On Deck Founders

Explore starting a company

Explore ideas, meet collaborators, and gain conviction on your next venture. If you need to leave your job, we'll support you with $25,000. When you're ready to build, we'll fund you through ODX.
apply Now

Working on a startup already? Apply to ODX →

In the past 2 years, we've helped 2,500+ talented builders explore their next thing

Shiva Rajaraman
Shiva Rajaraman ODF3
VP Commerce at Facebook, Former CTO at WeWork
Ming Lu
Ming Lu ODF4
Co-founder & COO at Sensible, Former Head of Product at Lattice
Ann Ferracane
Ann Ferracane ODF2
Former Head of Growth, East Coast at Lyft
Gina Gotlieff
Gina Gotlieff ODF4
Co-founder at latitud, Former VP Marketing at Duolingo
Yair Livne
Yair Livne ODF5
Former VP Product at Quora
Emily Boschwitz
Emily Boschwitz ODF5
SVP Marketing at Cameo, Former VP Marketing at Hims & Hers
Hari Raghavsan
Hari Raghavsan ODF1
Former COO at Forge
Archie Abrams
Archie Abrams ODF6
VP Product at Shopify
Iyinoluwa Aboyeji
Iyinoluwa Aboyeji ODF5
Founder & General Partner at Future Africa
And 650+ of them built companies now worth over $5 billion
Hired employee #1, then raised $63M including a16z and YC Continuity.

On Deck helped us hire our first employee, raise $900k in pre-seed, and accelerate our GTM motion within the network. Our Series B wouldn’t have happened without On Deck.

Matt Schulman
Matt Schulman ODF3
ODF4
Founder and CEO
Found customers, recruited a team, and raised $21.5M.

On Deck helped me recruit our team, find our first beta customers, and build a community of support to get through the challenges of the founder to CEO transition.

Sasha Orloff
Sasha Orloff ODF8
ODF4
Founder and CEO
Co-founder met at On Deck, then raised $13.5M from Contrary Capital, Hustle Fund, Dash Fund.
Jessica Chen Riolfi
Jessica Chen Riolfi ODF6
ODF4
Co-Founder and CEO
Raised $51M from True Ventures and Village Global.
Viswa Colluru
Viswa Colluru ODF3
ODF4
Founder and CEO
Raised $38M from Khosla Ventures and First Round Capital.
Celine Halioua
Celine Halioua ODF2
ODF4
Founder & CEO
Co-founders met at On Deck, then raised $7M from Paradigm.
Alex Masmej
Alex Masmej ODF7
ODF4
Co-founder and CEO
Co-founders met at On Deck, then raised $6.15M from Spark Capital.

On Deck has been transformational for finding my co-founder and meeting like-minded individuals. It brings together people who are exceptional, ready to start a company and the mentorship needed.

Mohamed El Mahallawy
Mohamed El Mahallawy ODF4
ODF4
Co-founder and CTO
Hired early team, raised $10M including Uncork Capital.

On Deck was catalytic in the earliest introductions to angel investors which gave us the momentum needed for later rounds of fundraising.

Vance Roush
Vance Roush ODF2
ODF4
Founder
Validated an idea and raised $9M from a16z, Variant and Solana.

On Deck helped me get conviction on one of the four ideas I had when I joined. Those same fellows became our most valuable early users.

Francesco Agosti
Francesco Agosti ODF5
ODF4
Co-founder & CTO
Raised $15M from Kleiner Perkins and Caffeineted Capital.
Aleksander Koenig
Aleksander Koenig ODF1
ODF4
Founder & CEO
Co-founders met at On Deck, hired early team, raised $4.5M from NFX.

I met my co-founder Alan in ODF2, we hired an account executive and growth marketer through On Deck’s talent programs, and that helped us raise from Felicis and NFX.

Maximus Greenwald
Maximus Greenwald ODF2
ODF4
Founder and CEO
Validated an idea then raised $2M.
Madison Campbell
Madison Campbell ODF6
ODF4
Founder and CEO
Co-founders met at On Deck, then raised $4M including a16z, XYZ Ventures
Joe Albanese
Joe Albanese ODF2
ODF4
Co-founder and CEO
Raised $3.5 from USV.
Dani Grant
Dani Grant
ODF4
Founder and CEO
Hired first engineer and first designer at On Deck, then raised $5.8M.

I hired my first engineer and my first designer via On Deck.

Conner Sherline
Conner Sherline ODF6
ODF4
Founder and CEO
Hired a strategy lead and a designer, then raised $2.2M from Defy Ventures.

On Deck was instrumental to OfficeTogether’s fundraising and early hires. We hired a strategy lead from On Deck First 50 and a designer from On Deck Designers. I’ve also made some lifelong friends.

Amy Yin
Amy Yin ODS1
ODF4
Founder and CEO
Raised $5M from General Catalyst, Box Group and Human Ventures.
Priyanka Jain
Priyanka Jain
ODF4
Founder and CEO
Validated their idea and found first users, then raised $1.8M from Point Nine, YC, and Speedinvest.

On Deck helped find our first users, validate our idea, and connect us with the fund who led our $1.85M seed round.

Ferruccio Balestreri
Ferruccio Balestreri ODF5
ODF4
Co-founder and CTO
Co-founders met at On Deck, then raised $3.8M from Founders Fund, General Catalyst, Lux Capital, and Village Global.

I met my co-founder and CTO Akshay thanks to On Deck. He's a force of nature and we complement each other perfectly.

Mike Shebat
Mike Shebat ODF8
ODF4
Co-founder and CEO
Raised $22.5M from Kleiner Perkins and Gradient Ventures.
Shrav Mehta
Shrav Mehta ODF2
ODF4
Founder and CEO
Validated their idea, got early customers, then raised $2.5M from Accel.

On Deck helped us validate our idea and connected us with our very first users, some of whom angel invested in our first round.

Ankit Pansari
Ankit Pansari ODF5
ODF4
Co-founder and CEO
Major VC firms investing in On Deck fellows

We commit to invest in you earlier than anyone else

The process

Explore starting a company, surrounded by top talent. Whenever you're ready to go full-time, we'll fund you with $125,000.

If you decide not to start a company, let us know and we'll help you figure out your next step.

Apply Now

Apply to the program

We review applications on a rolling basis. The earlier you apply, the better.

Qualify for a Runway Grant, if you need

If you need personal runway to explore, you can apply for a $25,000 Runway Grant.

Join the next cohort starting January 8

We’ll give you access to the On Deck network and help you go from "curious" to "co-founder."

Experience our signature cohort onboarding

Form meaningful connections with hundreds of curated builders from day 1.

Exploration (for up to 12 months)

Our year-long programming will help you explore markets, validate ideas, and find a co-founder.

Draw up to $25,000 to cover living expenses

If you need to cover living expenses while you explore, you can draw up to $25,000 from our Runway Grants program. If you build conviction to start a company, the $25,000 converts to 1% equity, and we’ll invest another $125,000 via ODX. If you don't, we only ask you to pay it forward to the next founder by contributing to the Access Fund as you’re able to.

FIND AN IDEA

Leverage the community to find a problem worth solving

Navigate the idea maze, attend Request for Startups events and community sessions, or dive deep into markets in conversations led by hundreds of top investors and industry experts.

On Deck helped us validate our idea, find our first users, and connect us with the fund who led our $1.85 million seed round.
Ferruccio Balestreri, CTO June
Raised $1.85 million from Point Nine and Speedinvest
Healthtech Network
+100s
Climate Tech Network
+100s
Fintech Network
+100s
EdTech Network
+100s
… and PropTech, Deep Tech, Longevity and more.

Shared interests:

Metabolic Health

Sleep

Wearables

Shared interests:

Creator Economy

Tools

Culture

Shared interests:

Sustainable Fashion

Community

Shared interests:

Remote work

Marketplaces

Freelancers

FIND A CO-FOUNDER

Find the right partner to build with

Joining ODF means joining hundreds of world-class operators, looking for their next thing right now. Find the right partner with curated 1:1 introductions, social events and real projects.

100+  CO-FOUNDERS Met through ON deck
BUILD SPRINTS & BUILD WEEKENDS

Gain conviction on your next idea by working on real projects

Test ideas, meet new teammates and build projects through our week-long sprints and signature hackathons.

Still surreal that we won #1 Global Build Weekend. Surreal because we all just met Wednesday and Sunday we have a company.
Quinta Caylor

Events

Browse all the sessions, workshops and more happening at On Deck
Featured
COMMUNITY SUPPORT

Explore starting a company, surrounded by hundreds of founders

By joining a community of hundreds of other founders, you’ll have diverse perspectives and expertise at your fingertips everyday, and build a handful of deep relationships with partners, advisors, cofounders, and friends.

On Deck gave us the skills and support we needed to build our MVP as non-technical founders. 3 months later, we'd raised a €1.2 million pre-seed round on the strength of that MVP.
Rebecca Görres, co-founder at Remi
Raised €1.2 million pre-seed led by btov partners
#asks
Jorge Richardson
ODF6
We're putting together a media strategy for our public launch and looking for intros to a few tech & sustainability reporters. Any leads?
4 replies Last reply 2 hours ago
#immigration
Deboshree Dutta
ODF10
Anyone have experience bringing on an H1-B or H4 candidate on your founding team? Legal costs and other things I need to be mindful of?
3 replies Last reply 8 hours ago
#hiring
Taylor Crane
ODF5
Looking to make an offer to employee #1. Any frameworks, tools, resources or tips?
5 replies Last reply 1 hour ago
#legal
Havi Nguyen
ODH2
Does anyone have recs of law firms well-versed on healthcare regulations and have worked with startups before?
4 replies Last reply 3 hours ago
#growth
Dan Stern
ODF1
Anyone an expert on optimizing landing page copy for conversions? Would appreciate a 10 second glance at our page.
3 replies Last reply 7 hours ago
#pitch-feedback
Mei Ling Ng
ODF6
Any one open to review my pitch deck? Raising a seed round this fall for Hearth Display.
5 replies Last reply 1 hour ago

If you’re ready to build, we’re ready to back you

We believe in you and your ideas. When you join ODF, we commit to this handshake deal: if you start a company within the next year, you'll join ODX, and we'll invest on our standard terms of $125,000 for 7%.

On Deck Fund
Community
Fund

Access our playbooks right now

We invested hundreds of hours to co-develop On Deck playbooks with industry experts.

Problem validation

Validate ideas & markets with Asher King Abramson

Coming soon

Co-founder dating

Find the right co-founder with Erik Torenberg

Build a founding team

Hire your early team with Keith Rabois

Coming soon

Go-to-market

Find the right co-founder with Erik Torenberg

Seed fundraising

Find the right co-founder with Erik Torenberg

Apply to ODF

We've helped hundreds of people become founders. If you’re thinking about starting a startup, apply here.
Apply Now

Apply to ODF

We've helped hundreds of people become founders. If you’re thinking about starting a startup, apply here.
Apply Now

FAQ

Who is ODF for? At what stage are fellows normally at?

ODF is for people at the earliest stages of their founder journey. All you need to join is a special skill or insight, and the desire to build a venture-scale business. If you have an idea or a cofounder already, that’s great — ODF can help you with traction, product, and more. If you are already working full-time on your startup, check out ODX.

What is the difference between ODF and ODX?

ODF is a program for people who are exploring the possibility of starting a company, but are unsure if that’s actually what they want to do. The program helps you navigate the idea maze, find collaborators and figure out if you're ready to build a venture-scaled business.

ODX is an accelerator for people who have the conviction to start a venture-scale company. ODX will help you validate your idea, find customers, hire a team and raise capital.

What should I expect to get out of ODF?

ODF is for people who are exploring the possibility of starting a company, but are unsure if that’s actually what they want to do. As a member of ODF, you have an All Access Pass to the On Deck network. What you choose to take advantage of is up to you. If you’re looking for a cofounder, our cofounder matching service will help you find the right people. If you want to explore and validate ideas, you can tap into world-leading experts via our Sector Networks. If you want to tighten up your founder skills, you can attend workshops and talks multiple times per week. When you join, you’ll go through orientation and your community manager will help you navigate the many resources available.

How long is ODF?

When you join ODF, you get 12 months to use your All Access Pass to the On Deck network. At any point during these 12 months, if you build enough conviction to work full-time on your startup idea, you can convert to our accelerator, ODX. Joining ODX restarts the clock and gives you another 12 months, plus $125,000 and all ODX benefits. After your time in ODF or ODX is up, you become a lifelong member of our alumni community.

What is the time commitment?

How much time you invest in ODF is largely up to you. For your first month, we recommend spending at least 4 hours per week attending onboarding sessions and getting to know your cohort. After that, ODF is flexible. Some weeks you may want to spend 20 hours taking calls with fellows or attending sessions. Other weeks you may choose not to do anything. Many ODF fellows are working around families and jobs, and we fully support and respect these commitments.

What does ODF cost?

There is no upfront cash cost to participate in ODF. When you join the community, we commit to this handshake deal via a Memorandum of Understanding: if you start a company within the next year, you'll join ODX, and we'll invest on our standard terms of $125,000 for 7%. There's no penalty or cost if you decide not to. Put another way: by joining ODF, you’ve already gotten your first firm investment commitment, even if you’re pre-traction, pre-team, or pre-idea.


Will ODF be held virtually?

Because we recruit founders from all over the world, ODF is fully virtual. However, we have thriving alumni communities in many major metros, and will host periodic in-person events for founders to meet each other in person.

Can people from outside the US join ODF?

Absolutely! We believe that talent is distributed evenly around the world, and a big part our mission for ODF is to elevate and support founders outside of Silicon Valley. We accept applicants from anywhere in the world.

What happens if I decide to start a company?

On Deck commits to backing you earlier than anyone else. If you decide to start a company and build full-time, you'll be automatically given a seat in ODX. ODX support you with $125,000 and an intimate 12-week program, an All Access Pass to On Deck for you to hire talent, raise money and find customers, plus a dedicated Build Partner who will work with you hands-on to hit your next milestones and raise your next round of capital. You can learn more about ODX here.

What happens if I don’t start a company?

Sometimes, the conclusion of your exploration in ODF is that you’re not ready to start a venture-scale business. That’s completely fine! We want all members of the community to make the decisions that are right for them. If you leave ODF without starting a company, there’s no penalty and no cost. You also get to remain a member of the community as an alum, and we can help you as you transition towards the next exciting phase of your career.

I have a company already. Can I still join?

If you’re not yet ready to work full-time working on your startup, you should apply for ODF (even if your company is already incorporated). If you are prepared to work full-time on your startup, or are already doing so, you should join ODX (even if your company is not yet incorporated).

Will anyone else know that I joined?

Participation is held in strict confidence. Even if you’re happy to share, you are requested to respect the privacy of other members who aren’t ready to make their plans public.

How do rolling admissions work?

Rolling admissions means that you can apply to ODF anytime. There is no cutoff date, and if accepted, you will join the upcoming cohort. New ones kick off quarterly.

What are the guiding values for On Deck?

On Deck lives by four core guiding values, crucial to the culture we strive to foster in the community: Service, Confidentiality, Gratitude, Family.