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Announcing: On Deck Scale

Learn the playbook and pragmatic tactics for early-stage fundraising from Mike Wilner, a startup founder, advisor, and author of Oversubscribed, a book on seed fundraising.

23
 min read
Last Updated: 
July 5,2021
Article Category

A Tactical Guide to Seed Fundraising

Learn the playbook and pragmatic tactics for early-stage fundraising from Mike Wilner, a startup founder, advisor, and author of Oversubscribed, a book on seed fundraising.

23
 min read
Last Updated: 
July 5,2021
Sachin Maini
Editorial and Content Lead
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On Deck's mission is to increase overall economic growth from startups. Key to our mission is supporting the founders who place their bets on building a better future for all of us. 

Yet building a company is hard. At the Seed and Series A stages, ideas, early customers, and team members compete for your attention - and you may not be entirely sure what you’re building yet, or who you’re building it with. Founders are focused on the barrage of day to day demands making it difficult to focus on personal growth and high yield company priorities. 

One of the steepest drop-off points for technology startups is the Valley of Death after securing Seed or Series A. Around 60% of companies that raised their Seed round fail to raise their Series A, while odds are further stacked against Series A companies going on to raise a Series B.

After raising significant capital, founders must scale themselves and their team while meeting the demands of both customers and investors, both of whom expect sophistication and excellence on an increasingly fast-paced timeline. Recruiting, technology, operations and senior leadership must all scale.

At later stages, the stakes become much more consequential, as leadership decisions result in significant consequences for many people. The bottlenecks faced by founders at all stages prevent startups from becoming world-changing companies. 

We believe many of the risks inherent in each stage of scaling can be mitigated or completely eliminated, increasing odds of raising necessary capital, achieving profitability, and ultimately IPO.

Attaining structures for accountability, mentorship and operational excellence put a tremendous burden on founders – but it doesn't have to be that way.

Introducing On Deck Scale

On Deck Scale is a 6-month program that will accelerate selective groups of 60-80 of the most talented founders representing some of the world’s fastest growing companies.

ODS will contain the best of both worlds: both small-group cohorts of similar-stage founders and more macroscopic, cohort-wide programming. At a glance, On Deck Scale will give you access to:

  • Exclusive peer-to-peer networking, with a bias for building strong 1:1 relationships between founders
  • Access to high performance accountability groups and professionally-facilitated mastermind problem solving
  • Executive coaching in areas such as leadership development, management coaching, operational coaching, and negotiation coaching
  • Expert strategic and operational support from respected leaders in venture and tech
  • Mentorship from experienced founders and seasoned operators
  • Get to know top-level VPs for advice on sourcing the best possible talent for your company
  • Access to the OD50 talent pool and investors from ODVC and ODA, plus networking with senior talent executives from across the ecosystem

The Inaugural ODS Cohort kicks off in late January. You can apply here before January 2nd. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Who is in the first cohort?

On Deck Scale will accelerate a select group of 60-80 founders. A few of the talented individuals participating in our first cohort:

Seed

  • Dani Grant from Jam
  • Shrav Mehta from Secureframe
  • Lisha Li from Rosebud AI
  • Meredith Perry from Elemind Technologies

Series A

  • Jesse Genet from Lumi
  • Ruben Harriss from Career Karma
  • Justin Mares from Kettle & Fire
  • Jonathan Swanson from Athena

Series B

  • Vivek Sodera from Superhuman
  • Misha Esipov from Nova Credit
  • Deon Nicholas from Forethought
  • Jack Altman from Lattice

Unicorns

  • Aicha Evans from Zoox
  • Sander Daniels from Thumbtack
  • Sebastian Mejía from Rappi
  • Qasar Younis from Applied Intuition

Ready to get started?

We’re thrilled to launch this new program. We deeply believe that when founders thrive, their companies thrive. Applications are open.


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