Ari Dutilh

Ari Dutilh

Special Projects @ On Deck in Connecticut, USA, he/him


19 years old, Founder of UltraRice, Buildergroop, Photography Lounge. Now helping more people start the best startups at On Deck.

Work Experience

2024 — Now

Building Merge - a club for grant recipients working on big problems. There, we give grants $50-$1,000, support people who've already received grants working on their projects, and help people raise $ from other programs.

2023 — Now

We’re revolutionizing a nutrient-deficient food staple for India’s 250M+ malnourished, further unlocking human potential. I raised $20k+ in grants from Emergent Ventures and other early supporters to pursue research and validation efforts.

2022 — Now

The home for GenZ developers, designers, and founders. $500k+ in software and co-working perks, high-quality educational resources, $10k given away in hackathons to date, and a supportive community with 1M+ messages sent by members in its first 12 months.

2020 — Now

Photography Lounge is a Discord Partnered community striving to create a welcoming and inclusive space for photographers to share their work, be thoughtfully critiqued, and have a great time. The community has had over 8 million messages sent by its 15k+ members since its founding three years ago. Currently, Photography Lounge averages 10k+ messages sent by members every day.

2023 — 2023

At Corner, I helped build a community of people wanting to reconnect with the world around them. I onboarded 1k+ users and handled CX through Twitter and Discord, identified and communicated with power (and churned) users to gather data points that better informed design, development, and product roadmap. I also mapped new community concepts, programs, and initiatives like in-app CX, SMS location-based newsletters, and influencer marketing outreach/comms.

2021 — 2022

My first "business", a community agency that worked to keep 2.6 million people safe and engaged in various communities across Discord communities. Click on the link for more info.



$100-500 microgrants for ambitious young builders


BuilderBook is a free, community sourced, handbook for young people entering tech. We were voted #1 Education Product Of The Week on Product Hunt 🥳


I spearheaded the perks program for Buildergroop members with over $500k in discounts and deals to software and co-working spaces. If you wanna take a look at our collection, the password is "BuildergroopIsAwesome".


2022 — 2023
Virtual Program

TKS is a 10-month global innovation program for ambitious high school students. Students ages 13-17 apply + interview before joining and attend weekly sessions, work on global consulting challenges with real companies and chose focuses to accelerate learning in specific areas of STEM/Entrepreneurship. I was lucky enough to be accepted on a full ride scholarship to the program.



I was on Bush Radio, Africa’s oldest community radio station, to discuss teen entrepreneurship with host Madhav Prakash and two other guests and students I study with at The Knowledge Society.


I've been building communities on Discord since 2020, with some reaching millions of messages sent by members in just a few months. Discord wrote a case study with me on how to engage members.


Photos I took of Italy during Covid19 were featured by Business Insider in March of 2020 when Italy was the pandemic's epicenter.


Featured in Girl in Florence's blog in a collection of the best accounts in Italy to follow on Instagram.



A grant given to support the research, validation, and implementation of ultrasonically-treated rice as a potential solution to hunger in India


A grant to help us pursue creating a home for GenZ starting their paths in coding, design, and entrepreneurship