Connect and build with founders, investors and experts in EdTech

On Deck Edtech (ODEdTech) is a continuous community that brings together startup and education experts looking to found, join, invest in and advise the next generation of EdTech companies.
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Onboarding is done in intimate cohorts every quarter. Apply by {Date} to join the next onboarding cohort kicking off on {Date}.
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Connect with a community obsessed
with reinventing education

Our members are founders, operators and investors working on frontier ideas in education.
They come from diverse backgrounds and they all share a strong spirit of service,
a belief that startups can fix education and a desire to build, join, invest in startups to do so.
Founders
Build your company from the ground up, grow your network, hire your early team, surrounded by your edtech community.
Experienced operators
Understand how to navigate your career as an EdTech operator.
Sector Investors
Hone your EdTech investment thesis, develop your value add and build your network
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A community to fall back upon whenever you need

Enjoy ongoing access to a curated community of world-class design leaders to help find solutions to your everyday professional challenges

Meaningful connections with peers, mentors and future collaborators

Build long-lasting relationships with peers for support and accountability through curated 1:1 connections, or search the Directory to find and connect with other members

Blow off steam whenever you need

Meet other members and form new connections in low-pressure, fun social events and community mixers

Navigate the EdTech ecosystem supported by intimate masterminds with trusted peers

Growing alone can be tough. The ODEdTech community is a place for confidential, meaningful conversations. You’ll get invaluable support from a network of capable peers who understand the challenges you face and want to see you succeed in reaching your individual goals.

Regular check-ins

Join bi-weekly small group conversations with others who are at similar stages of their startup journeys.

First-hand advice

Work through your challenges in a supportive environment and get practical tips and guidelines from individuals who’ve been in similar situations

Meaningful connections

Develop deep relationships with talented peers from around the world that will last far beyond your learning groups

Access industry specific content you won’t find anywhere else

Acquire edtech-specific frameworks, knowledge and skills via thematic deep dives from experts, live tactical sessions from industry practitioners and an extensive library of content.

Thematic deep-dives from experts

Regularly expand and refresh your knowledge on variety of in-demand and relevant industry topics that you can apply immediately to your day-to-day

High Signal Sessions With Industry’s Best

Join intimate deep dives and fireside sessions with top guests

Ever-growing Library Of Content

Enjoy ongoing access to a database of recorded sessions so you can learn on your own schedule
How To Go From $0 to 10M ARR
Ankur Nagpal
Teachable
The Dawn Of The Age Of Global Learning
Deborah Quazzo
GSV Ventures
Rethinking Recruiting For Fortune 500s
Thomas Brunskill
Forage
Reimagining Education Through Gamified Learning
Ana Lorena Fabrega
Synthesis School
The Revolution is Devolution: The Future Of Public Schools
Greg Mauro
Learn Capital
Lifelong Learning Is Not Just A Buzzphrase
Deanna Raineri
Northeastern University

Everything you need to accelerate your career, for years to come

On Deck Design is a life-long community with a 4-week immersive onboarding to help you build lasting relationships from Day 1.
Application Process
Fill out the application form to be considered for the ODD Membership
We review each application, putting special emphasis on our core values
Successful candidates will be invited to an interview with the Program Director
4-Week Onboarding
Welcome aboard! The next 4 weeks is an opportunity to get immersed into the community and learn how to navigate On Deck to achieve your goals for the years ahead!
Attend kick-off and orientation sessions
Meet up with your curated connections
Select a Track based on your career stage and specific outcomes
Join community mixers and build connections with your design tribe

Life-long Community

The onboarding was just the beginning! Once complete, you can officially start benefiting from ongoing access to everything your ODD membership has to offer
Educational tracks designed and led by leaders you know and respect
Signature sessions with world-class speakers
Access to the On Deck Directory
Social and networking events
Small group and 1:1 coaching
Curated Connections with other members
Mastermind sessions with trusted peers
Opportunity to explore other options within the On Deck ecosystem

Apply to On Deck EdTech

Join startup and EdTech leaders at companies like Learn Capital, Emerge Education and GSV ventures in a life-long, invite-only community.

Founder

Learn the fundamentals of building an EdTech company from the ground up.
Getting early sales
Securing partnerships with higher learning institutions
The Fundraising landscape in EdTech
apply as a founder

Operator

Understand how to navigate your career as an EdTech operator
Building a career in EdTech
Marrying subject learning with emerging technology
Choosing your next opportunity
apply as an operator

Investor

Hone your EdTech investment thesis, develop your value add and build your network
Identifying early deals
Investing in Sustainable Education Solutions
Frontier Themes in EdTech
apply as an investor

FAQ

Who should apply?

Since there are 3 career tracks now available, to be a good fit for ODD, you are probably:

  • Recently moved into management or actively exploring a path to Design Management (senior and above designers, new Design Managers or experienced managers looking to amplify their impact as people leaders.)
  • A Senior, Lead, Principal or Staff level designer. You are exploring a path to management & leadership, and looking for a safe space to do so.
  • First Designer at a startup or exploring this as a career path.
  • A senior designer or manager/leader exploring the Senior IC path (Staff/Principal)
  • Eager to be an active participant and contributor in a growing community, as much of the value of On Deck comes from the network and peer-to-peer connections.
  • Excited about the opportunity to collaborate with other fellowships like founders, no-code, climate tech, writers and others.
  • The community is not exclusively for people managers and leaders, our members are also first designers at early-stage companies, staff, principal and lead level designers.
  • It is a highly curated group of some of the most talented and giving people from all parts of the design community coming together to meet, learn from, and work alongside each other. We want and will proactively build this community to be diverse across race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, national origin, professional background, age, viewpoint, subject matter expertise, and more.


What does it cost?

ODD is an annual membership that costs $3990/year. After acceptance, we’ll work with your team to expense some or all of the cost through L&D. Payment options are available.

What does a typical week look like as an ODD Member?

After the 4-week onboarding, ODD will be there for you for as much (or as little) as you need it. This is how a random week could look like, a month or 2 years from now:

  • On Monday, there's a session on using narratives to build human-centric brands. You are busy so you attend while you respond to emails but you're not super concerned because the session is recorded anyway and will be in the Library for whenever you need it.
  • On Tuesday, you meet for 60 minutes with your core Mastermind group. You've been meeting twice a month for the past quarter, and your intimate conversations have been tremendously helpful as you’re growing your team.
  • On Wednesdays there's no official programming but you are looking to bring on a couple of senior designers to your team so you set up a couple 1:1s with people in the community to help you in your search. Maybe you end up hiring someone, who knows.
  • On Thursday, a couple of Fellows scheduled sessions on executive presentations. That looks great but you gave a talk to the community on strategic thinking last week so you decide to take it easy this Thursday and focus on unblocking that big project at work.
  • On Friday there's another Community Session on hiring but you decide to skip that one as well. You want to attend the social event that happens every Friday afternoon then relax for the weekend. You're starting the Design Management module next Wednesday and it'll be a bit more intense for the next few weeks.

Whatever challenge you are facing, ODD will be there, even if you're extremely swamped at work and you just need to decompress.

What ODD is NOT?
  • We don't expect you to go to everything. We pack a lot into the membership. There are a number of different formats that might peak your interest, some being more interactive than others. It's a lot to take in at once, but we recommend that you prioritize from the get-go to avoid becoming overwhelmed!
  • We are big on peer-to-peer learning. A lot of the value of this program comes from other Fellows! Whether this is through the resources shared on Slack, the community hosted sessions, or from advice and support given during your recurring small group meetings, there are a ton of ways to learn — not just through official programming.
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 sessions, meeting other fellows 1:1, and curated mastermind groups you can expect to spend ~2-5 hours per week engaging with the program. We recognize that everyone in the program is working full time with busy schedules and a lot of personal commitments so engagement may vary week to week and that’s ok.

We have purposefully structured the program with your busy schedules in mind, allowing for structured content, a speaker series, and more curated small group sessions pairing those with challenges to those who have solved them before. We will also record and share sessions and engage asynchronously on Slack. This structure will continue throughout the annual membership.

Is this a fully remote program?

Yes. ODD will be run entirely remotely. 

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

Can I participate from anywhere in the world?

Yes. ODD will be entirely remote. This enables participation from all corners of the world. We’ve spent multiple ODD 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 Membership will remain a remote-first experience.

Can I join any track after my onboarding?

You'll initially select a track during your application process and we’ll help you assess which track is most suitable for you via the interview process and onboarding, goal setting and pathfinding sessions if accepted to the program. This will help you clarify what is most suitable and therefore get the most value out of the track.
However, the program is designed to be as flexible and non-linear as your career. Chances are, you'll change paths and encounter new challenges - ODD is here to support that. As an example, you may join ODD3 as a First Designer and pick this as your track but in a few months you move into a management position - as a member, you'll have access to a Design Management track and a relevant group of peers in a similar stage to learn with and from.


What educational tracks are available?

You will initially pick one track to join when applying for ODD. However, the program is designed to be as flexible and non-linear as your career. Chances are, you'll change paths and encounter new challenges - ODD is here to support that.
As an example, you may join ODD3 as a First Designer and pick this as your track but in a few months you move into a management position - as a member, you'll have access to a Design Management track and a relevant group of peers in a similar stage to learn with and from.

Tracks available for ODD3:

Design Management

A deep dive into the fundamentals of design management. Understand what it takes to become a great design manager and meaningfully impact your team and the business.

  • Operating your team
  • Defining strategy
  • Performance management
  • Recruiting & hiring
  • Building your management portfolio

First Designer
As an early hire, this track helps you understand what it takes to navigate the challenges of being the first designer at a startup: how to balance IC vs strategic work, and all the things in between, while building the design practice from the ground up and how it evolves as the startup scales.

  • Picking the right startup to join
  • Design during th product-market fit
  • Building the team beyond Series A
  • Influencing strategy

Beyond Senior Designer
Helping senior designers grow in their path as an individual contributor role. Understand what skills are necessary, influencing without directly managing, and delivering impact by doing in order to grow into a staff or principal designer.

  • Building up your speciality skills
  • Leadership without direct management
  • Strategic communication
  • Mentoring other designers

Is there a deadline I need to apply by?

We accept applications on a rolling basis. Upon acceptance, you’ll be invited to join the next onboarding cohort. There are currently 3 onboarding cohorts in place per year. The next cohort kicks off in January 2022. To be considered for this cohort, we suggest applying as soon as possible to secure your space. There are only 50 spots available per track.

What happens after the first year of membership?

After one year of membership, you will have the opportunity to renew your membership. If you choose not to renew your membership, you will lose access to all On Deck platforms, networks, and content.

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