Careers at Entrepreneur First
The mission of Entrepreneur First (EF) is to give fresh university graduates with imagination and desire for autonomy the means to create successful high-tech companies.
Entrepreneur First (EF) opened for business in London in 2011 with the goal of identifying and assisting promising young people who had the skills, interest and motivation to design and run their own startup companies in the high-tech sector. EF’s business model was inspired by an idea floated at McKinsey management consultants, where the two co-founders had been working since 2009.
The original vision involved developing a technology cluster in East London by recruiting talented computer scientists and engineers just out of graduate school and giving them the training and support needed to create startup companies that would locate there.
As implemented by Matt Clifford and Anne Bentinck, however, the EF program has a much broader reach. Besides seeking out qualified applicants from engineering schools, the program also looks for arts graduates with an interest in technology and accepts self-taught programmers. Successful applicants participate in a six-month training course which helps them identify co-founders, build working relationships, discover their best skill sets, develop ideas, and turn initial concepts into marketable products.
EF works with program partners from the business world who mentor participants for up to two-years. At the end of the training period, aspiring co-founders have an opportunity to present their business plans to potential investors. Once a start-up is funded, the mentors continue to support each new company for a further 18-month period.
Since 2016, EF has been operating in Singapore as well as London. It recruits in both locations and covers the cost of living for program participants during the first six months of training and concept development. EF also provides seed money to help each technology company created through its program get off to a successful start.
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