Welcome to DECA's Innovations and Entrepreneurship Conference
QØ is the premier community of aspiring high school entrepreneurs, creators, innovators, and changemakers.
Each summer we work with a select group of high schoolers and guide them on their transformational journeys.
Check out memes created by alumni as well as then and now posts of our most successful alumni on our Instagram feed → (we'll be posting all weekend too)
Apply to one of our 3 life-changing entrepreneurship experiences
DECA Power Trip attendees get $250-$1000 in tuition awards if you are accepted!
Innovations and Entrepreneurship Conference hosted by QØ
Friday Night 8:30pm-10:15pm
Team Kick-Off Get things started on Friday with a night of activities. You’ll find out who in the room you connect with closely, form a startup team, pick a theme to focus on, and share your new entrepreneurial vision with everyone. This first learning experience will be gamified and purposeful, and you’ll move fast!
Activity 1.1 - Icebreaker
Activity 1.6 - Startup Tracks
Saturday Morning 8:30am-11:30am
Startups must minimize waste—or fail. Before putting months and months of effort into building a product, you first have to understand if it’ll create real value. On Saturday morning, you’ll learn and apply techniques for knowing: who your customers are, what significant problem you’re solving for them, which solution fits the best, and how to measure success.
Activity 2.1 - Persona Template
Activity 2.2 - Human Needs Process for Surveys
Saturday Afternoon 1:00pm-4:00pm
Prototyping and Pitching
The afternoon is time to design, test, and pitch like startup pros. You’ll quickly learn best practices for creating interactive prototypes using collaborative software and test with potential users. Teams will get coaching on how to effectively pitch their startup including presentation design and delivery—making good use of time-saving templates.
*The 3 winning teams will go on to pitch on Sunday in front of the entire Power Trip conference!
QØ Entrepreneurs in Residence and Alumni
Umit Gokce - Lead Facilitator
Umit is a tech entrepreneur, digital product designer, and innovation educator. He has founded startups focused on Internet media, eLearning, and youth development in the US, Europe, and Asia. Umit has completed over 125 product design projects. He created the Empathy-Driven Framework for Innovation and Problem Solving featured in university and high school curricula as well as corporate workshops. Umit is a university lecturer on entrepreneurship, innovation, and design. He also mentors undergraduate and graduate students and serves on the advisory board of the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.
Autumn Williams - Facilitator
A native of Los Angeles, Autumn is a graduate of Stanford University where she studied Aeronautics and Astronautics and researched aeronautical astrobiology applications for NASA. As the only woman in her cohort, Autumn started exploring the root cause of under-representation in her field. When she learned that many students lose academic interest and access to supplementary support in middle school, she founded STEMgineers Shifting Gears, a STEM-focused afterschool, tutoring, and summer program based in Watts, CA that encourages students’ intellectual curiosity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through project-based learning. She has worked to further the dialogue on education equity in southern India and Haiti. As Senior Entrepreneur of Changemaker Schools, Autumn is passionate about transforming education and working to build a world of changemakers.
Vipin Thekkekalathil - Facilitator
Vipin is the co-founder of Wellbeing Project – an initiative to support Social entrepreneurs to create well-being in their personal and professional level. He is also a Director at Ashoka, where is leads the Changemaker School Districts work to integrate empathy and changemaking skills in the district’s mindset, curriculum, systems, and culture. Before joining Ashoka, he co-founded Tulir - Center for the Prevention & Healing of Child Sexual Abuse in Chennai, an organization which works on the prevention of child sexual abuse (CSA). Vipin has a master’s in social work and is an Integral Life Coach, a kundalini yoga teacher and has extensive experience leading transformation based work for communities around the world.
Emily Zhen - Facilitator and QØ Alumni '13
Emily is a senior at the University of Pennsylvania studying business and biology and a member of the very first Catapult Incubator class from 2013-2014, where she co-founded the startup Park Pass as the E-ZPass system for parking garage payment. At Penn, she founded a new healthcare volunteering organization called StudentsCare, which allows students interested in medicine or healthcare to make a positive difference in the lives of patients and their families. As the President and Founder of StudentsCare at Penn, Emily helped create a Hospital Buddy Program between students and pediatric cancer patients at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and St. Christopher's Hospital, a free blood pressure screening program at the American Red Cross, and a monthly activities program for kids staying at the Ronald McDonald House. She has also participated in numerous start-up challenges and business plan competitions at Penn. Emily is passionate about digital health and social impact. In her free time, she loves exploring the Philadelphia food scene, singing, and running.
Shreya Vasagiri - QØ Alumni '17
Shreya is a sophomore at West-Windsor Plainsboro High School South in Princeton Junction, New Jersey. Entrepreneurship has always been something that I've been interested in, but after participating in the QØ incubator program, I've been able to channel my passion for solving problems into the world of startups and businesses. My favorite part about it is all the interesting, creative, and insanely talented people I get to meet along the way- which is why I'm super hype to meet all of you guys! In my free time, I enjoy coming up with solutions to difficult problems and working with other people through MUN, debate, MIT Launch, track, and many other activities. I look forward to getting to know all of you!
Nikhil Pampati - QØ Alumni '17
Nikhil Pampati is a 16 year old from Monroe Township, New Jersey. Currently, he is a junior at the Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies in Edison, New Jersey. He holds a deep passion for social entrepreneurship and the development of startups, and is involved in numerous startups, including his own known as Jobscopia. Nikhil tries to transfer the same entrepreneurial mindset to his community and his school, as he is the executive lead of his local Monroe TILE chapter (Talks on Innovation, Leadership and Entrepreneurship) and the President of his school DECA chapter, treasurer of FBLA and the vice-president of Investment society (where kids learn how to invest in the stock market). Nikhil loves to binge watch shows on Netflix, play basketball and he is best known for his communication skills, his hardworking nature and his ability to take on new challenges.