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The grand finale of the FEM-START Up Awards 2023 has reached its highlight: the winner has been decided!

Laurie Lancee of Vini Mini has won the grand prize of a 100.000 euro investment sponsored by Antler. Congratulations to Vini Mini!

The finale was a great success with talks by professor Mirjam van Praag and deputy mayor of Amsterdam Sofyan Mbarki, and workshops by Lancôme and Antler.

Look back on a successful day with us!

Program of the day!

Get excited! It’s almost time for the grand finale of the FEM-START Up Awards!

15:00 Start of the program
15:30 Opening by city of Amsterdam councillor Sofyan Mbarki!
15:40 Keynote by Mirjam van Praag
16:00 Pitching time!
17:10 Workshops by Lancome and Antler
18:00 Announcement of the winners!
18:15 Time for drinks, networking and celebration!

Date: Friday the 3rd of November

Time: 15:00 till 19:00

Location: Charity Lotteries, Beethovenstraat 200 in Amsterdam


Kinga Matula of QurieGen has won the second prize of a trip to Silicon Valley, sponsored by ScaleNL. Congratulations to QurieGen!


Important dates








A big thank you to our sponsors for making this day happen!


There are no set goals/milestones we look at during the competition as a deciding factor for
investment, as this will vary depending on the initial stage of the idea. Therefore, we look at your
trajectory since inception, how your team has operated and what has been achieved throughout
the journey.

Yes, by signing the Founder Agreement this becomes your obligation (if you are selected as
the winner).

No. (other than your own travel expenses to the pre-selection and finals event)

No, the key terms (economic and control) are fixed. In some cases, e.g. commitment
required, we may adjust some clauses to be in line with our verbal agreements, however the
key terms remain fixed. It is therefore important you understand and agree with these terms, so
please let us know if you have any questions or doubts, so we can discuss your questions on
any specific terms and how they work in practice.

We will discuss the valuation during the selection process. Typically this will be subject to
traction, team, innovation, and total size of the round and commitments from other investors.

We believe it is in everyone’s interest that we are on the same page with what the CLA
documentation looks like, so that we avoid misalignment of expectations and discussions down
the line. Of course, if you have specific questions about the CLA, this is a great time to ask them
and you should be comfortable with it before you sign the agreement.

By signing the Founder Agreement, you agree to granting Antler the option to invest in your
company according to the terms in the CLA, once we decide if we want to. You cannot ‘step out
of this obligation down the line. If you don’t yet know if you would like to have Antler as your
investor or are unsure about the terms, we recommend that you do more due diligence before
signing the founder agreement.

A convertible loan is a short-term debt that converts into equity. Usually it converts at the next
investment round. It is one of the easiest ways to perform early-stage investments into startups
because they avoid the larger legal process and costs associated with a ‘straight equity’
investment (which you will typically have for your Series A and later rounds, and sometimes also
at Seed). There are plenty of articles on google that explain the benefits of a convertible loan for

After investment, if at some point you believe that the venture has lost all potential to create
value and therefore have lost motivation to work on it, we will discuss with you what the best
way is to get (some of) our money back. For example, an early liquidation while you still have
money in the bank. Or a sale of your company assets to another company. As long as the loan
hasn’t been converted into equity, Antler has the right to get back the loan amount in case of an
event of default. Typically in such scenarios we will discuss a transition plan together that helps
minimize losses for Antler while also setting yourself up for success in your next steps (which
could include you looking for another job before the bankruptcy is complete).
However, what is more common is that you are close to running out of cash runway in the
company but you have not yet lost hope for the business. In that case, we discuss and agree
with you on how you can make some money ‘on the side’ while still continuing to work on the
startup in the hope/expectation that traction will pick up. If eventually this doesn’t happen, it
becomes the scenario described above.

If for example you win the competition but deny the investment from Antler.

We are industry agnostic and look to invest in fast-growing companies with a strong regional or
global potential. We welcome a wide range of companies across industries as long as there is a
tech component – e.g. utilising machine learning, blockchain or loT technology – in industries
such as healthcare, finance, property, insurance deep tech and more.

Yes – Antler continues to support companies after the competition. We’ll continue to support
companies with business coaching, access to our global advisory network, fundraising support
and investor introes, company partnerships (free credits on AWS, Google Cloud etc) and hiring

Ideally teams then incorporate just before the finals event so you can get the cash in your bank
account as soon as possible after the finals (if successful).

In order for Antler Benelux to invest, we do require you to incorporate in the Netherlands.The
reason behind this requirement is that among our investors, we do also have the Dutch
government (RVO), which does require us to invest in Dutch entities.

Having an ESOP will become a part of the Shareholders Agreement when you do your first
priced equity round (after the Antler investment), so we do not force you to create them at the
time of the Antler investment, but the ESOP you will discuss/negotiate with your next investor
and typically ends up between 10-15%. Note, Antler’s stake will not dilute as a consequence of
introducing the ESOP.

Yes, if it does not require your time. If it does require your time, please let us know before you
start the competition so we can create a solution together with you in case you will be the
winner of the investment at the finals.

If you have minor side activities that do not significantly take up your working time for your
startup (and do not compete with building your startup), this is perfectly acceptable and we
always document those with our founders in a simple 1-page document defining what those
activities are and how much time you expect them to take. This way we (as well as your
co-founders) are all aligned on the (lack of) impact these activities have on your startup and
no-one needs to worry about this. We suggest we wait to do this until after Antler decides to
invest. In any case, other VCs (including the ones that would invest in your company after Antler
does so) will also have commitment clauses so this is quite a common practice.


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