Announcing: The On Deck First 50 Fellowship

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.

 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.

 min read
Last Updated: 
July 5,2021
Sachin Maini
Editorial and Content Lead
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As an accomplished individual, finding a job isn’t that hard.  

Maybe you reach out to a friend to put in a referral for you, or you’re lucky and are the one out of 1,300 applicants who gets a call back on a cold submission.

But getting the right job is hard. 

Not only is it challenging, but the stakes are tremendous. The company you work for is one of the pivotal decisions you’ll make this year – or your lifetime – and has a tremendous opportunity cost. Jumping on a rocketship can accelerate your career 10x but working on a random startup (although fun) can plateau it. 

The problem is the process of finding breakout roles is broken: you need to decide what you want, identify breakout startups that match your target profile, prepare a convincing story that will land you the job, assess if the team is worth your investment of time, and finally negotiate to maximize the offer. 

On top of that, you normally don’t have nearly enough information to make the decision. Joining a startup as an employee is not all that different from joining as an investor. The difference: while venture capitalists have 30 shots at target and access to internal metrics to find the unicorn that returns the fund, you only have a couple chances and the information asymmetry doesn’t play in your favor. And you are investing your time.

Going on that journey alone makes it even harder.  

Enter the On Deck First 50 Fellowship (OD50).

OD50 is a community of talented operators – the best engineers, sales people, marketers, product managers, etc. – ready to build early-stage companies as the next step in their own journeys.

Introducing On Deck First 50 Fellowship

The On Deck First 50 Fellowship (OD50) is a 10-week program for operators who want to find their next role at a world-changing company.

We curate expert-led content to help you make the right decision on what’s next, and bring together an outstanding group of peers who are thinking through the same things. We also provide access to a proprietary pool of job and project opportunities from across the On Deck network and beyond.

As an On Deck First 50 Fellow, you’ll have access to:

  • Fireside chats and small group breakouts with the world's best early-stage operators, top executive search consultants, and expert compensation negotiators.
  • Workshops on the mechanics of a successful job search from direction-setting to offer maximization. Figure out what you want to do next and then get help actually attaining it.
  • Industry- and job function-specific learning circles to share knowledge, contacts, and best practices.
  • Exclusive access to early-stage job opportunities and consulting projects sourced from the On Deck Founder and Angel Fellowship communities.
  • Vetted community of exceptional operators who are passionate about joining early-stage ventures. Get to know others who are at a similar career transition point

The inaugural OD50 cohort kicks off in January. You can apply here before January 2nd. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Who is in the first cohort

On Deck First 50 Fellows are searching for something deeper in their lives or making big transitions, and many have not yet have publicly shared this with friends, family, or employers. We’ll honor that, so here are a few confidential profiles of some world-class Fellows expected in OD50:

  • VP of Engineering at large AR/VR company looking to move earlier
  • Consultant turned startup founder turned first international hire for series D company
  • Machine learning PhD transitioning to tech
  • First designer at unicorn looking to go back to startups
  • Product exec from Big Tech looking to lead product at a startup
  • Fortune 500 salesperson pursuing passion for climate tech
  • Symphony musician transitioning to Bizops role in tech
  • Private banker transitioning to fintech
  • VC Principal at $200mm firm moving to the operating side
  • Stanford MBA with strategy and product experience
  • Engineering lead at large ecommerce company
  • Career management consultant pivoting to food tech

Ready to get started?

We’re thrilled to launch this new initiative, and can’t wait to build this space for you. This is where the best early hires at tomorrow’s break-out startups come today. Applications are open.

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