๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿฝโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿซ The On Deck Fellowship: A Powerful Learning Experience ๐ŸŽ’๐ŸŽ“

Here, I break down what makes On Deck such a powerful learning experience

Hereโ€™s an example of what has become a fun ritual during ODF kickoffs, virtual carpools listening to local radio stations across the world ๐ŸŒ๐ŸŒŽ๐ŸŒ.

๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿป 1) People

  1. Ability (for the founder fellowship, are you someone with skills, experience, network to start a company)
  2. Culture (for all fellowships, the focus is on those who will give to and enhance the community, not just those who will take)
  3. Stage (for the founder fellowship, are you at a point where youโ€™re focused on starting or growing your company in the next 3 months)
A fun all-time and monthly leaderboard in the directory system all fellows and alumni have access to.

๐ŸŒฑ๐Ÿค๐Ÿผ 2) Community

  • Creating avenues for connection: virtual kickoff, build weekends, mastermind groups, speed (cofounder) dating.
  • Make it easy for fellows to run sessions.
  • Use tools that are all about facilitating connection:
    - Slack (including one of the best channel hierarchies Iโ€™ve seen)
    - Directory (powered by a Slack sign in and Airtable back-end)
    - Process to host a community session (now largely automated)
    - Calendly (every fellow used this for scheduling time)

The power of people + community, and their initial founder vertical is huge.

  • Someone I had never met in Cohort 7 (who started Dec 2020) responded within an hour.
  • Within 24 hours, they sent the issue to a friend at Facebook who escalated it.
  • Within 48 hours, the issue was resolved.

๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿพโ€๐Ÿซ๐Ÿ“… 3) Programming

  • Lawyers come and talk about structure your company and VC deals.
  • VCs come to chat about their thesis or specific verticals (fintech, etc), or โ€˜request for startupsโ€™ theyโ€™d like to see.
  • Startup founders (aka fellows) get to pitch their ideas to fellows and investors.

โš™๏ธ๐Ÿค– 4) Automation

๐Ÿš€๐ŸŽจ 5) New Verticals

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davidfu.co | Ever-evolving, global ed & innovation entrepreneur | CEO Streetlight Schools | expansion lead 4.0 Schools | ex-i-banker | Joburg Global Shaper @WEF

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David Fu

davidfu.co | Ever-evolving, global ed & innovation entrepreneur | CEO Streetlight Schools | expansion lead 4.0 Schools | ex-i-banker | Joburg Global Shaper @WEF