The On Deck Fellowship Week 3: It’s Time to Build

Amanda Emmanuel
3 min readMay 3, 2021

When I joined On Deck, I was very intentional about joining with an idea. In fact, it was because I was so excited about an idea of mine (Perky — perks for remote employees) that I decided to apply to On Deck.

(Note: OD accepts candidates who are at various stages of building a business including “I don’t have an idea yet, but I know I want to build something”. Going in with an idea was simply my personal choice).

The funny story is between applying to On Deck and getting accepted, I was continuing to build and test Perky only to conclude: it’s not going to work 🙃.

So I quickly pivoted to a new idea which meant I had only been working on it for ~a week before starting On Deck.

3 Ways How On Deck Has Helped Me Continue Building My Idea

1. It’s a forcing function

So many elements of OD inspired me to push a little harder and move a little faster that I normally would have (in the best way).

Weekly accountability groups, and hackathon weekends expose you to new people and new ways of approaching problems. 10-weeks feels like a long time, but each week honestly flies by so quickly.

2. You practice your pitch

You will have so many 1:1s you will barely be able to keep up. My recommendation: do all of them!

In every meeting, you will inevitably have to give a 1-liner about what you’re working on. In a 1:1 setting people are usually more likely to share their candid questions and feedback which is basically gold when you’re at the early stages of building.

As you do more and more, you basically get to A/B test your pitch and recognize which one resonates with which users. It’s tough to put yourself out there over and over again but it’s worth it.

3. Incredibly helpful community

When you join OD, you’re encouraged to “build in public”. It seems scary at first because in comparison to people who are fundraising, etc it can feel like you have ‘nothing’, but choosing to take the leap and do it was honestly the most rewarding experience even in Week 1!

I was shocked at how many people were willing to discuss my idea, make lucrative intros, and so much more. Just do it.

I can honestly say I’m much further along than I would have been if I wasn’t in OD right now. Quite honestly, if it doesn’t work out I want to know ASAP so I can pivot and leverage this incredible community to help propel it forward.

Either way, I know I’m building something. Stay tuned to learn more of what it becomes!

I’ll be posting a weekly blog post about my experience so come along for the ride 🌊 🚢

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Amanda Emmanuel

🦄 Product & Growth at early-stage startups 🚀 3X founder 😎 Blogs about entrepreneurship, mindset & startups 🏗 Always building