On Deck Catalyst

Find your people and build the future.

Catalyst helps ambitious students and early-career people start their first company or break into venture capital.

Ambition has nothing to do with age

Catalyst is On Deck's home for undergrads, grad students, and early-career people. Whether you want to be an investor or founder, Catalyst arms you with resources, mentorship, and a global community for success. All for free. 

Catalyst Founders

Catalyst Founders is a track within ODX designed to help early-stage and student founders start their first company.

Join if...

01
You want to start or have already started a company
02
You want to join ODX
03
You want support, mentorship, and a community of other young people
04
You want access to co-founders, talent, advisors & investors through On Deck
apply to founders
Applications are rolling

Catalyst Scouts

Catalyst Scouts is a program for early-career professionals and students to break into VC by referring founders and startups to On Deck.

Join if...

01
You want to break into VC but you’re a student or early in your career
02
You want to help young early-stage founders grow their startups
03
You want to build your network in the tech industry
04
You want to build an investment track record without spending personal capital
Apply to scouts
Applications close December 9, 2021

Build a company or an investment track record

Learn how the startup world works

Get a crash course in VC and startups with interactive workshops, mentor sessions with industry leaders, and an active community.

Build a startup. Or a track record.

Join a small and tight-knit community of high-potential people who are as driven as you to learn, grow, and succeed.

Expand your network in tech and web3

Accelerate your career trajectory and build your network by leveraging On Deck to meet talented founders, investors. and operators.

Break into startups. Or VC.

Catalyst Founders

Catalyst Scouts

Apply to be a Founder

We review applications on a rolling basis, but the sooner you apply, the better your chances. This application asks the same questions as the ODX applications.

Apply to be a Scout

Applications are now open, and the deadline is Thursday, December 9. After the written application, the second step is a video interview call.

Meet your Fellow Catalysts in ODX

You’ll join the ODF or ODX program starting January 2022, along with a selective subgroup of your early-career peers.

Join our Curated Community

Our community and education program begins January 2022, where you’ll learn how to think like a VC.

Meet your Build Partner

Connect with a deeply experienced advisor who will help you get the most out of On Deck, and develop a 90-day plan.

Meet Ambitious Founders

Meet early-stage and aspiring founders and help them succeed. Host startup workshops, develop tech partnerships, and increase access to the world of entrepreneurship.

Build with the On Deck Network at Your Back

Join a cohort of talented founders from around the world so you can build, hire, raise and scale with the best.

apply Now
Applications are rolling

Build Your Track Record in Venture

Refer companies to ODF & ODX to build your track record without investing personal capital.

Apply Now
Applications close December 9, 2021

Catalyst Founder Alumni

Kaito Cunningham
Co-Founder & CEO, Utopia Labs
Pryce Yebesi
Co-Founder, Utopia Labs
Alexander Wu
Co-Founder, Utopia Labs
Desiree Hambrock
COO, Spacept
Wojtek Kulikowski
Founder, Mazury Labs
Michelle Fang
CMO, Dive Chat
An Vu
Co-Founder, Logseq
Zara Zaman
Co-Founder, Edventure
Sam Park
Managing Partner, JoyBox Media
Ben Kennedy
Founder & CEO, Gecko
Anish Jain
Founder & CEO, Aspire

Catalyst Scout Mentors

Leigh Marie Braswell
Leigh Marie Braswell
Investor, Founders Fund
Zann Ali
Zann Ali
Principal, 2048 Ventures
Adina Tecklu
Adina Tecklu
Principal, Khosla Ventures
Zak Slayback
Zak Slayback
Principal, 1517 Fund
Vivien Ho
Vivien Ho
Principal, Pear VC
Pietro Invernizzi
Pietro Invernizzi
Investor, Stride.VC
Jillian Williams
Jillian Williams
Principal, Cowboy Ventures
Sam Frankel
Sam Frankel
Partner, Coinbase Ventures
Jomayra Herrera
Jomayra Herrera
Partner, Reach Capital
Eugene Wan
Eugene Wan
Investor, Construct Capital
Rachel Star
Rachel Star
Principal, Unusual Ventures
Junaid Hussain
Junaid Hussain
Investor, HodlCo
Vivian Cheng
Vivian Cheng
Principal, CRV
Cristin Pacifico
Cristin Pacifico
Manager, TechNexus

FAQ

Who is this for?

Catalyst is On Deck’s home for undergrads, grad students, and early-career people (<5 years of work experience). It's for people who are hyper-ambitious and looking for a community of peers from around the world.

Catalyst Founders is for people starting or looking to start a company.

Catalyst Scouts is for people looking to break into VC and help early-stage founders grow their startups.

What does it cost?

Catalyst Founders & Scouts are both free programs. 

There is no upfront cash fee to participate in Catalyst Founders. When you join the community, we commit to this handshake deal via a Memorandum of Understanding: if you start a company within the next year, you'll join ODX, and we'll invest on our standard terms of $125,000 for 7%. There's no penalty or cost if you decide not to. Put another way: by joining ODF, you’ve already gotten your first firm investment commitment, even if you’re pre-traction, pre-team, or pre-idea.

Catalyst Scouts is a free program with a commitment to find and refer founders to On Deck.

What is the time commitment?

Catalyst Scouts is a 6-8 hour/week time commitment, designed to be completed alongside a full-time job or school. You should expect to meet with founders, attend a partner meeting, attend a workshop, and engage with the community each week. 

Catalyst Founders follows the ODF schedule. How much time you invest in ODF is largely up to you. For your first month, we recommend spending at least 4 hours per week attending onboarding sessions and getting to know your cohort. After that, ODF is flexible. Some weeks you may want to spend 20 hours taking calls with fellows or attending sessions. Other weeks you may choose not to do anything. Many ODF fellows are working around families and jobs, and we fully support and respect these commitments.

What can I expect to get out of Catalyst?

Catalyst programs help early-career people launch their company with Catalyst Founders or find breakout startups with Catalyst Scouts.

Catalyst Scouts should expect to: 

  • Learn how venture capital works 
  • Build their investor track record
  • Activate their startup ecosystems 
  • Make lifelong friends 
  • Build their tech networks 

Catalyst Founders should expect to: 

  • Get the tools and support they need to start a company 
  • Find a cofounder or early team members 
  • Explore and validate their ideas 
  • Learn fundamental founder skills 
  • Make lifelong friends
  • Build their tech networks
When are applications reviewed?

We offer rolling admissions for Catalyst programs so the sooner you apply, the sooner you can be accepted. As the programs do fill up throughout the application period, we encourage you to apply early so that you have a better chance of being accepted.

The final application deadline is Thursday, December 9, but we encourage you to apply earlier as the programs may fill up.

Can I participate from anywhere in the world?

Yes: Catalyst programs are run entirely remotely. This enables participation from all corners of the world.

We'll have some casual in-person meetups in locations where restrictions allow, however, the core programs will remain a remote-first experience.

If you have additional questions, please email [email protected]