On Deck access fund

A Donor Advised Fund — supporting underestimated talent to be "on deck"

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Unlocking talent. Growing the pie.

A $1M+ scholarship pool for underestimated talent, powered by the On Deck community.

Technology is a powerful force for good. But while its use has become ubiquitous, the ability to participate in its development and resulting wealth creation is far from widespread.

Ask yourself: how does an idea go from a napkin to a conversation with potential users, then to code, and finally become a product? How about scaling as a business? If you’d even encountered these questions, let alone know how to answer them — you’re substantially ahead of the majority of the world’s population. The tech industry has an “access” problem, and it’s never been more obvious than in 2020.

The On Deck Access Fund is a donor advised scholarship fund (“DAF”) dedicated to supporting people who have the talent and drive to build great startups and progress their careers in technology, but lack the typical background, incentives or resources to do so.

How does it work?

Step 1

Apply to On Deck

After being accepted to any On Deck program, apply for a grant to cover tuition fees and any essential expenses.
Step 2

Figure out what's next

Start a company, join a startup, build a network or learn a new skill among a community of your peers.
Step 3

Give back

When you’ve had some success — either raised funding for your startup, or have a new job, contribute back to the fund via tax deductible cash or stock donations.
Step 4

Stay in touch

You’re now an Access Fund contributing sponsor for life, and you’ll get updates about future grant recipients.

This "pay-it-forward" mentality personifies the spirit and values of the On Deck community, creating a self-sustaining giving machine, that we hope can systematically reshape the technology industry.

Apply for a scholarship

To qualify for a grant from the Access Fund, you must first be accepted into an On Deck program. Check out our current and upcoming programs!

Explore Opportunities

FAQ

How does the Access Fund work?

The Access Fund is dedicated to supporting people who have the talent and drive to build great startups and progress their careers in technology, but lack the typical background, incentives or resources to do so.

This is how it works:

1. Apply, and be accepted to participate in an On Deck program.

2. Once you’ve been accepted, apply for a grant from the Access Fund, describing your situation and needs. The fund can cover On Deck tuition and itemized essential costs that may be limiting your ability to participate, such as a laptop or internet connection.

3. Once you’re “off deck” again — having either found a job or started a company, you can contribute back to the fund to provide support for future fellows. Make a one-off, or set up a recurring monthly/annual contribution by donating stock or cash via Overflow.co (ODF3).

4. You’re now a contributing sponsor for life! You’ll receive regular updates on fund activity, and have the opportunity to mentor and connect with future grant recipients.

How is the fund structured?

The fund is a "Donor Advised Fund" managed by Overflow.co, and supported by donations from partners, existing fellow and, most importantly previous scholarship recipients. We also welcome donations from others to help us in this effort.

Are donations tax deductible?

Both cash and stock donations provide tax benefits. Donating securities is the most tax efficient way to give because you can avoid capital gains tax in addition to benefiting from the charitable tax deduction.

Who qualifies for an Access Fund grant?

The Access Fund is designed to support people who have the talent and drive to build great startups but lack the typical background and resources to do so.

We don't have a strict financial criteria so decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, but are strictly "means" based, and only a limited number made available per cohort.

To qualify for a grant from the Access Fund, you must first be accepted into an On Deck program, including the On Deck Founder, Writer, or Podcaster Fellowship. After the acceptance, you'll have the opportunity to apply for a grant.

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