Luba Yudasina is the founder of Loka, a platform that helps connect Eastern European engineering talent to start-ups. Before Loka, she was a Product Manager at AirBnb, where she also worked as a Product Manager, Chief of Staff, and Software Engineer.
Why Luba joined On Deck:
I joined On Deck at a point of my career where I really thought that starting a company would be my next step. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a lot of people in my circle who were following the same journey. Most of my friends were working corporate jobs or maybe they worked at a smaller company and kind of were comfortable in their environment that they were in.
I didn't really have that support network of like-minded people. When On Deck came around, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to surround myself with like-minded people, and hopefully I could find out what the founder’s journey would look like for me, personally.
How On Deck impacted Luba’s career:
On Deck was literally the catalyst that allowed me to leave my job. I felt supported, and I met people who were already on the same journey. It’s really allowed me to take that first step and feel comfortable about it. And that's what I'm most grateful to On Deck for, in terms of my career, in terms of me as a person, my life. I've also made some, hopefully lifelong friends, people that I'm still checking in with people that I'm still staying in touch with.
On the community:
I have access to other amazing people in the community that were not in my immediate cohort. I have this support network that I could always come back to and rely on. And honestly, it's amazing access to information.
Whenever I have a question, like what ads to run, I know that I can turn to, to the On Deck community and find an answer.
The most surprising thing about On Deck:
The most surprising (and impressive!) thing about On Deck was the sense of community. People were there to support you and help you when needed. We had very little structure compared to how the program has evolved. It was incredible to see how this community actually formed and thrived, even after the program was over.
I'm also still meeting new people. I'm still learning new stuff. I'm very much impressed with how On Deck has evolved with so many verticals.
Advice for future fellows:
My number one tip is to have an intention going into the program, kind of having an idea in mind of what you want to get out of it. Also have an idea of what you want to give to the program.
On Deck has a lot to offer, there are a lot of different resources. There are a ton of amazing people you can meet. Make sure you make time for it, so you don’t spend too much time figuring out who you want to meet. It can get kind of overwhelming.
Another tip would be to make sure you meet people outside of the events. Take initiative.
How she would describe On Deck:
I would describe On Deck as an accelerator for professional and personal growth. It’s also kind of a university at the same time. The program is amazing. You get access to an incredible community, information, and a great team.
Note: This is part of a series where we talk to On Deck Founders alumni about the companies they’re building and what it will take to propel them to the next level. Consider joining our incredible community of founders who have launched over 1000 companies worth over $9B. Apply here.