By Allie Jiang; Catapult Incubator 2019
In the summer of 2019, I decided to embark on an entrepreneurial journey by attending Quarter Zero’s Catapult Incubator. The amount of memories I have from this incubator is absurd and I will never forget this amazing experience. Quarter Zero truly gave me one of the best six weeks of my life.
I originally found out about this program through a Launch X Demo Day presentation in Boston. I was immediately attracted to Catapult when I learned about the amazing hands-on and collaborative experience I would work on during the program. After reading everyone’s introductions on Slack, I was amazed by the amount of passion that each person had about problem-solving through entrepreneurship. I already knew that I would go on to meet some of the most incredible people due to these shared passions. When I got to California for the first stop in the program, I was absolutely blown away by how welcoming everyone was. Each person I talked to had a different story to tell and ideas sparked after only 30-second conversations. I found myself instantly becoming friends with everyone in the program.
As a free agent, I loved talking to all of the founders about their venture ideas. Each one of them was so passionate about the problem they wanted to solve. Ultimately, I decided to join Fitstruction, a venture concentrating on the health and nutrition world. While working with Fitstruction, my team and I learned how to establish amazing team dynamics to work towards solving problems. My Fitstruction fam became such a squad and I am so thankful for each and every one of them 🙂
The Quarter Zero staff has taught me everything I need to know about the first 50 days of a startup. From learning about customer acquisition to building pitch decks, I have never learned so much in only six weeks! Visiting different entrepreneurial hubs (including google!) was a very cool and effective way to get hands-on experience. The most memorable experience I had during the venture work periods was learning about customer acquisition. Unlike other camps/classes where you sit in a room and listen to a lecture, Quarter Zero gave us the opportunity to go out into the streets of San Francisco and interview/sell to real people!
The funniest moment during customer acquisition was when my team raided whole foods to sell our product and got kicked out as a result. Apparently we were “soliciting.” Okayyy…whatever you say, Whole Foods. Although we didn’t get too many sales that day, everyone got a good laugh out of it and the experience really showed us how far entrepreneurship could take you. Before Quarter Zero, I would have never thought in a million years that I would go out into random stores to sell to random people. Quarter Zero has taught me how to step outside of my comfort zone in order to really make an impact on the solution you are trying to solve.
Along with entrepreneurship, Quarter Zero also offered many fun social opportunities for the students! We went on a boat cruise in ⅔ cities and had a lot of free time to roam around the area. This was a super cool way to explore the city with your best friends. I had such a fun time walking around with my friends; from going to Krispy Kreme in San Francisco to taking on Times Square in NYC!
The most important takeaway I had at Quarter Zero was how much impact a young entrepreneur could do. This program was built on the idea that young adults can change the world through entrepreneurship. Before Quarter Zero, I was often told that I was too young to make any sort of impact due to my age. Many of my peers in my incubator had also experienced this. When all of us came together in the program and tackled huge problems like addiction, stress, and more, it made me realize how much influence this generation could have on the world. Quarter Zero gave me the tools to unlock my entrepreneurial potential and I absolutely can not wait to see where it takes me next.