The Quarter Zero Story

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History

In the spring of 2012 my younger brother was trying to launch his own venture idea, but he was struggling to find the kind of support he needed to develop his idea fully and implement it well. I remember sitting with him as he rattled off his wishlist: "I need help troubleshooting bugs in the code, advice on how to create strategic partnerships, assistance with introductions to potential clients, legal help with incorporation, branding to help make this company legit!”

What if…there was a startup incubator program like TechStars or Y Combinator, but exclusively for high schoolers? We could hook high schoolers up with epic advisors, and other resources that could really help them succeed, I thought…

…Nine months later, in the winter of 2013 we launched our first Catapult Incubator at the Harvard Innovation Lab.  In the past 5 years we’ve run 14 Incubators with students from 40 states, 10 countries, and the results speak for themselves:

Over +550 alumni have generated $5 million in revenue and investment, started more than 70 companies and have gone on to attend top universities, such as Stanford, MIT, Harvard, UPenn, and USC.

Catapult becomes Quarter Zero

In the spring of 2017 after talking with hundreds of prospective students, alumni, partners, and parents, a bigger picture emerged.  They told us that the Catapult Incubator was only the beginning of their transformational journey to become an entrepreneur.  

With that in mind we launched Quarter Zero, fondly known as QØ.  QØ's mission is to guide young entrepreneurs on their entire journey, which lasts far longer than a summer.  This means offering more experiences alongside the Catapult Incubator to help even more aspiring entrepreneurs begin their journey.  It also means continuing to support or alumni - QØ Fellows - long after their first experience.  We now offer 1-on-1 career coaching, exclusive internships, and soon a venture capital fund solely for QØ Fellows.

We are truly excited to guide the next generation as they undertake their transformational journey to become entrepreneurs. To read more about this exciting news - click here.

Onward!

Josh

Founder and CEO

 

The QØ Team

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Joshua Caleb Collins

Founder and CEO

Josh is a serial entrepreneur who started his first company in college, a nonprofit aimed to fund student-led service projects. His second venture was the first online network to track and validate student volunteer hours. Over the past 10 years, he worked with global nonprofits helping young entrepreneurs take action and create impact. Prior to starting QØ, he served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Ashoka’s Youth Venture, an organization that promotes a global culture of youth initiated positive change. Josh earned his bachelor’s degree from Westmont College where he graduated cum laude with three degrees in economics and business, communication studies, and social science.  

Josh loves urban cycling, playing Kubb, and taking his toddler, Quincy, to the beach with his wife, Lucy.

 
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Chelsea Frost Williams

Director of Marketing + Brand

Chelsea leads the Brand and Marketing efforts for QØ. Over the past 10 years, she has guided companies (from startups to Fortune 50) on marketing strategy, brand development, and creating impactful communications. She is passionate about facilitating new ideas, creativity, and is thrilled to be working with the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Chelsea enjoys traveling, lobster rolls, and making skincare products.  

 
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Ren Liu

Program Operations Manager

Ren manages all of the planning and implementation of QØ's program logistics. Prior to QØ, Ren organized large-scale community events through collaboration with corporate partners, community leaders, local start ups and NYC youth. Ren is excited to bring their expertise in logistics and passion for systems to QØ. Ren is thrilled to continue overseeing all of the details for running creative programming for talented young people across the country.

Ren enjoys eating french fries and exploring the beautiful neighborhoods of NYC.

 
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Martha Rush

Chief Educator-in-Residence

Martha has taught high school social studies in Minnesota for 22 years, and she founded her first company, NeverBore education consulting, in 2016, while enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania’s Education Entrepreneurship master’s program. Since 2013, Martha has helped more than 100 high school students launch businesses, from T-shirt makers to tech firms to social enterprises promoting sustainable products. Martha is excited to join QØ, so she can share the lessons she’s learned with a growing global community of innovation-oriented teachers and students.

Martha loves spending time with teenagers, blogging, traveling the world and hanging out at home with her husband, Jeff, and their two rescue dogs. Their sons, Ben and Sam, are successfully launched.

 
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Tanner Begin

Alumni Success Team + Content Lead

Tanner brings his creative energy to the marketing team by managing the social media and by contributing to other marketing content initiatives. As an entrepreneur himself, he has experience in creating a personal brand image primarily through social media. Tanner has worked extensively with students of all ages in varying capacities; from leading middle schoolers on backpacking trips in the Sierras to taking college students on educational immersion trips to inner city Los Angeles and Chicago, he has received immense joy from helping students learn new things about themselves and the world. Tanner is excited to continue providing students with opportunities to learn more about themselves in his role at QØ.

Tanner enjoys engaging in global politics, following the latest internet trends, and eating at the newest restaurants in town.

 
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Lucy Harris Collins

Senior Operations Manager

Lucy is excited to bring her passion for creating efficiencies across processes and procedures to the daily operations of Quarter Zero. Prior to QØ, Lucy spent over a decade in hedge fund investor relations with a focus on operational fund diligence, reporting, and investor services. She earned her bachelors degree in sociology from the University of Virginia.

Lucy enjoys all things food, and she is the author of lucysguide.com.

 
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Mark Carlson

Partnerships Team

Mark excels at building authentic relationships with ease. His excitement for people now finds its home at Quarter Zero, where he maintains relationships with schools, partners, and alumni of QØ as well as initiating new connections. Mark’s past experience in both positions of leadership and customer service allow him to understand all types of people and cater to them exceptionally well. Mark is thrilled about QØ’s potential to impact youth and the world, and he loves being a central part of the relational efforts at QØ. 

Mark enjoys his hobbies of music production and photography and is always curious to learn more.

 
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Chris Kosednar

Master Facilitator

Chris is our most experienced facilitator and has been working with young entrepreneurs and their startups since our very first cohort in 2013.  Chris has experience consulting Fortune 500 companies like Nike and Target, and also has experience in Silicon Valley working for mobile technology companies.

Chris is originally from Alaska and he attributes part of his entrepreneurial spirit to growing up in the north where there are few products and services and most people have to solve problems and design their own solutions (much like a startup!).

In his free time, Chris whitewater rafts, gardens, and cooks with his wife Hannah and dog Mister. His claim to fame is winning a gold medal in Ultimate Frisbee at the 2014 World Championships in Italy.

 
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Nate Houghton

Partnerships Team

Nate is an experienced entrepreneur and sales leader across a variety of industries. He founded a nonprofit organization called the Congo Leadership Initiative that trains youth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. CLI has helped more than 2,000 young people launch nearly 400 businesses over the last ten years. He is also a founding partner at Incendium Strategies where he works with early stage technology companies on their go-to-market efforts, particularly using outbound sales techniques.

Nate attended Cornell University and Harvard Business School.