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EF for software developers

Should you leave your job?

So you’ve been working in industry for a couple of years as a Software Engineer at a large tech firm, Data Scientist at a startup, Quant at a hedgefund, or similar. You don’t dislike your job, but you’re constantly working on side projects in evenings and weekends, and reading up on new technologies. How do you know if now is the right time to finally build that startup you’ve been thinking about?

My job is okay... I think I'm happy....

But has your learning curve plateaued? The chances are, if you’ve been working for a few years in the same role you’re not learning any where near the pace when you first joined. You’ll never learn more than in the six months you’re at EF, and if you’re the ambitious type, you won’t stay happy unless you keep being challenged.

But I don't have a solid idea...

You don’t have a business plan - you might not even know if a market exists for what you want to build let alone the size of it - but this isn’t a reason to prevent you from starting a company. You can either continue experimenting, hacking small things together, hoping that it turns into a prototype (which is hard if you work full-time), or you can start right now and get real traction.

Though having sold something in the past helps, you’re not expected to be a commercial whizz - that’s what EF is there to help with. To support you with this, we are lucky to have some of the most experienced founders and entrepreneurs on our team. With the support of our Venture Partners, our Science Partners, and the EF Programme Team, we'll help you to build something with huge commercial potential. 

Maybe I'll start in a couple of years. I just want to get some more experience under my belt.

The majority of people won’t start companies, and for good reason as most people don’t make good founders. But if you’re ambitious, technically skilled and already thinking about solving real-world problems, you should definitely take the time to find out if you are the exception to the rule.

Unfortunately, there is no experience that you can gain which can guarantee you’ll make a better founder, or build a more successful startup. It’s tempting to wait until you feel ‘ready’, but most founders will tell you readiness never comes. It only gets harder as time goes by and lifestyle commitments increase.

Is Entrepreneur First right for me?

EF is the best place in Europe to build a company from scratch - that means we’ll enable you to:

Join a community of other smart tech founders.  EF isn’t just a platform to build a startup, you’ll also have membership to a highly valuable community for life.

Some of our most successful founders have walked the same path you're considering. To give you an idea:

Henry, Co-founder of PassFort (EF4)

Before EF: Working for a startup in the Valley.

Henry left Cambridge in 2013 after graduating with a Masters in Computer Science. As part of the Silicon Valley Internship Programme, he worked for Salesforce-acquired startup EdgeSpring as a front-end engineer. Henry specialised in big data visualisation and analytics for business intelligence. He left the Bay Area to join EF in 2015 where he met his cofounder, Donald. Together they cofounded blockops.co - a cloud based platform which automates the collection and storage of customer due diligence (CDD) documentation for regulated businesses.

Tim, Co-founder of Permutive (EF2)

Before EF: working for a large hedge fund.

Tim was working for one of the world's largest hedge funds before joining EF. He graduated with a Bachelor's in Computing from Imperial and a Master's from Oxford, where he focused on a machine learning project that would later become the foundations of the company he build whilst on EF, Permutive. Tim quit his job and alongside his co-founder Joe, he helped build Permutive which lets publishers optimise the targeting of sponsored content. They have received a great deal of investor interest on both sides of the Atlantic and received funding from Y Combinator earlier this year.

If you have been working in industry for a number of years but are ready to start a startup, apply for EF below. 

Apply now