On Deck’s mission is to expand the global startup economy. We help people start and scale companies, get impactful jobs at companies, and invest in their careers.
We believe humanity primarily progresses through technology, and great technology companies all start out as startups.
But most startups have partially or poorly formed founding teams, and many more never even get off the start line because their founders didn’t have the capital, the access to early customers or collaborators, the community behind them to take the leap. The opportunity cost of this wasted human potential is a trillion-dollar drain on society.
That’s why On Deck is excited to announce ODX — a $100M+ community-backed fund to accelerate the next wave of global founders.
Here’s how it works:
We’re taking everything that makes On Deck such an impactful place to start your founding journey, and adding capital, structured support, and more resources.
Capital comes in two forms:
- The ODX accelerator — customized for every founder’s unique journey, we invest $125k for 7% and set each team up with a dedicated Build Partner to help them build a plan, stay accountable, and navigate the On Deck network over the course of the program.
- Runway Grants — up to $25k available over 3-6 months for “explorers” who are participating in our flagship “ODF” program, to provide additional support—personal runway—while building conviction around an idea.
With today’s announcements we are putting capital at the center of our community, allowing hundreds—and soon thousands of On Deck Community members to invest, put some skin in the game—to help us expand the global startup economy.
ODX: $125,000 and our network to hire, fundraise and scale
Founders need more than just capital: they require customers to partner with, world-class talent to enlist in their journey, advice from operators who’ve done it before, and much more.
Traditional VCs start with capital, and then try to build networks on top.
On Deck is different. We started with networks. Since 2016 we’ve been building the best founder-focused community in the world. Over the past two years we’ve built a network of programs where the most talented people in tech go to start, scale or join companies, or invest in their careers among a cohort of their peers.
Now you can tap into all of it to fundraise, hire and scale.
At On Deck, we don't just have a Talent partner, we have thousands of operators you can connect with via our Talent Marketplace, or pitch to in our weekly Talent Demo Day, where companies like Spora are already making key hires.
Similarly, if you’re looking to raise the next round of funding, you won’t just have a Fundraising partner who helps you build slides for Demo Day — instead, you’ll have continual access to some of the world's best angels and investors via programs like On Deck Angels, and ODVC.
Same thing with distribution. So many now can build great software products, worldwide. What's elusive & scarce today is getting that initial network of connected early-adopters to commit to a product. Across On Deck you’ll find advisors, early users and customers — many of whom will already have some skin in the game with your success, via their investments in the ODX community fund.
Hari Raghavan, founder of AbstractOps and former COO at Forge, explained this way:
I’ve hired 5+ employees (including execs), raised from 20+ investors, found 10+ customers, met 200+ awesome people, and made many dear friends through the On Deck community over the last two years.
But don’t just take Hari’s word for it, view 50+ testimonials.
A community that has your back
Back in the 90's and early 2000's, capital and credentials were bottlenecks to starting a technology company. Anyone can start up... so long as you can get an MBA and $10M from Sand Hill Road.
In the mid 2000s, that all changed. With the rise of AWS & open source software, the cost to spin up new software products plummeted. Now, anyone can start up... so long as you can code. Engineering skills became the new scarcity.
Today, it's never been easier to get started. Knowledge & content are ubiquitous. No-code tools and dev infrastructure are powerful. Sprawling social networks help you discover and serve niche audiences. Anyone can start a tech co, anywhere in the world.
But the scarcity has shifted, again.
Today, what’s hardest is cutting through the noise—to find the right co-founder, get your product in the hands of early users, hiring the right early team. The #1 enemy of any aspiring founder is obscurity. Community is the new scarcity.
The highest-leverage thing you can do as a founder is surround yourself with a community of people who will be early collaborators, possible customers, and care enough to give you raw, real feedback.
ODX is a community fund – by virtue of being funded by hundreds of world-class founders, operators and investors all incentivized to support ODX companies, you can now build with a community at your back.
You will get not only the capital you need to start a company, but the support of thousands of investors, potential co-founders, early users, and customers who are all invested in your success.
The spirit of building shoulder to shoulder is at the heart of the community, and is something we want to strengthen. That’s why we are now allowing anyone, anywhere, the ability to request an allocation to invest alongside On Deck at our terms, backing ODX companies and participating in their success.
The world needs more founders – start a startup with ODX.
Thumbnail illustration by Kade Byrand