On Deck Community builders Fellowship

Supercharge and scale your community. In 8 weeks.

The Community Builders Fellowship is an 8-week remote program where fellows learn how to create communities, get them off the ground, and sustain the magic as they scale. We're taking everything we learned building the On Deck community to help you supercharge your own.

Apply Now
Application deadline: January 31, 2021
Kick-off: March 13, 2021

Run our playbook on your community

Dive into the strategy, frameworks, tactics, and best practices for how to start and scale communities straight from the On Deck playbook – from the high level to the super tactical. 

Get your community off the ground

Getting a community off the ground requires a lot of strategy and manual work — they don’t just happen magically, even though part of the magic is making it seem as though they do.

Scale while sustaining the magic

Communities don’t just scale by themselves. Learn how to sustain strong engagement as you grow and how to empower your community to scale itself beyond you.

Build a sustainable business model

Communities are fragile and monetization is the riskiest endeavor of them all. Discover how to monetize your community without jeopardizing the magic and social capital you’ve built.

Join and learn from world-class community builders

Community is the core of the Community Builders Fellowship. Here are just a few of the phenomenal Founding Fellows participating in our first cohort.
Li Jin
Angel Investor; Host of Means of Creation
Greg Isenberg
Founder, Late Checkout
Brianne Kimmel
Founder, Worklife
Nadia Eghbal
Substack, Author of Work in Public
David Spinks
Founder, CMX
Turner Novak
Partner, Gelt VC
Jesse Genet
CEO, Lumi
Jeff Morris Jr.
Founder, Chapter One
Erika Batista
The Family, On Deck
Sahil Lavingia
Founder, Gumroad
Ashley Tolbert
Netflix, Harvard
Andreas Klinger
Founder, Remote First Capital

Apply for the Community Builders Fellowship

The first cohort kicks off early March. Access to the program and community is $1,990 (or four installments of $500.)
Apply Now
Application deadline: January 31
Kick-off: March 13

Testimonials

Our Fellows are the heartbeat of our community. Here's what they have to say.

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Vartika Manasvi

Join @beondeck for its 3Cs formula —> Community + Character + Culture

All of that is very practical, generosity of its members is real, serendipity is digital, connections are meaningful and all friendships are very humane!

This is best ‘Give First’ culture on the internet.

Van Nguyen

Life after @beondeck is crazy good! The network is so powerful. @Auroreserete’s ODF cohort hasn’t even started yet and despite that she has helped me connect with 4 potential customers in completely new/different markets in record time. Thank you!

Madison Campbell

So far I’ve been in @beondeck slack for two days and raised $20,000. The program doesn’t even kick-off until tomorrow. If this doesn’t convince you to join, idk what will. #beondeck #odf6

Sneh Ganjoo

Midway through ODF & every time I attend a session or interact with the community I have the same excitement as Day 0. I wish all founder communities were like this.

I have never seen a community that translates the true essence of business & ideas beyond borders before @beondeck

Harvey Multani

@beondeck will do for human capital what @AngelList did for financial capital

Mckay Wrigley

Last “official” @beondeck day tomorrow - I highly recommend applying for a cohort.

There are programs for anyone from founders to investors to writers to podcasters and more.

On Deck puts out great programs, you’ll connect with amazing people, and community workshops are A+.

CS Freeland

Wish I was a part of every @beondeck cohort lol. What a badass concept, and they are really changing the game. Can’t wait to see the outcomes next year.

Arwina Mogul

I have this theory that if I joined @beondeck sooner, I would've avoided many early-stage founder mistakes. I implore any early-stage founder to check out the fellowship. It will extend your financial, emotional, and mental runway.

David Lobo

@beondeck is the most impactful community I've ever been involved with. It's the launchpad that has allowed me move faster every day. So thankful for their badass team.

Quintin Woods

Founders 🤝 Angels

Instead of sticking all your money in a 1% yield savings account, invest in the future. @beondeck is the best place to do that!

Amiran Yaghout

You have to apply and get in but the @beondeck fellowship (ODF) Slack is the closest I've come to living in the future. If you are thinking of starting a startup or are pretty early stage, there's no community where you'll learn more.

Dan Stern

The kickoff for @beondeck ODW1 was the best onboarding experience I've ever had.

Huge props to @eriktorenberg and @maxnuss and team for making 3 hrs of zoom actually enjoyable

Sunil Rajaraman

I'm decently networked in tech. But I joined @beondeck on the advice of @hnshah and @tylerwillis. I learned that networks need refreshing.

On Deck opened me up to a new set of amazing people I will invest in, be friends with, and follow for life.

Manar

The power of @beondeck - sent in a question about dealing with a difficult personal situation. Within 20 minutes, 4 people offered to share their personal stories in depth and 2 offered general perspective.

Katherine Lynn

I continue to be impressed with the overall program, caliber of fellows, and the ODF employees! (Plus some sweet music playlists during events and I got to practice rap w/ @eriktorenberg during kickoff.)

Happy to be in ODF5!

Curriculum

Here's what we'll cover:
Introduction

Navigating the Community Builders Fellowship

Learn how to navigate OD Community Builders and make the most of your experience as a fellow.

Hacking Communities 101

The way we do it, in a nutshell: accelerating trust, engineering serendipity and nurturing relationships through an intentional design of interactions.
Starting With Why

Why community

Why belonging matters, and why we need to reinvent communities. The way we belong has changed, but the reason we stay together remains the same.

Growing through community

What defines a community? Key differences between community building and traditional marketing.

Foundations of community

Crafting stories that connect people. Starting from the core, defining core values and communicating your value to the world.
Starting a Community

Empowering through storytelling

Strengthening a core identity through storytelling. Reinforce a sense of belonging through shared stories, core beliefs, values and actions.

Growing trust through interactions

Creating a shared sense of contribution openness in your community by designing interactions that reinforce trust and familiarity.

Engineering serendipity

Intentionally designing interactions that enhance the probability of successful collisions that help your community grow.
Scaling a Community

Business and sustainability

Let’s learn from high-growth communities about various business models that help communities grow and remain true to their core.

Scaling infrastructure

Find best practices to empower people to take action and lead your community to grow through technology. Make yourself obsolete.

Fostering engagement

Enable spaces for people to build lifelong relationships: to connect, stay in touch and consistently add value to each other.
INCLUDING...
Intimate Masterminds
Weekly small group conversations with others who are thinking through the same intentional next steps.
Build with Fellows
Work with fellow community builders who are also focused on taking their communities to the next level.
Expert Sessions
Learn from top-notch founders, seasoned community builders and domain-experts through fireside chats, workshops and Q&As.

The On Deck Method

We're building a modern educational institution that redefines how community and learning come together. Being part of any On Deck program means you’ll have access to a community of world-class professionals. With every new program we launch and cohort we start, your network gets stronger.

Here are the cornerstones of the On Deck experience:

Deep Friendships

Our 8- to 10-week-long virtual fellowships provide members with community, education, and support. This is a place for cohort-style learning, but also deep personal connections.

Unparalleled Knowledge

There are limitless opportunities for learning and sharing here. You’ll get access to expert speakers, office hours, build weekends, and our session library full of curated content. Dig in!

Community Diversity

We’re proud to have a community diverse in culture, thought, and life experiences. This enables revolutionary ideas, inclusive solutions, and boundless growth opportunities.

Scaled With Software

We’re building in-house tools to improve how we share community knowledge, aligned opportunities, and helpful connections.

Engineered Serendipity

When everyone is going through a shared experience and seeking similar goals, incredible things happen. It’s like walking into a party where everyone is single—FUN.

Spirit of Service

One of the things we love most about our community is how willing and excited members are to support one another. This spirit is the strong heartbeat of the On Deck community.

Apply for the Community Builders Fellowship

The first cohort kicks off early March. Access to the program and community is $1,990 (or four installments of $500.)
Apply Now
Application deadline: January 31
Kick-off: March 13

FAQ

Who should apply?

To be a good fit for ODW, you are probably:

* A strong and enthusiastic writer with some form of past work to point to, whether that’s a published piece, an existing newsletter or blog, some copywriting you did for a job, or even just a short story you wrote when you were fourteen.
* At least a little bit entrepreneurial, with an independent spirit.
* Eager to be an active participant in a growing community, as much of the value of On Deck comes from the network and peer-to-peer connections.

You do not need to have an existing blog or newsletter to apply to the Fellowship. ODW is for writers who want to start building an audience as well as grow an existing one.

What does it cost?

Joining the On Deck Writer Fellowship is $1,990.

We're currently offering this as special early-bird pricing—it'll rise in the coming months, so apply now!

Are there scholarships or financing options available?

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

All Fellows have the option to pay in four monthly installments (with no interest or additional charges). We also have a limited number of scholarships available thanks to our Access Fund. Information about scholarship applications will be provided to accepted Fellows closer to the kickoff date.

What is the time commitment?

Between attending your workshops and giving peer feedback, you should expect your writing workshop to take up around three to four hours a week.

Beyond workshops, ODW is a choose-your-own-adventure buffet. You get out what you put in: often, the biggest contributors are also the biggest beneficiaries.

Depending on your schedule and interests, you could choose to:

* Attend everything and “gorge” yourself on knowledge until you explode
* Tune in at your leisure to attend sessions that interest you
* Or just search the directory and connect with interesting people one-on-one

Most ODW Fellows have full-time jobs, so our programming is designed with that in mind.

Do I have to write about tech, business, or any other specific topic?

Absolutely not! Our Fellows write about a diverse list of topics. ODW1 features writers focused on technology, history, philosophy, science, international relations, arts and literature, religion, personal stories, and even fiction.

Is this a fully remote program?

Yes: ODW will be run entirely remotely. This enables participation from all corners of the world. We’ve spent the past two ODF cohorts mastering the playbook for building remote communities and relationship building online, and will apply the same approach here.

Post-COVID, we’ll return to organizing offline programming like dinners, small gatherings, and retreats, but the core Fellowship will remain a remote-first experience.

Can I participate from anywhere in the world?

You can! The sun never sets on ODW1: roughly 30% of current Fellows are from countries other than the U.S.

We offer a wide range of scheduling options for writing workshops so that you can find a time that works for you, wherever you are. Our other live programming mostly happens on U.S. Eastern hours, but is all recorded and made available later in case you can’t attend live.

There are also many opportunities for asynchronous editing, learning, and socializing through our Slack community.

What are the Guiding Values of On Deck?

You can view our values here, but to summarize: Service, Sacredness, Respect, and Gratitude.

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