dream of finally getting the chance to travel around the world when his life took an unexpected turn.

    While sailing through the beautiful waters from Columbia to Panama, he took a moment to rest and dipped his legs into the water. Suddenly, they were hit by a carpet of algae and plastic waste. To him, it felt dystopian.

    “We all must have heard about plastic pollution and how important it is to stem the ballooning problem,” tells Christian, “But hearing about it and seeing it in real life is quite another experience. I resolved within myself there and then that I have to do something about it.”

    And that was the first thing he set out to do when he returned to Germany.

    “While I wasn’t quite sure where to begin, I knew I wanted to be tackling the plastic crisis right at its roots,” tells Christian, “I was after driving systemic changes that can solve the plastic problem more effectively.”

    To do that, he knew he needed the freedom and space to take innovative risks, and entrepreneurship was the best pathway forward. 

    Aware that venturing into a new industry is incredibly challenging, Christian set out looking for a complementary co-founder to build a company in the plastic waste space. Together, they can move faster, and learn quickly to increase their odds of success.

    The problem, however, was that a new industry meant that Christian had no expertise, no experience, and above all knew no one with the required skillsets for the plastic waste industry to begin with.

    “When I first heard about Entrepreneur First’s unique speed dating for founders approach, I was intrigued, excited, and instinctively wanted to give it a go,” recalls Christian, “Getting immediate access to a cohort of talented individuals who want to start companies today helps accelerate my co-founder search.” 

    Since that decision to join Entrepreneur First, Christian has quickly risen to the challenge. He’s gone from industry novice to recognised expert in just a few short years; met his ideal co-founder on our platform; and is now, with them, paving the way for a new, sustainable future. This is how they did it.

  9. How this French startup is building an animation gateway for the world of the metaverse

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    The metaverse, while gaining popularity recently in the web3 world, has been around as a concept for almost 30 years. Defined as a simulated digital environment, it infuses augmented reality, virtual reality, and blockchain into social media concepts to create spaces for richer user online interaction that mimics the real world.

    To a large extent, at this very nascent stage of metaverse development, whatever the metaverse is promising is what video game producers have been working on for decades.

    What is driving this uptrend is community-based virtual worlds, such as Roblox, where players enjoy creator powers to control a virtual world. Additionally, the pandemic has accelerated the growth of metaverse worlds such as The Sandbox and Decentraland. 

    And France has a head start. The country is home to famous schools of engineering and creation that produce amazing 3D designers and animators. The country is today the world’s second largest video game producer with digital video gaming revenue projected to hit US$3.8 billion by 2025. 

    VC-turned-founder Yassine Tahi is among France’s new wave of web3 entrepreneurs looking to quicken, support, and usher in the future of blockchain-powered online gaming. His company, Kinetix, is democratising 3D animation for web3 builders.

    This week, they announced their US$11M seed round.

    Here, Yassine shares why his company is needed as we all accelerate into the metaverse – and what he predicts will be the next trends in this space.