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Follow your dream! Why now is the time to build a start-up

You have a dream - that’s a great start! You may think you have to put that dream on hold for a while, but this is actually a great time to follow it. Let’s see why! 🙌

We’ve asked Hayden Young, Marketing & Program Manager for startup generator Antler Amsterdam to share some valuable insights on starting your own business. Here’s what he told us:

“The best time to buy a house is when the housing market is in the tank and prices are buyer-friendly. The best time to buy that gas-guzzling SUV is when there is an oil-price crash and the price of petrol goes down to record-lows. And the best time to start your new business may be right during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s why now, more than ever, is the best time to be free, follow your dream and take the leap into entrepreneurship.

Now? Really?

So, let’s talk about the elephant in the room.

This is an unprecedented global situation, true. But there is a lot of good coming out of this time in the form of new innovation, human collaboration and more. Way too often we are only focusing on the negative side. Let’s remember, this is not the first time humanity has made it through such times.

Here are two recent examples: the dot.com bubble of 2001 or The Great Recession of 2008. Both were major events that impacted the way we do business but we came out the other side stronger and smarter. And you can be part of that this time!

Now you are probably wondering…

“If we are in such a tumultuous time, why is now the perfect time to start my company?”

Well dear reader, I have two key reasons:

Prior precedent - a.k.a history tends to repeat

In 2008 and 2009, there was a boom in the foundation of new companies. We also touched on it here. The number of new businesses went up in 2009 compared to 2007!

How come? Well, people jumped at their newfound freedom and created new opportunities by joining or establishing startups that were agile and not bound by shareholders.

Think about that for a second. Thousands of individuals took the leap and followed their dream. Some of them went on to establish many of the biggest tech companies in the world today. You will recognize these names, born right during the Great Recession:

  • Dropbox - raised 6M USD, October 2008
  • Airbnb - 600K USD, April 2009
  • Uber - 250K USD, August 2009
  • Square - 10M USD November 2009

With enough dedication and hard work, your startup could raise that kind of funding, and it’s not crazy to think so.

Which leads me to point two.


Here’s why you, as a startup, would actually benefit from a time like this:

Hello, innovation!

In a world where a bidet startup named ‘Tushy’ can raise $2M; it’s very likely that somewhere, there is a need for your startup. As long as it is solving a real problem. Even if that problem is a lack of bidets in the world...


Nowadays we’re experiencing an unprecedented change to the manner in which we live and work. Here’s the kick: with that, comes opportunity. Opportunity for your company to fill these needs for innovation in the market.

This is why your tiny new startup has an advantage over the corporate giant right now!

Corporations take foreverrrrr to innovate because they have a chain of command, a board of directors, shareholders, large-budget marketing campaigns and Karen in accounting who still doesn’t understand how to download Chrome.

It’s this slow-moving process that allowed a company like bunq to swoop in 8 years ago and take a portion of the banking landscape from the big guys. bunq innovates and moves much quicker than the corporate giant!


It’s the same innovation that allows a 7-month-old startup like Clear, to raise €780K in funding because they’re developing tech at a breakneck pace that is taking others literally years to achieve.

This could be you! No, seriously - THIS COULD BE YOU

You don’t have shareholders, you’re a team of less than 10 people who make decisions in less than 10 minutes. Boom, you’re outdoing the big guys already!

The rabbit beats the turtle in this story.

OK, so…what now?

Let me be frank. It’s still really hard to build a successful startup. It takes real dedication. However, there are things that make entrepreneurship easier.

For example, I work for a startup generator and early-stage VC called Antler.

Through our 6-month long program, we help you build a startup from scratch, find a co-founder and secure funding. We’ve observed the opportunities I mentioned above and we have a real ambition to make a positive impact on the world through startup innovation. We’ve already helped build over 160 companies in just over two years doing exactly that.

We give you the freedom to get started on building that dream company.

  • We give you funding from day one
  • We help you form a team
  • We help you validate your idea

If we like that idea, we invest €100,000 into it so that you can begin building a business.


Thanks to our partnership with bunq, we have the ability to get you a business account in a matter of minutes, something which used to take days or weeks to do.

I’m not saying building a company is easy. But there is no reason to be afraid to build now. If you want it, you should do it.

Be free, follow that dream and start that company.

Apply here to join Antler’s next program in Amsterdam (or in any of our other 7 global locations) and let us help you build it. If you have any questions about the Antler program feel free to reach out via LinkedIn.

We probably won’t take your bidet idea though… too much competition.”

Ready to build your own company?

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