TL;DR: On Deck is launching the latest iteration of On Deck Founders (ODF), doubling down on an intensive one-week,fully-IRL experience in San Francisco. Afterwards, ODF continues to support founders with enriched access to a global and curated network of builders, partners and investors.
Just over 4 years ago we announced the inaugural On Deck Founder (ODF) cohort. We launched the program because we believed bringing people under one roof to explore starting companies would have a positive impact on the world.
Our hypothesis was correct; over 1,000 companies have launched out of ODF and raised billions of dollars. Even better, they’re solving some of the hardest and most crucial problems we’re facing today. To name a few examples:
- Kintsugi is building vocal biomarkers to detect depression and anxiety
- Roots is creating a superior version of home ownership
- Primer has launched a viable alternative to public education
- Levels is addressing the metabolic health crisis
- Traba enables anyone to find flexible work opportunities
Over half of these companies started with their co-founders meeting through On Deck. Those and many other ODF co-founder success stories validated another belief we had way back in 2019: it is not a prerequisite for co-founders to have worked together in the past to build a valuable company.
Throughout our last 18 cohorts our goal for ODF has always remained the same: Enable more people to build better companies.
During our two most recent cohorts, we experimented with exclusively in-person experiences in San Francisco, and the energy was captivating. The enduring power of bringing people together in person became evident, leading us to the conviction that this format is the best way to help founders make tangible progress on their ideas and build long-lasting connections.
Today, we’re excited to unveil the latest updates to the program – just in time for ODF19:
- ODF19 will be a fully in-person cohort in San Francisco. Nothing beats getting in a room with other ambitious people who can help you get to conviction, validate ideas, explore markets, find co-founders and fundraise capital.
- We're condensing the experience into a single intensive week. We discovered that concentrating talent and exploration in one place, within a short period, delivers the most significant value for fellows.
- Fellows will have ongoing access to the On Deck community: our network of potential customers, teammates, and friends, unlimited access to our content library and access to both virtual and IRL alumni events.
- ODF19 will cost $1000. We revised the cost because we are committed to ensuring that money should never hinder anyone from starting a company. We remain a non-dilutive program and believe that $1000 is much cheaper than 7% equity in the long-run of a founder’s journey.
Applications for ODF19 are now open. The cohort starts on November 3, and will welcome approximately 100 founders in San Francisco.
If you’re thinking about starting a company, or already in the arena, we’re excited to learn more about you and how we might be able to support your journey.