"The level of helpfulness from founders who are further along than you and lived through the challenges you’re facing was above and beyond 99% of what I’ve found in other places."
Amelia Lin is the CEO and Co-founder of Saga, an app that helps families save and record the life stories of loved ones on audio. Before founding Saga, she was a senior product manager at Udacity, an alumni of All Raise Seed Bootcamp and a Marketing Specialist at Optimizely. Amelia has a A.B. in Physics from Harvard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She is currently based in San Francisco, CA.
Amelia was encouraged to apply to On Deck by a friend and Fellow and was at the beginning stages of fundraising for Saga.
One of the most exciting things for us was that we went through our fundraise during ODF. It was an intense experience, but a huge highlight.
I’m a first-time founder and first-time fundraiser, and the support of the ODF community was really impactful during that time. Because fundraising is so time-consuming, I didn’t really have a lot of time for socializing but I knew that I could always go to On Deck and find advice and resources on-demand.
How she describes On Deck:
OnDeck is a braintrust. There are so many talented and accomplished people. We came into OD with a specific goal: fundraising. Even if you don’t have a specific goal in mind, it’s still a great melting pot where you will learn something interesting and grow from your experience there.
When we were going through fundraising, I found myself having all these questions (usually last minute) and needed quick advice from people I could trust. Reliably, the On Deck Slack community would respond within an hour.
How On Deck has impacted Amelia’s Business:
On Deck has been an amazing resource while building Saga. When we were going through fundraising, I found myself having all these questions (usually last minute) and needed quick advice from people I could trust. Reliably, the On Deck Slack community would respond within an hour.
I would get multiple thoughtful responses from founders who were so ready and open to help. That was the most valuable thing I could have had: an online community that I could access anytime, anywhere.
Most surprising takeaway:
I was most surprised by how accessible it was even when I wasn’t able to make it to a lot of the in-person meetings and events. At the time, we were also going through a very time-consuming fundraising round. Thankfully, the ODF Slack channel was so responsive and I used it all the time. I got a lot of value out of that and still do to this day.
Best advice for incoming fellows:
Definitely use the #asks channel in Slack. It’s such a hidden gem.
Between all of the different resources, the level of helpfulness from founders who are further along than you are and have lived through the challenges you’re facing was above and beyond 99% of what I’ve found in other places.
Learn more about what Amelia is up to:
Learn more about what Saga is up to:
P.S. Great news: Amelia's company, Saga, is hiring! Learn more about their open roles here.
"There is a general expectation that writing fellowships are very tactical. Those things are valuable, but the humanity of On Deck is what has supported me in my writing life moving forward."
"By just putting yourself in an environment with a lot of other interesting people, good things tend to happen."