Nishant is the founder of BlueWander, a marketplace for locally-sourced, locally-planned travel experiences. While at On Deck, he founded another start-up, NOMAWO, which is short for NOMAd WOrkplace is a workplace, accelerator and benefits hub for top independents and freelancers.
Previously, he was a Senior Consultant at Deloitte, as well as a mentor at TechStars, BUILD, Singularity University, and Founders Network.
Why Nishant joined On Deck:
I joined the fourth cohort, the fourth founder fellowship cohort, when we were in the earliest early days of COVID. My travel company, BlueWander was not doing well, because of all the travel restrictions. No one wanted to travel, which was the right thing to do anyway, so I began thinking about what was next. I didn’t know what it was yet. All I knew was there were a couple of problem spaces that I was interested in.
That's when I decided where I needed to be was around other early stage entrepreneurs who were open to collaborating and supporting each other. So I decided to join On Deck with the goal of figuring out what was next, whether it was starting my own company, or collaborating with someone else in their vision.
The most surprising thing about On Deck:
Fast forward to having gone through the 10 week program, I was blown away by the quality of the members, the other founders in my cohort and overall in the community, all the events, how everyone worked hard to pay it forward, and to the whole On Deck team for making it happen. They literally redefined the meaning of community for me.
How On Deck impacted his company:
Personally, for me, I have way more clarity on what I'm building next. I recently launched the waitlist for my company. And I'm close to doing a limited launch in the next few weeks. On Deck was particularly helpful for me, as I’m building a community-driven company.
One of the biggest top of mind things for me, when I joined On Deck was that I had a fairly good idea of the problem I wanted to solve but there were several different ways I could have approached it. Where On Deck helped the most was getting really clear on exactly what that solution was and to just go out and start testing.
That led me to found NOMAWO, as an education and community-first way to support independent professionals and freelancers build sustainable businesses. Since then, we launched our first program, which is almost like an accelerator program for service entrepreneurs (similar to ones that we are very used to seeing for startups). As well as our Benefits & Perks platform. And have some really exciting new programs on our roadmap for the next 3-6 months.
What advice they’d give to new On Deck fellows:
I think if I had to share some tips with future fellows, my number one tip would be to have well-defined goals going into the program. Whether it is getting clarity in what you're building next, or joining someone else in your areas of interest, or if it is recruiting new co-founders or partners or investors, just make sure it’s very clear.
Think of the 10 week program as like a sprint to achieve those goals. You’re getting access to this incredible community and all of the resources that come with that, and luckily you’ll continue to have those even after the program is over. Don’t just try to meet as many people as you can without a plan.
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.