First Three weeks at Antler Stockholm

Back from my sabbatical

Towards the end of 2019, I was planning to get started with being a part of Antler pre-idea cohort in the hopes of starting up a company. But, I quickly changed my plans as soon as I understood(around mid/end February) that the pandemic was spreading rather rapidly.

Around October last year, I got in touch with Antler again, to kickstart the process that I had postponed back from spring '20. I decided to end my sabbatical and join the February '24 cohort towards the end of last year.

3 weeks in, it's been quite a ride.

Week 01

The first week had a pretty well packed calendar. We introduced ourselves with a short pitch, in retrospect I hadn't really thought this through and did a solid bad job. We also got introduced to the office space, our squads and other formalities. Right off the bat, we got started with working in teams to work together on sprints.

Apart from the usual sprint, we also got crash course lectures in a lot of relevant topics such as "now being the right time to build", "finding a cofounder", "learning from failures" and such.

This week went by really quick working on sprints, hanging out and chatting & listening to lectures together. We also got introduced to the first round of 'pitch a problem'. By the time Friday arrived, we were all starting to get sorta tired, but it was fun to work on Friday fun events. We did manage to build to tallest spaghetti tower, but it crashed right the moment of measurement. Go big or go home, I guess !!!

Apart from everything, I really enjoyed all the conversations around trucking industry problems, going after the "really difficult stuff", aviation industry problems, JAX over PyTorch, maybe buying a bunch of used A100s; you all know who you are.

Week 02

The second week started with a pretty great VC panel with representatives from different VC funds. There was a lot of good & clear advice for people who're considering building a VC-backable company, which is the primary path Antler focusses one to walk down on.

Further along, there were more events in the week where we got to test work with each other in various settings, some of them being short 1/2 hours sessions while some of them being really long 2 day sprints. We arranged ourselves in teams to take part in sprints together with industry partners, which ended up being a pretty good learning experience about team dynamics.

After having listened to a lot of problem pitches, I also finally pitched one of my first problem-solution pitches. I had finally arrived after all the chaos of first two weeks. We wrapped up the week with Friday afterwork hours which was a nice break from the usual office space.

Week 03

The third week started with a breakfast lecture at an industry partner about macro trends, followed by a session with one of the previous cohort companies.

The tiredness from the first two weeks and travelling between cities on the weekends finally had caught up with me. We had one more sprint this week, but my energy levels weren't up enough to be really amped about it. Regardless, we had a good time working together on the sprints. I tried my best to keep working with a positive spirit, which is probably the only thing that matters in the long run.

This week also started to get a bit more serious about figuring out who one would want to work with, as we realised that teams are starting to form and track-out. I scheduled lot more meetings with more people in the cohort, so that I could chat with almost all of them. A bit tricky when there's 60-ish people in your cohort.

We wrapped up the week with more problem pitches, where I managed to pitch one more idea that'd been living in my head for a long time. I also started getting the hang of Friday being a bit more relaxed compared to other days. Finally ended the day with aftework and chats, and attending a party with some Antler colleagues a bit later.


All in all, it's been a pretty great first quarter of the cohort. The novelty is gone, at least for me, and I'm betting the next quarter is going to be much more in a "now what?" space. Overall, I'm looking forward to face the reality of "Okay, this has been fun ! But, who do I parter with?".