How Grace Chang Raised $8 Million to Democratize Mental Health Care With Kintsugi
It's so important for my co-founder Rima and me to see how much of a dent we can really make. We know we can't do it alone. And it's absolutely because of communities like On Deck that help this small little idea become more fully formed and something where we can gather people who are mission-aligned to build this vision together.
How Spora Health hired for 3 Key Positions Leveraging the On Deck First 50 Fellowship
"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."
The smaller you get, the less you have. By the time you get down to very small companies, in the US, they're sending checks; in the UK, they're copy-and-pasting from payslips into their bank account one by one, paying things manually. It's a time consuming, laborious, painful process. And there just hasn’t been a way to automate it. It's been assumed that nothing can be done until those businesses are bigger.
Vance Roush and Kyle Woumn share their experience building Overflow, a company that inspires generosity through technology by making donations frictionless across every major asset class. With the help of On Deck, Vance and Kyle built the network they needed to take Overflow to the next level and raise a $10M Series A to empower people anywhere to give to causes they care about.
We saw an opportunity that we could create a product that connects seamlessly with your calendar and turns on whenever you speak in meetings. It then would give you personalized feedback in real-time and after the meeting where it provides you with tips and lessons, evaluating things like your confidence, clarity and empathy.
It's really hard to filter through all the startup advice available on the internet since there's so much outdated and low quality content mixed in. On Deck does a great job at filtering who gets in, so searching through the Slack meant 1) the advice was recent, and 2) it came from qualified people.
In science, there’s a multi-trillion dollar data loss problem because of a lack of software and infrastructure, which leads to disaggregated and unsearchable data. This has always been a massive problem, but it’s come to the forefront with COVID-19... We saw an opportunity for a tool purpose-built for the scientific community to eliminate inefficiencies and foster more innovative research.
Contractors who care about their teams want to go invest in things that make them safer. What is missing from that equation is that the companies which support these businesses: their financial services, their insurance companies, their lenders, their banks, are not currently creating a model that says, hey, if you do these things, we're going to give you credit for improving the risk profile of your business.
"When I was new to this ‘Founder World’, I had no community, I had no people to talk to you. I didn't understand the legal, the HR, the tech, the coding, the fast iteration, the rapid pace —I was overwhelmed. So I went to On Deck seeking community where I could meet with and talk to other people in a similar stage.
For a project like this, you just have to start and dive in headfirst. You have to put an initial prototype together — evaluate properly, understand what the baseline is. Then you create an optimization framework, and iteratively work to reduce errors to get to a point where you match and exceed current human judgment. That’s surprisingly within reach.
At On Deck, I attended intimate sessions with other founders about both their successful and unsuccessful journeys. I got so much energy from writing code for the hackathon (I built OfficeTogether’s MVP in Airtable!) and I also met so many people in 1:1 meetings who had just made the leap. My experience at On Deck gave me the courage to leave my job and start my own company, which was hard given how much I loved Coinbase.
Structuring the round was really interesting. In our cap table, we have investors that are super focused on climate. We have investors that care about the biotechnology. We have investors that care about the future of food. We have investors that are principally supporting our go-to-market strategy (with experience investing in other similar products like Impossible, Beyond, Blue Bottle) that can help us get there.
Small businesses with fewer than 10 employees make up about 90% of the businesses in the world. But they answer the phone only 35% of the time. The reason is very simple — they're busy. They're doing what they know. They're serving the customer in front of them. They're unclogging toilets. They're hemming a dress, They're fixing a shoe. Whatever it is they do, they're doing that. And they prioritize it over the inbound phone call. We’re here to help them pick up that call.
“Our goal with Hellosaurus is to provide a safe and fun space where kids can pretend to be whatever they want today, so they can develop the skills to become whoever they want to be tomorrow. Through a pretend play lens, children will be able to learn about the world, different opportunities, and topics while also developing critical skills like creative thinking and communication.”
It meant a lot of VCs started reaching out to us on Twitter and said, “I saw your Demo Day presentation, and I would love to have a conversation about what you're building.” Plus, the founder of Bubble was part of the judging panel on Demo Day and mentioned that I had created an ‘Impressive build.’ It was super validating considering I had just taught myself Bubble.
One of my main challenges was growing a team quickly. I had a few people in my Mastermind group that had thousands of employees at different parts of their career and they were able to give me advice throughout the process. Without On Deck I could have made some hiring and firing mistakes.