Where top tech talent goes

to explore what's next.

Learn more

The numbers speak for themselves...

9 Months

The first ODF cohort kicked off in June, 2019

160+ Companies

Over 160 companies incorporated across first 3 cohorts

$80M+ Raised

Over $80M raised in Pre-Seed/Seed funding during ODF

Backed by investors including...

On Deck Fellowship

10 weeks. 200 Founders. Explore and Build Together.

The On Deck Fellowship (ODF) is a 10-week program that creates an incredible community around a cohort of experienced founders and talented individuals in the formative stages of starting a company.

Meet co-founders, early hires, and accelerate through the most formative early days of building a company via a series of expert-led breakouts, virtual dinners, 1:1 matching, social gatherings, hackathons, access to our alumni community, and more.


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 collective intelligence 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.

Who's a fit?

Fellows typically fall into two broad categories, which we’ve taken to calling “Explorers” and “Builders.”

On Deck programming plays an important role in fostering culture and relationships. With the success of ODF3’s collaborative virtual “breakouts”, and taking inspiration from top MBA programs like Stanford’s GSB, we’re excited to introduce a full elective “curriculum” tailored to each of these two groups. 


  • You’re talented and want to start a company, but aren’t exactly sure yet what you want to build, or who to build it with.
  • Deep dives on opportunities in industries such as fintech, biotech, consumer, etc.
  • Tactical co-founder dating and idea validation programming.


  • You know what you want to build & are early on in the journey.
  • Tap the community to accelerate progress: user interviews, customer introduction, or access the collective knowledge base
  • Focus on tactical knowledge and skills – covering topics from SEO to forecasting, recruiting to fundraising.

Apply for a Fellowship Cohort

Our next cohorts are ODF5 (August) or ODF6 (September). Select your preference in the app.

Applications for the June cohort are now closed. We'll automatically consider your app for our August cohort.

Alumni spotlight

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

Shiva Rajaraman

Former CTO at WeWork; VP Product Spotify; Dir. PM at Google

Sean Linehan

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

Elizabeth Slavitt

Founder, Speakeasy. Formerly CMO, Khan Academy

Celine Halioua

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

Marcel Kornacker

Formerly Google F1 Query Engine Tech Lead; Cloudera architect and tech lead

Maksim Stepanenko

Co-founder, Primer, Formerly Senior Software Engineer, Coinbase

Ashley Tolbert

Senior Security Engineer, Netflix. Formerly NASA.

Boris de Souza

1st Engineer, Chime. Head of Eng, Braintree Treasury. Sr Eng Manager, Slack.
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 +

Madelin Woods

Early engineer at Square. PM/Design/Eng at Facebook, IDEO, Intercom

George Xing

Prev. Director & Head of Data Science & Analytics at Lyft

Saul Diez-Guerra

Former CTO at Thinkful, Head of Engineering at Ampush

Ann Ferracane

Formerly Director, Growth East Coast at Lyft

Ben Lee

Head of Product Design, Postmates

Bec Hu

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

Ali Taylor

Director of Strategy, Eventbrite

David Byttow

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

Avlok Kohi

CEO, AngelList Ventures

Harpaul Sambhi

Co-founder, Careerify (acq. LinkedIn)

Clara Tsao

President, White House Innovation Fellows Foundation

Ryan Servatius

Founder, Union-Castle. Formerly VP, Salesforce. Director M&A, Microsoft.

Cloris Guo

Senior Legal Counsel, Uber. VP of Strategic Parnterships, Circle

Kuldeep Kapade

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

Lexi Lewtan

Formerly Head of Operations, AngelList.

Brandon Hill

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

Eric Friedman

COO at Company, formerly Global Senior Director, Foursquare

Rebecca Grubman

Founding Team, Wonderschool

Peter Light

Energy Lead, GoogleX. Director, Bloom Energy

Vineet Thanedar

Formerly Director of Engineering, Crunchbase

Luke Whiting

Formerly COO, Clearbit

Nicole Obst

Formerly Head of Growth, Loom. Head of Web Growth, Dropbox.

Cheryl Sew Hoy

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

Grant Marvin

Lead Founding Engineer, Superhuman. EIR, On Deck


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

Keith Rabois

Partner, Founders Fund

Laura Deming

Founder, The Longevity Fund

Sarah Tavel

General Partner, Benchmark. Formerly GP, Greylock

Hiten Shah

Co-founder, FYI. Co-Founder, KISSmetrics

Austen Allred

CEO, Lambda School

Erik Torenberg

Co-founder, Village Global and On Deck

Arielle Zuckerberg

Partner, Coatue. Formerly Partner, KPCB

Ryan Graves

Formerly CEO/SVP Global Operations, 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

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

Brian Frank

Partner, FTW Ventures

Rebecca Kaden

General Partner, Union Square Ventures

Jonathan Swanson

Founder, Thumbtack

Sheel Mohnot

Fintech, 500 Startups. Former Head of BD, Groupon


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

Apply for a Fellowship Cohort

Our next cohorts are ODF5 (August) or ODF6 (September). Select your preference in the app.

Applications for the June cohort are now closed. We'll automatically consider your app for our August cohort.


Frequently Asked Questions

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 digital gatherings, 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 have several cohorts per year. For more information, see our ODF4 announcement post

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

Joining the Fellowship costs $1,490 if paid upfront, or $400 per month over 4 months.

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

The program fee covers:

1) Your admission to the 8-week program, with hundreds of hours of live programming and curriculum.

2) Lifetime access to the online community and access to the On Deck Directory. Nearly 40% of ODF1 and ODF2 alumni have been active daily on Slack during ODF3.

3) Lifetime access to the content library and archive

4) A three day in-real-life retreat (scheduling to be determined due to COVID-19, see below)

5) $50k+ worth of value from our partners (i.e. $10k AWS credits, $20k Stripe credits, and discounts with 20+ products/services you’ll actually want to use) 

And ultimately: the life-changing opportunity to build relationships with a group of high potential co-founders, early hires and lifelong collaborators, in your cohort and across the alumni community.


Scholarships Available
Our goal is to make the Fellowship accessible to the absolute best talent, no matter what their situation.

While many eligible applicants do have the means to support themselves, many others don’t. We’re excited to be able to offer scholarships to join the Fellowship, and have made a budget available to people who have been adversely affected by COVID layoffs and startup shutdowns. 

We also have a number of fully sponsored places available thanks to the generosity of alumni and partners, and are working on other options to provide further assistance to those without means to support themselves.

There are no fees to apply so please submit an application to be considered for the fellowship — you’ll have the option to request financial assistance if you receive an offer to join ODF4.

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?

The Fellowship is geared towards those looking to start companies. Outside of that, we built Via, a referral-based hiring platform where top talent can request introductions to companies they're interested in.

Where are your events located?

As of cohort 3 the On Deck Fellowship has gone entirely digital and we're keeping it that way for cohort 4! Read more in our ODF4 announcement post.

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?

Roughly 200 world-class people from all over the world.

In addition to the upcoming cohort, we have an Alumni community of 450+ 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?

We're entirely digital so you can be based anywhere and participate.

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. During the program you'll be deeply immersed in SF tech even if you're halfway around the world!

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