On Deck First 50 Fellowship (OD50)

Land your next role at a breakout startup

The First 50 Fellowship is an 8-week program for operators who want to find their next roles at world-changing companies. We combine a next-level curriculum, private access to startup founders, and a community of incredible peers to help you accelerate your career.

Bring intentionality to your search and land the role you want

Navigate the early-stage startup ecosystem and decide the right organizations with which to partner on the next phase of their journeys.

Identify breakout companies

The company you work for can change your career. We’ll help you identify and give you access to promising startups.

Master the mechanics of a successful job search

We’ll help you master the mechanics of a successful job search: direction-setting, storytelling, interviews and offer maximization.

Access unique job opportunities

Get exclusive access to early-stage job opportunities sourced from the On Deck Founder, Scale and Angel Fellowship communities and get pitched by early-stage companies on why they are the best places to work.

A great community
with a commitment to privacy

Everything is off the record. 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.
Senior Engineering Manager with e-commerce expertise
Consultant turned first intl. hire for series D company
Big Tech designer seeking more entrepreneurial role
Employee #5 at just-acquired fintech startup
Product exec from Big Tech looking to lead product at a startup
Symphony musician transitioning to Bizops role in tech
Fortune 500 salesperson pursuing passion for climate tech
Private banker transitioning to fintech
VC Principal at $200mm firm moving to the operating side
CTO at late-stage healthtech startup
Entrepreneurial 2nd year MBA from top 5 school
Director of Engineering at edtech startup

Apply for the First 50 Fellowship

Tuition is $2,490 (lump sum or 4 equal installments). After acceptance, we’ll award need-based scholarships through the On Deck Access Fund.

Testimonials

Our Fellows are the heartbeat of our community. Here's what they have to say.

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Meeta Sharma

Choosing to be a part of #ODW1 was easily the best decision of this year. I found a group of people who are invested in each other's growth and the growth of the creator ecosystem at large. Cannot recommend it enough.

Bocar Dia

Two words review of @beondeck: AMAZING EXPERIENCE 🙌. And a prediction: it will become the default place entrepreneurs go (back) to throughout their career to start/explore what's next. Life is too short to wing it when there is already a place to find amazing folks to work with.

Chris Horne

Just over halfway through my @beondeck fellowship experience and might as well say: joining is one of the best decisions I've ever made. Everyone is AMAZING, friendly, and EXTREMELY helpful. The talks are tactical and directly applicable. Nothing but ❤️

Anthony McGuire

I was part of ODW1, without a doubt it was a life changing experience for me.

Michael Houck

Pre @beondeck: Vague ideas + working alone + unclear paths forward

Post @beondeck: More defined ideas than I have time for + 2 cofounders who love to hustle + a growing, unique business

CS Freeland

Wish I was a part of every @beondeck cohort lol. What a badass concept, and they are really changing the game. Can’t wait to see the outcomes next year.

Anuj Abrol

Been thinking about the On Deck (@beondeck) team

They’re building an unstoppable startup machine

Monopoly on up and coming founders, talent, and investors 🔥

Girish Gupta

What a wonderful line from a CEO/hiring manager: "The faster you can run up a curve, the harder we'll work to make sure there's another one waiting for you."

I'm astounded by the quality of leadership and community.

Anna Nasr

@beondeck enabled me to work with incredible founders, helped me discover my product idea--and, through an On Deck fellow--got me my first pre-seed funding. I can't articulate how amazing the On Deck network is and what a positive force it's been in my life. Apply!

Shiku Wangombe

Shoutout to the community for the feedback when I shared this internally.

So many people willing to help and everyone is excited to learn from each other. I love this community.

Anthony McGuire

Highly recommend that people apply to the On Deck Writer Fellowship! It has been a gamechanger for me--one of the best programs in the world!

Ellie Howard

Just had the nth conversation with a fellow ODFer who feels, like me, that @beondeck has meant they've finally found 'their people'. @david__booth @eriktorenberg @julianweisser and the team are alchemists ✨#ODF7

Madison Kanna

Joining the @beondeck community was one of the highlights of my year!

Grateful to be apart of it and excited for 2021 🚀

Nathan Baschez

The network you get from it is kinda like joining a great company full of super talented people —except you skip the step where you're working on someone else's business, and proceed straight to the "mafia" phase!

Katherine Lynn

I continue to be impressed with the overall program, caliber of fellows, and the ODF employees! (Plus some sweet music playlists during events and I got to practice rap w/ @eriktorenberg during kickoff.)

Happy to be in ODF5!

Speakers & Curriculum

Some of the world-class speakers who joined us for our first cohort:
Merci Grace
Aston Motes
Sarah Smith
Linda Xie
Anand Chopra-McGowan
Albrey Brown
Tom Conrad
Ming Lu
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Introduction

Get to know the First 50 Fellowship

Learn how to maximize your engagement with the On Deck community.

Navigating the startup ecosystem

Industry- and job function-specific learning circles to share knowledge and contacts.
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Job-search mechanics

Direction setting

Figure out what you want to do next and then get help actually attaining it.

Storytelling

Build a narrative that ties your background to what you want to do next.

Networking strategy

Strategize your approach to networking efficiently to maximize your offers.

Interviews

Be prepared with expert- and peer-led workshops so that you nail it.
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Accepting offers

Compensation negotiation

Learn how to negotiate from world-class compensation consultants.

Legal and stock options

Learn how to navigate contracts and stock options with ease.
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Success as an early hire

Insights from early hires at prominent startups

Learn from people who have successfully shaped companies as early employees.

Community of early hires

Maximize your impact by surrounding yourself with others doing the same.
INCLUDING...
Intimate masterminds
Weekly small group conversations with others who are at similar stages in their career journeys.
Talent Demo Days
Get pitched by early-stage companies on why they are the best places to work.
Access to top startups
Engage with high-profile startups across the On Deck ecosystem.

The On Deck Method

We're building a modern educational institution that redefines how community and learning come together. Being part of any On Deck program means you’ll have access to a community of world-class professionals. With every new program we launch and cohort we start, your network gets stronger.

Here are the cornerstones of the On Deck experience:

Deep Friendships

Our virtual fellowship programs provide members with community, education, and support. This is a place for cohort-style learning, but also deep personal connections.

Unparalleled Knowledge

There are limitless opportunities for learning and sharing here. You’ll get access to expert speakers, office hours, build weekends, and our session library full of curated content. Dig in!

Community Diversity

We’re proud to have a community diverse in culture, thought, and life experiences. This enables revolutionary ideas, inclusive solutions, and boundless growth opportunities.

Scaled With Software

We’re building in-house tools to improve how we share community knowledge, aligned opportunities, and helpful connections.

Engineered Serendipity

When everyone is going through a shared experience and seeking similar goals, incredible things happen.

Spirit of Service

One of the things we love most about our community is how willing and excited members are to support one another. This spirit is the strong heartbeat of the On Deck community.

Apply for the First 50 Fellowship

Tuition is $2,490 (lump sum or 4 equal installments). After acceptance, we’ll award need-based scholarships through the On Deck Access Fund.

Hear from OD50 Alumni

Read Alumni Case Studies

How I Pivoted from Accenture to Early-Stage Startups Through the On Deck First 50 Fellowship
Engagement Manager, Dover
"The On Deck community was there every step of the way during my recruiting journey, they connected me to their network, coached me through offer negotiations, and attended my dance party social events."
How I Joined Talus as Lead Machine Learning Engineer through Lean Hire
"[Through Lean Hire] I got to meet with the CEO and CTO and learn about what they were building, why they were building it and their future vision."
How Spora Health hired for 3 Key Positions Leveraging the On Deck First 50 Fellowship
Dan Miller, Founder and CEO of Spora Health
"For any founders out there looking for early stage employees, I would highly recommend OD50 and hedging the risk as they are training folks on how to be outstanding early stage teammates to help get to the next phase of your business."
How I went from Performing in an Orchestra to Working at an Early-Stage Startup
Everyone in the program genuinely wanted to best serve one another during their time together and most often that took the form of, “Have you had a chance to talk to x yet, I think you would totally bond over [insert topic]. Let me connect you!”

FAQ

Who should apply?

To be a good fit for OD50, you are probably:

* An outstanding performer in your respective industry / job function
* Mentally ready for your next role, whether or not you currently have a job!
* Entrepreneurial, with a desire to help build an early-stage startup.
* Eager to be an active participant in a growing community, as much of the value of On Deck comes from the network and peer-to-peer connections.

What if I still work full time? Will my manager find out?

All sessions, content, and interactions are completely off the record, including any acknowledgement of a Fellow’s participation. Some OD50 Fellows choose to be public about their involvement, while many more do not, especially those who are currently employed full time.  

Everyone in the program is searching for something deeper in their next career chapter and making a big transition.  Many have not publicly shared this journey with friends, family, or employers. We and all Fellows will honor that.

Also note that speaker sessions are recorded, which is beneficial from a scheduling perspective, but also important for a Fellow who happens to know a presenter.

Can I apply if I'm non-technical?

Yes!  OD50 is for people joining early-stage startups, regardless of role.  There will be engineers, data scientists, and product managers alongside growth, sales, marketing, HR, and operations folks since all of these roles are essential to turning a startup’s idea into reality.  

Fellows targeting similar roles will be paired so that they can share insights, suggestions, and potential connections to help each other through their respective journeys.

What if I’ve never worked at a startup before?

No problem! OD50 is broadly designed for two groups of people, with content specifically created for each:

* Fellows trying to pivot their career into startups.
* Fellows already working in tech who want to be intentional about the next steps on their career path.

If I’m already well-connected in the startup ecosystem, why do I need this?

The opportunity cost of choosing the wrong startup is huge.  Surround yourself with a community of experts and peers to help you make an informed decision on what’s next, and get access to roles sourced from the On Deck community.

What does it cost?

Early Bird pricing for those who complete an application by March 14th is $1,990.  Regular pricing for those who complete an application after March 14th is $2,490.  Tuition can be paid in a lump sum or 4 equal installments, starting when you accept your offer.

Do you have scholarships available?

Yes! Our goal is to make the Fellowship accessible to the absolute best talent, no matter what their situation.

While many eligible applicants do have the means to support themselves, many others don’t. We’re excited to be able to offer scholarships to join the Fellowship through the On Deck Access Fund.

There are no fees to apply so please submit an application to be considered for the fellowship — you’ll have the option to request financial assistance if you receive an offer to join OD50.

What is the time commitment?

The power of this program is in the community, and like any community you get back what you put in. OD50  is designed for people committing to spend 5+ hours per week on their job search, some of which will be engagement with OD50.

Is this a fully remote program?

Yes: OD50 is run entirely remotely. This enables participation from all corners of the world. We’ve spent the past few ODF cohorts mastering the playbook for building remote communities and relationship building online, and will apply the same approach here.

Post-COVID, we’ll return to organizing offline programming like dinners, small gatherings, and retreats, but the core Fellowship will remain a remote-first experience.

What are the Guiding Values of On Deck?

You can view our values here, but to summarize: Service, Confidentiality, Respect, and Family.

How long will I have access to the community?

After the fellowship, you’ll retain access to your cohort and be able to subscribe to Membership for continued access to the On Deck ecosystem.

What is the difference between the On Deck Founder Fellowship and OD50?

If you’re committed to the founder path as the next step in your career journey (anywhere from ideation to cofounder dating and MVP building to first fundraise), the Founder Fellowship is definitely the right fit!

If you’re trying to make the founder vs joiner decision or likely want to join a startup as an early employee, then First 50 will be the best place to help you figure things out, from direction-setting to interview prep and offer negotiation.

We have a lot of cross-over between the two with fellows who do one and then the other as they figure things out. We also share some mutually-relevant programming.

What is the difference between On Deck Catalyst and OD50?

On Deck Catalyst is designed for early-career individuals who want to make the most of their current position, or decide what to do next (found, join, or invest in startups), and are looking for a community of outstanding peers to grow alongside in the years to come.

OD50 includes some exceptional early-career individuals (~15% of the cohort) who are focused on finding their next role as their biggest immediate priority.

Many early career OD50 fellows will choose to join a later cohort of ODC after they find that next role. We also share some mutually-relevant programming.

Should I join OD50 or one of On Deck’s position-based fellowships such as ODCoS or ODPM?

Each of On Deck’s position-based fellowships include some job-seekers in the cohort, people who are clear on what role they want and how to get it so are leveraging the community to network with peers. But the primary content is designed for people who are looking to level-up in their current jobs.

If you are looking for help navigating your career journey, from direction-setting and storytelling through to interview prep and negotiation, then you should join OD50, which includes job-seekers across all functions.

We have a lot of cross-over between the two with fellows who do one and then the other as they figure things out. We also share some mutually-relevant programming.

Should I join OD50 or one of On Deck’s sector-based fellowships such as ODFintech or ODClimateTech?

Each of On Deck’s sector-based fellowships include some job-seekers in the cohort, people who are clear on what role they want and how to get it so are leveraging the On Deck community to network with others who care just as deeply about the space as them.

If you are looking for help navigating your career journey, from direction-setting and storytelling through to interview prep and negotiation, then you should join OD50, which includes job-seekers focused across all sectors.

We have a lot of cross-over between the two with fellows who do one and then the other as they figure things out. We also share some mutually-relevant programming.

Did we miss your question? Drop us a line and we will get back to you asap.
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