From the CEO

On Deck doubles down on founder-focused future and spins out career advancement programs

Today, we announced to our employees and communities that we’re making significant changes to the way we operate. The On Deck of tomorrow will look different than the one of today.

5
 min read
Published: 
August 4, 2022
NAVIGATION
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Note: If you’re an early-stage founder anywhere from pre-idea through pre-seed, consider applying to On Deck Founders

Note: This article is adapted from a live discussion for the On Deck community featuring On Deck alums Ming Lu and Vik Duggal. If you’re an early-stage founder, angel investor, or exec interested in joining our community, consider applying to one of our programs - you’ll be in great company.

Note: If you’re an early-stage founder anywhere from pre-idea through pre-seed, consider applying to On Deck Founders.

Note: This article is adapted from a live discussion for the On Deck community featuring Josefin Graebe. If you’re an early-stage founder, scaling founder, or senior exec interested in joining our community, consider applying to one of our programs.

Today, we announced to our employees and communities that we’re making significant changes to the way we operate.

— We are going back to our roots, re-focusing On Deck exclusively around our core founder communities, products, and marketplaces. 

— We are spinning out our top career communities into a new company, led by a small group of On Deck employees and alumni. We will also be sunsetting some communities. 

This pivot ensures our teams and resources are aligned, and puts us on a clear, sustainable path with three years of runway in a volatile market. 

Due to this restructure, we are unfortunately parting ways with a number of talented teammates today. 

We want to give as many details as possible about how we arrived at this decision, what the future looks like, and how we’re supporting our team and communities. 

Background

In the past two years of hyper-growth, On Deck launched communities serving over ten thousand founders and career professionals. Our team worked tirelessly to expand and cover a large surface area. However, this broad focus also caused substantial tensions. What we've always projected as a strength — serving multiple user groups and building flywheels between them — also fractured our focus and brand. 

Given this, and changing market dynamics, we are now taking big steps to invest in On Deck's future.

The path forward: 

Going forward, On Deck will re-focus on our original mission: building communities and products for founders and their earliest supporters.

In the coming weeks, we will be shifting all of our resources — including our IRL team, product team, and others who were previously spread across multiple programs towards building to support founders. We will also be tightening the integrations between our founder, angel and executive communities, and bringing together everything we’ve learned from ODF, ODX, ODS, co-founder search, investor marketplaces, and more. With these changes, On Deck is in good shape. In addition to being financially healthy, over the past two years, ODF founders have started companies worth over $8B, and engagement in those communities is as high as it’s ever been.

The new spin-out company will focus on growing learning communities for mid-career professionals who want to accelerate their careers. Led by long time Community Director Mindaugas Petrutis, the company will begin by serving our Design, Engineering, Data Science, Marketing, Business Development and Sales, Chief of Staff, and No Code communities. 

By setting up our founder and career programs to operate under separate entities, led by people who are passionate about these communities, we will enable each team to focus on the needs of their core customers and ultimately lead to better outcomes.

What this means for our team:

Team members whose roles were eliminated due to the reorganization have been contacted by leadership. 

Everyone transitioning out of the company, no matter tenure or role, can expect 8 weeks of pay, 3 months of accelerated option vesting, and 3 months of healthcare coverage where applicable. We are also committed to leveraging the full weight of On Deck’s community and extended network to support our team and help them find their next role.

To anyone reading this, if you are interested in hiring some of the most talented people in the world, head here to request access to a list of folks looking for new roles.

To our team – both those leaving today and those who are building into the future – we are humbled by all you have given to this company and all we have accomplished. Thank you.

In closing:

We believe startups are our best hope of building a better future and the opportunity in the market remains as big as ever. Since the beginning, our vision has always been to get founders off the sidelines, to surround builders with believers and belief capital, and to create the most helpful founder community in the world. In good times and bad, one thing has kept us going — the incredible strength and resilience of this community. On Deck is nothing without your support. We realize this, and want to share our gratitude.

– David and Erik 

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