"The size of the network and the curation of the people in it is so active and dedicated to helping each other. It’s like a living thing."
Nick is the founder and CEO of Momentum, and advisor to social impact startups and nonprofits. He’s also a Council Member at NationSwell and scout at Indie.vc. His work has been featured in outlets like the New York Times, the BBC, and the Washington Post, and his research is published in journals like Nature, Computers in Human Behavior, and Social Science & Medicine. He has an MA in psychology and society from UBC, and a BA in philosophy and policy from Grinnell College.
Nick applied for the On Deck Fellowship with the intention to: a) continue and finish fundraising for a large seed round and b) hire 10-15 people to join the Momentum team.
Who On Deck is Perfect For:
Any CEO of an early stage startup—the opportunities and resources are endless.
How Nick describes On Deck to someone new:
On Deck is a community of trusted people across all the ecosystems in tech. It’s all in one place. It’s a huge network and an amazing community of people who are going to be relevant to what you’re building at every stage of the process.
Nick’s original intention for joining On Deck:
I originally joined On Deck with the intention to hire. I had been thinking that the On Deck community would be people I would want to join my team or join my network in some way. Now, I’ve become more aware of its benefit for fundraising and finding strategic angles. It was so helpful for that during the program, and continues to be since my cohort formally ended.
What has surprised him most about being an On Deck Fellow:
As a company you go through these different stages and On Deck has the capacity to change and grow with you. It’s not just a group of people to bounce ideas off of and support—it’s people you’d hire, and people you would raise capital from.
Something unexpected Nick got out of On Deck:
What I got that I wasn’t expecting were all of the fundraising connections and intros. That was an awesome process. I had been doing all that on my own and it made so much sense to integrate with the On Deck platform.
The most valuable thing Nick got from his On Deck experience:
The embedded problem solving community. I got so much advice, which was unexpected and so helpful.
What makes On Deck different:
The slack is so active. Others start and then they fall off.
The size of the network and the curation of the people in it is so active and dedicated to helping each other. It’s like a living thing. And there are enough people in it to create a network effect.
His big win during On Deck:
We successfully raised the seed round, which was amazing, and even more, On Deck added a bunch of people who we never would have been connected to otherwise. Through OD, we got linked up with really strategic people. We ended up replacing some of the people who had committed to our angel round with people we met at OD because the alignment was stronger.
OD is such a powerful way to form real relationships.
Advice for Prospective Fellows:
Search the directory for what you’re looking for. If you have specific questions, go in and find the right channel and ask. Also, seek out people that make sense for you and start a 1:1 conversation. OD is such a powerful way to form real relationships.
"It’s a great place to feel like you’re not alone on what can be the very lonely journey of starting a company."
"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."