UNLOCK OPPORTUNITY

Scholarships for Fellows,
funded by Fellows.

Fellows give to the Access Initiative so high potential leaders are not locked out of the opportunity to build and grow with the On Deck community.

Unlocking Access. Increasing Opportunity.

The On Deck Access Initiative ensures that top talent can access On Deck programs and that ability to pay is not a barrier to entry.

We’ve created programs that bundle rigorous content, inspiring and supportive communities, and valuable credentials.

We are constantly driven by the desire to take our mission one step further.

Talent and potential is spread far and wide around the world.

On Deck was created to bring together the power of the internet with the power of education to support founders and builders who want to solve the world’s biggest problems.

The On Deck Access Initiative ensures that talented and ambitious builders have every opportunity to become On Deck Fellows.

The idea for the Access Initiative was sparked as more and more On Deck Fellows came to us asking how they could help more people join our fellowship programs, especially people who don’t yet have the resources or networks to start companies or launch their careers.

The Access Initiative has become the On Deck community’s way to channel its desire to pay it forward.

To build on what our Fellows have started, On Deck to pledged our commitment to match dollar-for-dollar up to $1,000,000 in Fellow donations across 2021.

$ 1,000,000
in Fellow donations across 2021.

How it works?

1
Fellow or Former Fellow makes a donation to the Access Initiative.
2

Incoming Fellows receives a scholarship award from the Access Initiative.

3

Launches a company, finds a cofounder, or joins a team. Starts something.

4

Makes a donation to the Access Initiative to create more scholarships.

CASE STUDIES

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CASE STUDIES

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CASE STUDIES

Spotlight: Saamra Mekuria-Grillo

The other piece of it is representation: highlighting stories of people who have walked in your shoes before and received the Access Fund scholarships. I think that’s important to those folks who are maybe less inclined to step in, to feel that invitation. Once I had been through the program, I felt very empowered to reach out to others and I felt very much a part of the community.”

CASE STUDIES

Spotlight: Vensy Krishna ODNC1

I believe that there are hundreds of people like me. People who are extremely hungry to learn new skills and support their communities. People who are from underserved groups and don’t have a traditional background that directly links them to the tech ecosystem. People who are simply dying for an opportunity to do the work that they've always wanted to do.

CASE STUDIES

Spotlight: Cara Whitehill ODA3

There is an intersection, for example with On Deck being global and digital, and the organizations using hyper-local, place-based strategies. I’m excited about a ‘both/ and combination’. That’s one positive outcome from the pandemic — we now have the tools and the frame of mind to be proximity-agnostic.

CASE STUDIES

Spotlight: Charles Oppenheimer ODA3

I knew there was a $5k fee going into ODA. When I heard that it goes directly to the Access Fund, I thought, “Okay. That's perfect.” It’s an excellent reason to do it. It wasn't just a fee, it was earmarked for improving access to underserved founders and investors. We work in a field with a known problem, where this same group has access to all the investments and startup capability, and not everybody else does. It fully mirrors my efforts to seek out underserved areas, like developing countries, and invest my resources there.

CASE STUDIES

Spotlight: Maya Caddle ODC1

There are so many people in this world who have so much potential, and they may not even know it. Maybe they need to be guided slightly, maybe they need to be in the right environments or community. Imagine how much more powerful our world would be if we were able to identify and nurture that talent.

CASE STUDIES

Spotlight: Jeevahan Murugesu ODF6

In this community, when someone wins, everyone wins. They share their knowledge, hiring updates, and recommendations directly back to the community. It is especially satisfying when I've helped someone who shares a big win, knowing that I played a small part of their journey.

FAQ

Are donations to the Access Initiative tax deductible?

Yes. Donations are made to the Impact Investing Charitable Foundation, Inc. The Impact Foundation is a U.S. 501(c)(3) charitable entity (IRS EIN: 47-3574130).

Additionally, you can choose to donate via stock which provides further tax benefits, such as reducing capital gains tax exposure.



How does the Access Initiative work?

The Access Initiative 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 or resources to do so.

This is how it works:

1. A Fellow applies and is accepted to participate in an On Deck program.

2. Once accepted, the Fellow applies for a scholarship from the Access Initiative, describing financial situation and needs. The fund covers On Deck tuition.

3. Once Fellows are “off deck” again — having either found a job or started a company — we encourage them to contribute back to the Access Initiative to provide support for future Fellows.


How is the Access Initiative structured?

The Access Initiative is managed through a partnership with Impact Investing Charitable Foundation, Inc. a United States 501(c)(3) public charity (EIN: 47-3574130). All donations go to the Foundation.

Additionally, On Deck has a partnership with Overflow to process online donations. This allows for contributions to go directly to the Impact Foundation. Overflow was founded by On Deck Founder Fellowship alumni Vance Roush (ODF2) and Kyle Woumn (ODF3).


What are the eligibility requirements for a Fellow to receive a scholarship?

Fellows apply for a scholarship after being selected to join an On Deck program. Scholarship applications are reviewed by an independent team following a procedure with standards based on financial need.

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