The Zero Experience

students gathered in room

You don't need experience to make an impact

What could you accomplish if you had a problem that you cared about, and that affected millions of people? What if you had the freedom and resources to actually solve it?

Distinguish yourself as a leader in innovation

If you want a great career, you need to stand out from the crowd.

The Zero Experience differentiates you. You’ll build a network of experts to support you, solve problems affecting millions of people, and learn how to make your visions a reality.

There is no other guided experience in UW that offers these benefits – if you’re a student and want to become more employable, join the Zero Experience.

"I'm starting to think this was one of the best things I've done in my university career . . . I will always recommend this program to my peers."

  3A Alumni, Spring 2020

Tap into your innovation potential

We all get asked the same question; “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Whether it’s choosing a university, a career, or in any conversation with relatives, that question pops up.

The answer we think in response is usually simple; “We don’t know.”

The Zero Experience lets you find out. You’ll try analyzing problems, interviewing industry mentors, designing new solution ideas, leading tightly knit teams of peers, and applying all these skills to your personal goals and growth.

There is no faster way to grow as a person than to attempt making something worth creating. We are here to give you that opportunity in the Zero Experience.

"Honestly, this is the best experience for me so far since I came to Waterloo… Don’t regret any moment of work here."

1A Alumni, Fall 2020

How much work is it?

A single three-hour workshop and one hour of individual goals to accomplish every week. That’s it.

On every Monday (beginning Jan 18th) from 6-9pm Eastern Time, we hold workshops, host guest speakers, and run Q&As to teach you the valuable skills you’ll need that week and how they can be applied in your own life. If it’s not immediately valuable to you, we don’t teach it. You’ll also have time every workshop to sit down with your team and achieve milestones like a full analysis of your Billion Dollar Problem, a unique solution blueprint, and more.

Throughout the rest of the week, you’ll only have to commit about one hour of work to your project, though we give you tons of extra goals and resources if you choose to go further! You can do this work whenever is easiest for you, whether its late at night or squished between classes. We know school can be busy and stressful, and we’ve accounted for that in this program.

You’ll need to attend most of the workshops throughout the term, since your team depends on your presence, but it’s totally fine if you have to miss one or two! If you’re in an extremely different time-zone or have a frequent conflict, we’d encourage you to apply in a future term.

  1. 2021
    1. Jan
      1. Week 1: Introduction (How to innovate, and an introduction to the Zero Experience)
      2. Week 2: Problems (Finding a niche problem and what makes it urgent)
    2. Feb
      1. Week 3: Networking (The power of your network and how to talk to people)
      2. Week 4: Analysis (Analyzing problems, accepting feedback, and advancing your career)
      3. Week 5: Reading Week Break
      4. Week 6: Ideas (Brainstorming ideas and how to make your goals achievable)
    3. Mar
      1. Week 7: Solutions (Deciding on the best solution and learning what you don’t know)
      2. Week 8: Planning (Solution storyboards, planning timelines, and what makes a great leader)
      3. Week 9: Storytelling (Conveying your vision and accomplishments in a compelling story)
      4. Week 10: Summit (Presenting your story to others and reflecting on your journey and goals)


Zero Experience Co-founders

holden beggs headshot

jackson mills headshot