Where top tech talent goes

to explore what's next.

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On Deck Fellowship

8 weeks. 150 Founders. World-class talent.

The On Deck Fellowship creates an incredible community around a cohort of experienced founders in the formative stages of starting a company.

Meet co-founders and early hires through a series of dinners, retreats, workshops, co-working days, and 1:1 intros to experts, mentors and cohort alumni.


Anyone can build software. What's elusive & scarce today is getting that initial network of connected early-adopters to commit to a product.


Tap into the hive-mind of hundreds of entrepreneurs, all with deep subject matter expertise – short circuit your feedback loop.


Conventional wisdom holds that founders should know each other or have worked together before. We believe this to be false: we engineer this serendipity at On Deck.

Offline Connections

There's no substitute for offline connections. At On Deck, we understand that it's the in-person that unlocks the online value and relationships.

Apply for the June 2020 Cohort

Check out our announcement post!

March cohort applications are now closed. All new apps will be auto-considered for our June cohort.

Progress to date:

It's still early days, but the outcomes speak for themselves
6 months

The first ODF cohort kicked off in June, 2019

80+ companies

Over 80 companies incorporated across cohorts 1 and 2

$39M+ raised

Over $39m raised in Pre-Seed/Seed funding during the Fellowship

Alumni spotlight

A few of the talented people who have joined us on their journey

Sean Linehan

Co-founder, Placement.com. Formerly VP of Product, Flexport

Celine Halioua

Chief of Staff, Longevity Fund. PhD, University of Oxford

Ann Ferracane

Formerly Director, Growth East Coast at Lyft

Peter Light

Energy Lead, GoogleX. Director, Bloom Energy

Cheryl Sew Hoy

Formerly CMO, Hack Reactor. Co-founder, Reclip.It (acq Walmart Labs)

Vineet Thanedar

Formerly Director of Engineering, Crunchbase

Brandon Hill

Co-founder, Vori & Greo (YCS17). Stanford Student Body VP

Cloris Guo

Senior Legal Counsel, Uber. VP of Strategic Parnterships, Circle
Rohan Relan
Kuldeep Kapade
Packy McCormick
Danny Shapiro
Rebecca Grubman
Vineet Thanedar
Ali Taylor
Celine Halioua
Peter Light
Luke Whiting
Eric Friedman
Cheryl Sew Hoy
Ann Ferracane
Maksim Stepanenko
Bec Hu
Jordan Kong
Ben Lee
Anuj Abrol
Clara Tsao
Sean Linehan
Steven Hsiao
Elizabeth Slavitt
Brandon Hill
Laura Thompson

Eric Friedman

COO at Company, formerly Global Senior Director, Foursquare

Luke Whiting

COO, Clearbit

Anuj Abrol

Chief of Staff, Justin Kan (Atrium)

Celine Halioua

Chief of Staff, Longevity Fund. PhD, University of Oxford

Rohan Relan

Co-founder, Agawi (acq. Google)

Sean Linehan

Co-founder, Placement.com. Formerly VP of Product, Flexport

Steven Hsiao

Co-founder, SpoonRocket

Kuldeep Kapade

Co-founder, VP of Engineering at Polymorph (acq. Walmart Labs)

Brandon Hill

Co-founder, Vori & Greo (YCS17). Stanford Student Body VP

Ali Taylor

Director of Strategy, Eventbrite

Ann Ferracane

Director, Growth East Coast at Lyft

Peter Light

Energy Lead, GoogleX. Director, Bloom Energy
See More +

Elizabeth Slavitt

Formerly Chief Marketing Officer, Khan Academy

Ben Lee

Head of Product Design, Postmates

Maksim Stepanenko

Formerly Senior Software Engineer, Coinbase

Bec Hu

Sales, Strategy, and Ops at LinkedIn, Stripe, Uber, SeatGeek

Eric Friedman

COO at Company, formerly Global Senior Director, Foursquare

Rebecca Grubman

Founding Team, Wonderschool

Avlok Kohi

CEO, AngelList Ventures

David Byttow

Founder, Secret; Director of Eng, Snap; Director of Infrastructure, Square

Laura Thompson

Product Manager, GoogleX

Grant Marvin

Lead Founding Engineer, Superhuman. EIR, On Deck

Clara Tsao

President, White House Innovation Fellows Foundation

Jordan Kong

VP at Atomic, formerly Expa

Luke Whiting

Formerly COO, Clearbit

Ali Taylor

Director of Strategy, Eventbrite

Kuldeep Kapade

Co-founder, VP of Engineering at Polymorph (acq. Walmart Labs)

Eli Polanco

Blockchain Lead, J.P. Morgan


Friends of On Deck include some of the best minds in Silicon Valley. 50+ mentors, advisors, and "experts in residence" generously contribute time and knowledge during the course of the Fellowship.

Keith Rabois

Partner, Founders Fund

Laura Deming

Founder, The Longevity Fund

Rahul Vohra

CEO, Superhuman. Founder, Rapportive.

Sarah Tavel

General Partner, Benchmark. Formerly GP, Greylock

Arielle Zuckerberg

Partner, Coatue. Formerly Partner, KPCB

Austen Allred

CEO, Lambda School

Erik Torenberg

Co-founder, Village Global and On Deck

Allison Barr

COO, Fast. Formerly Head of Global Product Ops, Uber
See More +

Soona Amhaz

Co-founder & Partner, Token Daily

Immad Akhund

CEO, Mercury

Andreas Klinger

Head of Remote, AngelList. Formerly CTO, Product Hunt

Balaji Srinivasan

Formerly CTO, Coinbase. Formerly Partner, a16z

Jeff Morris Jr.

Dir Product Growth, Lambda School. VP Revenue, Tinder

Sarah Guo

Partner, Greylock

Kanyi Maqubela

Managing Partner, Kindred Ventures

Anne Dwane

Partner, Village Global. Formerly CBO, Chegg

Leo Polovets

General Partner, Susa Ventures. Second Engineer, LinkedIn

Andy Chen

Partner, Coatue. Ex-CIA. Partner KPCB

Harpaul Sambhi

Co-founder, Careerify (acq. LinkedIn)

Ryan Hoover

Founder, Product Hunt

Brianne Kimmel

Founder, Work Life Ventures

Anthony Kennada

CMO, Front. Formerly CMO, Gainsight

Eric Reis

Author, The Lean Startup

Anarghya Vardhana

Partner, Maveron. Formerly Global Social Lead, Google

Jose Guardado

Networks Partner, YC. Ex-Talent Partner, a16z

Yasmin Razavi

Growth Investor, Spark Capital

Brian Frank

Partner, FTW Ventures

Rebecca Kaden

General Partner, Union Square Ventures

Jonathan Swanson

Founder, Thumbtack

Hiten Shah

Co-founder, FYI. Co-Founder, KISSmetrics

Sean X

CMO, Embroker. Formerly VP of Marketing, Veem

Ryan Servatius

Founder, Union-Castle. Formerly VP, Salesforce


What people are saying...
See more on our wall of Love

Apply for the June 2020 Cohort

Check out our announcement post!

March cohort applications are now closed. All new apps will be auto-considered for our June cohort.


Frequently Asked Questions

What do you do?

On Deck is a global, invite-only community aimed at equipping our members with the network, tools and resources to unlock their full potential and thrive in their entrepreneurial endeavors.Over the years, we have become masters of engineered serendipity. We have continued to fine tune our events and community culture to create an environment that's conducive to deep bonding, brainstorming, and collaboration.

What’s the goal of On Deck?

Starting a company is hard. And worse, the lack of adequate resources and infrastructure available at this formative stage makes it even harder.The goal of On Deck is to help amazing people that are "on deck" for their next thing find the following:

  • Co-founders
  • First hires
  • Investors
  • Startup tools and resources
  • Confidentially brainstorm and bounce ideas off of each other
  • Exclusive advice from top-tier investors and entrepreneurs
  • Referrals to job opportunities at early stage breakout startups
What is the On Deck Fellowship?

The On Deck Fellowship is an invite-only 8-week program, designed to bring the very best talent from across the On Deck network together to connect over a series of dinners, co-working days, expert workshops, 1:1 introductions, and more.

The goal of the Fellowship is ultimately to help more people build better companies by forming stronger, better aligned founding teams; fast-tracking early hires; and helping founders construct a community around themselves at the very earliest stages.We aim to have several cohorts per year. For more information, see our announcement post

What does it cost? What do I get as a participant?

The Fellowship costs $1,290 to join.

This is fully inclusive of an overnight retreat, 8 weeks of co-working space in San Francisco, weekly dinners and other events, including thousands of dollars worth of value from our partners (i.e. $10k AWS credits, and discounts with 20+ products/services), and ultimately: the opportunity to build relationships with 200 high potential co-founders, early hires and lifelong collaborators.

We believe great founders don’t need funding to get started building a company. Indeed, many in our community come out of high paying senior engineering and product roles, and/or have had past successes as founders. People for whom personal runway is no problem — but giving away equity too early doesn’t make sense.

However: our goal is to make the Fellowship accessible to the absolute best talent around. For this reason, we’re excited to be able to offer scholarships, a few sponsored places, and are working on other options to provide assistance to those who have all the skills and potential, but don’t have the means.

Please apply to be considered for the Fellowship first, you’ll have the option to request financial assistance after your offer.

Who should join?

You should join the On Deck community:

  1. If you’re considering founding a company in the next 6 months, or if you’ve recently started on this path but you're still early on
  2. If you’d like to apply your unique talents to joining a high caliber startup
  3. If you have deep subject matter expertise and a track record of success, where you'd like to mentor or advise early stage entrepreneurs
What if I want to join a company instead of start one?

This is the perfect place to meet people looking to hire, both for small and big companies. We also recently built Via, a referral-based hiring platform where top talent can request introductions to companies they're interested in.

Where are your events located?

In-person events are currently being hosted across the United States: with the most active being in San Francisco and New York. We’ve also gone international with active communities in London, Sydney, and elsewhere. We’re intentionally keeping each community small to create tight-knit groups of founders and ensure confidentiality.

What if my company finds out?

First, your name will be completely confidential and there will be a strict off the record policy. And don’t worry: A few great founders/investors will be attending dinners as "advisors," so if you get caught, you can just say you’re there to "advise.” We'll cover for you.

Will anyone else know that I’ve joined?

Participation is held in strict confidence. Even if you’re happy to share, you are requested to respect the privacy of other members who aren’t ready to make their plans public.

How do you assess candidates?

We’ve developed a framework for assessing candidates on at least one of the following:

1) Raw entrepreneurial potential and network
Previously founded or was early generalist employee of a notably successful company, and is now moving on to a 2nd/3rd/etc venture.

2) Technical excellence
Has advanced degree and/or recognized as a research leader within applicable technology fields (e.g. machine learning, STEM).

3) Product leadership
Held senior roles at notable companies, and can point to examples of products they’ve built/scaled to hundreds of thousands of people.

4) Industry experience
Worked in X industry for Y years, and has developed + can speak to unique insights or unfair advantage they possess vs. all others.

5) Exceptional promise
None of the above, but shows exceptional promise and has referral/reference from a trusted source.

What stage are Fellows typically at?

We heavily prioritize those that are early along in the process. Some may have a few ideas floating around, others may be looking for co-founders, and most haven’t started fundraising.

We feel the formative stages of a company are the most critical, and that they set the foundation and trajectory for the journey ahead. We want to ensure founders at this early stage have the adequate resources and infrastructure they need to succeed.

Historically, roughly 40% came into the fellowship with a specific idea but were open to changing, 35% were openly exploring or looking to latch onto others' ideas, and 25% had some initial MVP/prototype or were getting ready to fundraise.

How many people will be part of the Fellowship group?

We are willing to accept up to 120 participants in San Francisco, and 60 from around the world.

However, we will not compromise on participant quality for the sake of hitting this threshold.

In addition to the current cohort, we have an Alumni community of 300+ founders (and growing) that we love to keep engaged with the community and to have opportunities to interact with the new cohort.

Do I have to be in San Francisco to join?

If you're not based in San Francisco, we encourage global Fellows to commit to spending as much time in San Francisco as they can during the 8-week program.

We believe that it has never been more important to be deeply connected in San Francisco, but never less important to actually build your company here.

If you plan to build an impactful, global technology company, you don’t have to live in San Francisco, but you will have to visit and develop your network here.

You will get the most value from participation if you take this an opportunity to invest in building your Bay Area network, and can take those relationships back home to stay connected remotely. At a minimum, we think you should come for the kickoff retreat on March 7th, and spend at least 1–3 weeks throughout the program.

If you’re offered a place in the Fellowship but can’t make this happen for various reasons, talk to us — we’re working on some solutions for you.

I’m not looking to start a company in the next 6 months, should I still join?

Thanks for being upfront. The community works best when members are all at similar stages of planning to found a company or transition into something new in the immediate future. If you think you’ll be a bit longer, come back once you feel the timing is right.

What are the Guiding Values of On Deck?

On Deck lives by four core guiding values, crucial to the culture we strive to foster in the community:

  • Service: On Deck is bigger than any one person. For this community to thrive, it must be driven by a spirit of service to others. Be generous with your time, knowledge, and support. Karma has a way of finding its way back.
  • Sacredness: By default, everything is off the record. Many in this group are searching for something deeper in their lives or making big transitions, and others may not yet have publicly shared this with friends, family, or employers. Please honor that, and avoid sharing anything you learn about each other without explicit permission.
  • Respect: You are all now part of the On Deck family. You’re all embarking on what will surely be a rollercoaster of a journey — but you’re in this shared experience together. With that comes a sense of responsibility: be inclusive, stick together, and respect one another.
  • Gratitude: have a spirit of curiosity and gratitude. We’re bringing together 200 fascinating people, most of whom likely have never met each other…how amazing is that? Get to know each other, and make the cohort what you want it to be for yourself.
Can I host an On Deck event in my city?

Yes! the On Deck community is super active in New York, London, Sydney, and Melbourne, and we are launching chapters in L.A., Boston, Seattle, Toronto, and open to others. Drop us a line via team@beondeck.com

Did we miss your question? Drop us a line and we will
get back to you asap.