The On Deck Fellowship

An 8-week program for 100 of the best early-stage founders

#5 Product of the DaySeptember 03, 2019
The On Deck Fellowship builds community around a cohort of founders at the earliest stages of starting a company. Over the course of 8 weeks, fellows take part in a series of dinner events, hackathons, retreats, workshops, co-working days, and introductions.
Would you recommend this product?
8 Reviews5.0/5
Hi everyone! David here, one of the founding team at On Deck. We're excited to be launching the second edition of the On Deck Fellowship today! We've just wrapped up our first cohort of ~100 people, and published a post on medium unpacking it all. On Deck's ultimate goal is to be the "first place the best people look when thinking about starting or joining a new venture." Being “on deck” — the state of being between things or thinking of moving on — can be a time filled with uncertainty. Especially if searching in secret, it’s not always clear where to turn first. How do I find co-founders? How do I evaluate whether my idea is any good? How will I get people to try it? We want to help more people build better companies, through forming stronger, better aligned teams; fast-tracking early hires; and helping founders construct a community around them at the very earliest stages. There are only two rules — the same rules On Deck started with in 2016: 1) Everything is confidential — the identities of participants are held in confidence among the group, creating a secure and supportive environment for those who haven’t yet made the leap to move on from current roles/companies 2) Come with a spirit of service — think about how you can give value to others without expecting anything in return. There's a small fee to help cover the costs of providing the program — we're a startup too! we don't invest or take any equity. @brandon_taleisnik @eriktorenberg, @julianweisser and I will be around all day to answer questions! Looking forward to hearing from you
Upvote (16)Share
@beondeck @brandon_taleisnik @eriktorenberg @julianweisser @daveboothy Is this primarily for founders with previous startup success?
@beondeck @eriktorenberg @julianweisser @daveboothy @awt it's not a prerequisite, but it certainly helps! :)
Hey y'all! 👋 Brandon here - On Deck's Head of Ops. It was just a few short weeks ago that we wrapped the first On Deck Fellowship cohort, and it was amazing to watch unfold. I look forward to seeing your applications, and having you aboard the October cohort! I'll be around all day answering questions – give me a shout! 🗣
Upvote (10)Share
I went through the first ODF batch and highly recommend if you are starting something! Reasons why: 1) Community. Surround yourself with folks also starting something. Leads to momentum on your own startup, and more importantly, friendships. 2) Advice. Regular discussions on top of mind topics at work days and dinners provided advice that can be hard to find elsewhere 3) Opportunity. Those I knew in my batch benefitted from asymmetric upside by being in the program. Many met co-founders from the program, got intros to relevant co-founders, or worst case, accelerated the vetting of their idea and product development.
Upvote (10)Share
@anujvc as another ODF member - agree with all of the above! Insight from fellow founders when working on something new is incredibly valuable - and there's so much overlap, regardless of industry. Having a community is so important when you're working solo or on a very small team.
@anujvc @danifankhauser As another ODF member second everything said before and very grateful to be a part of this community! You get access to amazing people, new friends, opportunities and advice!
@anujvc +1...ODF is a great community
@anujvc Echoing everything above. I can't recommend the OnDeck fellowship highly enough. It's a great community and a thoughtful team. The first cohort was great, can't wait to see what the second one is like.
@anujvc @kesteva @toddg777 @danifankhauser @luba_yu thank you all for the kind words. We're so excited to introduce you to the next cohort (we'll definitely take you up on help with screening the applications too 😉).
10/10 would fellow again!
@nbashaw 😆 you're a jolly good fellow!
@nbashaw @julianweisser I see what u did there
I went through the first fellowship -- I met dozens of phenomenal people with a range of backgrounds (eng, product, ops, BD, VC) and interests (devops, future of work, logistics, services, etc.). I also met several strong candidates who'd be potential cofounders / founding team members (I got lucky, but still, it tells you how high-caliber the people there are!). Here's what to expect: - Coworking days + dinners with lots of really smart, passionate folks - A sense of community and helpfulness across the board - Lots of serendipitous connections, intros, and benefits - Fascinating group discussions and expert-led sessions to explore dozens of topics you might be curious about - A very friendly and thoughtful team at Ondeck to help make it all happen! I recommend it very highly :)
Thank you @hariraghavan for bringing so much to the community and for such a lovely comment!