We believe that every person has potential.

The potential to create, disrupt and thrive.

But for that potential to be fully realized it needs to be affirmed and developed starting at an early age.

At Quarter Zero (QØ), we exist to help young people power their potential.

We do this by creating an immersive, real-world entrepreneurial environment where young people can work hand-in-hand with top industry advisors to shape and guide their passions and ideas.

Our learning and development experiences challenge our participants to become problem solvers, equipped with the skills to thrive in a competitive and rapidly changing world.

The alumni network and investment arm keep us connected, providing professional resources and access to industry advisors for everyone who has been part of a Quarter Zero experience and direct-financial support for select startups.

By identifying, developing, and nurturing the unique individual skills, passions and values of each student, the Quarter Zero Fellowship and Quarter Zero Life Coaching programs aim to focus, develop, and support people to achieve their goals and to navigate life decisions and moments in a healthy and sustainable manner with community at its core.

Every person has potential… we’re glad you are here to power yours.

“It was a super fun experience that allowed us to explore Santa Barbara as well. I think the biggest mindset I developed was understanding others. I got to learn from people with different backgrounds, and we had multiple activities where we utilized our different skillsets to do awesome things.”

– Bill Merickel, 2019-20 QØ Fellow

An unfortunate reality for today’s students is that stress is at an all-time high, and high stress can lead to anxiety and other physical and mental health issues.

At Quarter Zero, we want to sort through stress, reframe it, provide self-understanding and offer direction and confidence to continue on the journey by redefining what personal success looks like and to help students break free of cultural pressures for different definitions of success. After working with over 700 students in the Catapult Incubator program, we have learned that every student has different challenges and barriers they are working to overcome.

The QØ Fellowship was created to dive deeply into the personal development and individuality of our students with the philosophy that once a student has identified, reflected, and developed their skills, passions, and values, navigating life’s challenging journey can be done in a healthy and sustainable way.

Fellowship Structure

With our coaching offerings, our goal is to support the personal development of our students. We believe that once a student has an understanding of their skills, passions, and values, navigating life’s challenging journey can be done in a healthy and sustainable way.

By identifying, developing, and nurturing the unique individual skills, passions, and values of each student, the Quarter Zero Coaching programs aim to focus, develop, and support young people to achieve their goals and to navigate life in a healthy, sustainable manner with community at its core, and authentic, fruitful mentorship as the sustaining thread.

To become aligned and confident humans who are transformational leaders, we must identify and leverage our strengths and areas of development so that we can work on them and build a network of support around us. This series will help you develop key knowledge, skills, and mindsets essential to build and evolve a personal vision—for the present, and your time ahead. We do this by focussing on three themes:

  • Core Value Identification
  • Competency Development
  • Pathway Determination

Through the QØ Fellowship, we hope to positively transform life paths and accelerate the Fellows’ journey towards self-actualization and vision-based achievement. Our first cohort of Fellows launched in September 2019 with 18 students, selected from 108 students nominated from our 700+ alumni base.

2020-2021 Dates

The 2020 Fellowship takes place from September 15, 2020 through June 7, 2021.

Fellowship Pillars

The main pillars of the Fellowship are:

  • Community building through group sessions, twice a month, with QØ coaches
  • Individual guidance and mentoring throughout the duration of the Fellowship
  • Completion of a Pathway Project, an ambitious project in the field of your choice – Create own achievement metrics in the beginning, and assess growth at the end.
  • Optional, in-person weekend retreats (if and when that is possible due to the current health crisis), focusing on skill/mindset immersion relevant to Fellow journeys

Community Sessions

Our community sessions are built around one of our 3 main themes of core value alignment, competency development, and pathway determination. They will be fortnightly Zoom calls that aim to foster understanding of abstract concepts through readings, exercises, discussions, and experiences. They will also foster a deep sense of community and belonging while creating a safe, brave and vulnerable space to make mistakes, ask questions, and grow.

  • 2 Zoom calls a month
  • Dedicated focus on a specific topic. For example, ‘Adaptive Leadership, or ‘The Awareness-Equanimity-Response’ approach
  • Community-focused safe space

Individual Guidance

Our coaches provide individual guidance in between the community sessions to each student to help them create their own personal path even as they envision, plan, develop, manage, execute and synthesize their pathway project. These guidance sessions will be 1-on-1 and scheduled based on the Fellow’s need and affinity for such coaching sessions. In the beginning, the QØ coach will take initiative but as we move along, it will become more and more the Fellow’s call.

  • 1-on-1 guidance calls
  • Customize your experience
  • Based on your needs and initiative

Pathway Project

The pathway project is an ambitious and impactful project that each student takes up from its conceptualizing at the beginning of the year, to its culmination at the end of the year. This project will be focused on creating a greater locus of impact in the field of choice of the Fellow, based on the cause they’re most passionate about. It could be a venture they’re working on, a club, an individual artistic initiative (blog series, podcast, art exhibit), etc. The possibilities are endless.

  • Ambitious, impactful project
  • Cause close to your heart
  • End-to-end execution
  • Can take many forms, including but not limited to your venture

Phase 1: Identify & Immerse

The first phase runs from mid-September to mid-December and focuses on discovery and unlocking of core values, competencies, areas of strengths and weaknesses – all with a focus on understanding and action.

At the end of this phase, you will have built an understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, core values, and opportunities you can leverage to develop competencies you’ve identified.

  • Focus: Identifying where you are, what drives you, what drains you, personal vision and goal setting, building self-selected core competencies, creating metrics for self-assessment, planning and experimentation for pathway project (prototype)
  • Outcomes: Clear understanding of positive and negative competencies, initial brainstorm for pathway project goals – specifically for self-development
  • Time commitment to sessions: 5 hours/month
  • Time commitment outside of sessions: 5-10 hours/month

Phase 2: Intervene & Direct

The second phase runs from January to March and focuses on taking a stand in terms of project execution, building an ecosystem of support around it, learning to use assessment tools such as metrics, feedback loops, and user discovery to adapt and pivot – all with a focus on application and critical analysis.

  • Focus: Execution of pathway project, assessment and review of vision and goals, building and working with teams, feedback loops and iteration, using the QØ Catapult approach
  • Outcomes: Execution of project plan, team building, quantitative and qualitative decision-making, tangible larger-scale impact beyond self
  • Time commitment to sessions: 5 hours/month
  • Time commitment outside of sessions: 5-10 hours/month

Phase 3: Act & Reflect

The final phase runs from April to June and focuses on executing a culmination of the project, as well as reviewing the actions, learnings and and lessons from the Fellowship to derive a longer-term vision beyond the Fellowship and building a network to set oneself up for success beyond the Fellowship – all with a focus on reflection and synthesis.

  • Focus: Culmination of pathway project (Ending showcase event), reflection, vision and goal setting, planning ahead, applying to longer-term goals, solidifying network
  • Outcomes: Fully culminated project, reward and recognition for effort, wider community network, transformed approach to life and career, vetted 5-year plan based on personal success metrics
  • Time commitment to sessions: 5 hours/month
  • Time commitment outside of sessions: 5-10 hours/month

In-Person Retreats

Our optional in-person retreats deep-dive into specific topics that typically have many layers of studies, perspectives, and applications. Given our current climate, we will make decisions based on the prescribed guidelines by our state and federal authorities, but these will likely take place during weekends of Spring 2021. Some topics for these immersons may include ‘Adaptive Leadership, ‘Systems Thinking’, Equity and outrospection’, etc.

Coaching Programs Tuition

Single Payment: $4,455 ($495/month)
Installment: $545/month ($4,905 total)

Self-Understanding, Confidence, and Emotional Health

Average High Schooler

Going through the motions of high school life rarely digging under the surface to the core of what drives their emotions, opinions, and values.

QØ Fellow

Acquiring the deepest self-understanding of your values, gifts, while developing a high level of confidence in who you are with the utmost humility. Our Fellows work to identify, understand, process, and manage high levels of anxiety and stress with a goal to live daily in a healthy and sustainable way.

Framework for Owning Decisions and Establishing Goals

Average High Schooler

Stuck in the cultural expectations and current of life, letting the river fully direct their path until they end up at the end of the stream. Never reaching the shore and getting to explore their own path…maintaining the status quo.

QØ Fellow

We help you escape high school life’s crippling and anxiety-inducing grasp of expectations by pulling you to the shore out of the current. We help you catch your breath, and then reorient you towards an open field that represents a different type of journey, where there are no roads, or paths. It’s up to you to set the compass direction, and it’s QØ’s job to support you every step of the way.

A Community that will Leverage Everything to Help You Be Successful

Average High Schooler

Your network is your friends, classmates, and teammates, of which you might share similarities with. Of 700 students we’ve worked with, the number one thing they say is missing in their lives is an actual community of like-minded, driven, curious individuals who won’t settle for the status quo.

QØ Fellow

Never alone with a peer community of people to walk the journey with, as well as access to the QØ community of coaches who will leverage all resources available to ensure you reach your goals.

P.S. – If you have a college counselor, that is awesome and we recommend them for helping hold you accountable with all those application details and deadlines. What QØ does is much deeper and larger than just getting you into college. We’re focused on the long term.


After 5-years in NYC, QØ moved it’s headquarters to Santa Barbara and moved into the historic El Centro Building, a prominent building adjacent to the renowned Lobero Theatre and ideally situated within Santa Barbara’s vibrant Presidio District.

As part of the property, QØ took control of the entire top floor of the building to serve as their operational HQ and converted an empty racquetball court into Santa Barbara’s first Makerspace Studio open to the public and is the home to summer programming. If you are ever in sunny Santa Barbara, drop us a line, we would love to give you a tour and show you where the magic happens.

Frequently Asked Questions

There is no formal application process for the QØ Fellowship and Life Coaching. As alumni of Quarter Zero, we have had the opportunity to better know how you are driven, how you handle challenges, your drive to work through a problem, and who you are as individuals. Through one-on-one conversations with Quarter Zero staff, we will select individuals based on their desire for individual development and their motivation to invest in these programs.

If you would like to continue working with Quarter Zero, we encourage our graduating Fellows to renew their engagement with us through the Life Coaching program remotely with optional in-person gatherings.

While it is not ideal to miss an in-person weekend, we understand that certain events simply cannot be moved. We highly recommend you attend the first weekend session as developing relationships with the other students is paramount.

Please send us the initial letter from your school denying your departure and Josh will personally work with the school to get things approved. If they don’t budge, we’ll work with you to still make the most of the first days.

Monthly Plan: 90 days’ notice required for cancellation due to event bookings

Annual Plan: Before Dec 31=, 20% refund. No refunds after Dec 31.

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee you will be accepted, but we hope we will improve your chances and outlook on the process.

After the first session when you are paired with your coach, you will find a consistent time that works for you and your coach to meet so you can both plan around it. Our coaches are primarily in the Pacific Time Zone. If you have strict schedule requirements, please let our team know during the planning period in September, and we’ll do our best to accommodate.

  • Timing:

    • Each in-person weekend will begin at 1pm on Friday and conclude at 1pm on Sunday.

    • Flights will need to be scheduled to Santa Barbara accordingly, and Quarter Zero will provide transportation for students to and from the Santa Barbara Airport (and throughout the weekend). If your school requires documentation for absences, we will be happy to provide whatever  is needed.

  • Flights and Local Transport:

    • Are flights included in the Tuition Fee?

      • No

    • Are shuttles provided from the Santa Barbara Airport (SBA)?

      • Yes – A shuttle will be coordinated and provided to and from Santa Barbara Airport (SBA)

    • Can I fly into Los Angeles (LAX)?

      • Yes, we often fly into LAX because it has the most flight options. For those flying into LAX, the Santa Barbara Airbus drives from LAX to Santa Barbara 10-times a day and is highly reliable.

    • **Please coordinate all arrival flights and/or buses to arrive by 11am into SBA and 9am into LAX on Fridays.

    • **Please coordinate all departure flights to leave no earlier than 2:30pm on Sundays out of SBA and 5pm out of LAX.

  • Lodging:

    • Is lodging provided for in-person weekends?

      • First Weekend – Yes

      • Second Weekend – Yes

      • Third Weekend – Because we ask for families to join their students for the final weekend, we will not be providing lodging for the third in-person weekends.

    • Lodging will be at Hotel Milo in Santa Barbara with a Quarter Zero Staff member within a 2 minute drive from the hotel (we’re locals!). Hotel staff are on duty 24/7 at this premier boutique property.

  • Meals:

    • Based on the program structure, evenings are set aside for reflection or spending time with other Fellows on their own for free time. Students should plan accordingly to have money for dinner meals.

Fellows are matched with our entire team of coaches for the academic year.Throughout the year, and depending on the Pathway selected, QØ provides a number of resources to ensure our students’ specific needs are addressed. For example, students will have access to our QØ Connect Platform and to specialists while looking for an internship or job. Job and interview coaching might be directed to our Career Coach experts, etc. Our coaches and QØ team meet frequently to ensure and coordinate  we find the right resources to help power your potential.

The Quarter Zero difference lies in our personalized team-based approach. We give you the power of a network of successful individuals and “always on” resources to ensure you have all the tools to reach your fullest potential. While other college and career advising services rely on a single individual to give you all the guidance you seek, we find that this one-dimensional approach often isn’t enough for applicants’ success.

  • 6 years’ experience
  • 700+ students
  • 100+ ventures
  • All focused on solving problems youth have…so we know a thing or two from our own customer discovery
  • Additionally, we are relying on experts and specialists in specific fields for the deep knowledge transfer.
  • Our goal is to coordinate and leverage the right resources for each student to help  them be successful.
  • Most importantly, your success is our success. QØ only works if our students are successful…we’re committed to the long game and couldn’t be happier.

Interested in learning more?

Let’s continue the conversation. Email us at [email protected] today!