Zach Lahartinger is an aspiring serial entrepreneur joining Watson from Ottowa, Canada. Zach is the founder and CEO of Student School Fees (SSF), an online platform for schools to systematize school payments from parents for events, trips, special meals, etc. His mother being a teacher, Zach recognized a unique pain point for her and her fellow teachers who were having trouble easily collecting class fees for different events manually. Creating this company as a full time commerce student, Zach’s idea won second place, funding, and office space at the National Nicol entrepreneurship competition. SSF piloted in 2013 in Ottowa and Zach is now looking to break into the US market. He is looking for the right connections, partners, and funders while at Watson to move his first company toward being acquired.
Zach dreams not only of being a serial entrepreneur but eventually a venture capitalist. He loves working with startups that focus on making a positive difference in the world. Currently he works sales in Ottawa for a business accelerator program called Lead to Win. He works with the founders of more than 10 validated Lead to Win companies, ranging from high tech to apparel companies, to improve sales and business development. Zach believes that rather than being confined by a typical corporate ladder, we can create our own ladders that make a difference and leave a positive mark on the world.