Person

Elizabeth Koch

Born:

1976 [20]

Occupation:

CEO, Catapult [21]

Industry:

Literary Publishing

Education:

BA from Princeton University and MFA from Syracuse University [22]

Daughter of:

Charles Koch

Elizabeth Koch is the CEO of Catapult, a publishing firm, and the daughter of billionaire Charles Koch of Koch Industries. She has also helped found other organizations such as Unlikely Collaborators, New Balloon and Tiny Blue Dot Foundation. [1]

While her father and uncle are known for being major donors to conservative and libertarian causes, Elizabeth Koch describes herself as apolitical. [2]

Background

Elizabeth Koch is the co-founder and CEO of Catapult, a publishing firm and writers’ community that says it uses storytelling to promote empathy. [3]

Elizabeth Koch graduated from Princeton with a BA in English literature. She earned an MFA in fiction from Syracuse University. She won the Joyce Carol Oates Prize for her short fiction writing. [4]

While at Syracuse, Elizabeth Koch studied with author George Saunders. [5]

Early Years

She is the daughter of billionaire Charles Koch, and niece of David Koch of Koch Industries. Her father and uncle are known for being major donors to conservative and libertarian causes, but she describes herself as apolitical. [6]

Elizabeth Koch grew up in Kansas in a wealthy family running Koch Industries. [7]

As children, Elizabeth Koch and her younger brother Chase listened to books on tape selected by their father Charles Koch. These books were from famous economic thinkers such as F.A. Hayek, the Austrian economist. [8]

In 2006 and 2007, she wrote an 11-part travelogue for Smith Magazine claiming her family’s wealth leaves her feeling “spoiled and quivering with self-loathing.” [9]

While studying literature at Princeton University, she held jobs editing books, working at magazines, and in journalism. She was also the editor at Opium Magazine and was the co-founder of Literary Death Match, a reading series in which authors compete for the best performance.  [10]

She has written for One Story, FENCE, Glimmer Train, the Columbia Journalism Review, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and other publications. [11] She wrote several pieces of fiction under a pen name, asserting she wanted her writing to be judged on its own merits. [12]

Business and Nonprofit Ventures

Elizabeth Koch says the organizations she has founded or co-founded “are designed to help us investigate the nature of conscious experience, and ultimately release the destructive stories we unconsciously project on others (and ourselves) based on past experience.” [13]

Elizabeth Koch launched Catapult in 2015 with the plan to launch 12 books per year with a budget in the high six figures. The company also offers creative writing workshops. [14] In 2016, Catapult merged with Counterpoint Press and gained its imprint Soft Skull. [15]

Elizabeth Koch is the founder of Unlikely Collaborators, a firm that creates interactive experiences that promote self-inquiry. [16]

She is also the founder of New Balloon, a film production company. [17]

Elizabeth Koch founded the Tiny Blue Dot Foundation, a neuroscience nonprofit. [18] Tiny Blue Dot describes itself as a consciousness research foundation. [19]

References

  1. Homepage. ElizabethKoch.com. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.elizabethkoch.com/ ^
  2. Maloney, Jennifer. “A Literary Koch Launches New Publishing House.” The Wall Street Journal. September 10, 2015. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-literary-koch-launches-new-publishing-house-1441911101 ^
  3. Homepage. ElizabethKoch.com. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.elizabethkoch.com/ ^
  4.  Homepage. ElizabethKoch.com. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.elizabethkoch.com/ ^
  5.  Maloney, Jennifer. “A Literary Koch Launches New Publishing House.” The Wall Street Journal. September 10, 2015. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-literary-koch-launches-new-publishing-house-1441911101 ^
  6.  Maloney, Jennifer. “A Literary Koch Launches New Publishing House.” The Wall Street Journal. September 10, 2015. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-literary-koch-launches-new-publishing-house-1441911101 ^
  7.  Maloney, Jennifer. “A Literary Koch Launches New Publishing House.” The Wall Street Journal. September 10, 2015. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-literary-koch-launches-new-publishing-house-1441911101 ^
  8. Severns, Maggie. “The Next Koch Doesn’t Like Politics.” Politico. December 14, 2018. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/12/14/koch-brothers-chase-charles-next-generation-223099/ ^
  9. Maloney, Jennifer. “A Literary Koch Launches New Publishing House.” The Wall Street Journal. September 10, 2015. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-literary-koch-launches-new-publishing-house-1441911101 ^
  10. Maloney, Jennifer. “A Literary Koch Launches New Publishing House.” The Wall Street Journal. September 10, 2015. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-literary-koch-launches-new-publishing-house-1441911101 ^
  11. Homepage. ElizabethKoch.com. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.elizabethkoch.com/ ^
  12. Maloney, Jennifer. “A Literary Koch Launches New Publishing House.” The Wall Street Journal. September 10, 2015. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-literary-koch-launches-new-publishing-house-1441911101 ^
  13. Homepage. ElizabethKoch.com. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.elizabethkoch.com/ ^
  14. Maloney, Jennifer. “A Literary Koch Launches New Publishing House.” The Wall Street Journal. September 10, 2015. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-literary-koch-launches-new-publishing-house-1441911101 ^
  15.  Maher, John. “Two Years Post-merger, Catapult, Counterpoint, and Soft Skull Are Going Strong.” Publisher’s Weekly. September 21, 2018. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/78117-two-years-post-merger-catapult-counterpoint-and-soft-skull-are-going-strong.html ^
  16.  Homepage. ElizabethKoch.com. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.elizabethkoch.com/ ^
  17.  Homepage. ElizabethKoch.com. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.elizabethkoch.com/ ^
  18. Livni, Ephrat. “Here’s why Elizabeth Koch, the daughter of a GOP megadonor, chose science over politics.” Quartz. December 14, 2018. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://qz.com/1489332/the-brainy-obsessions-of-a-bookish-koch/ ^
  19. Homepage. ElizabethKoch.com. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.elizabethkoch.com/ ^
  20. Timberg, Scott. “Publishing and the plutocracy: Relying on billionaires like the Kochs to survive is nothing to celebrate.” Salon. September 14, 2015. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.salon.com/2015/09/14/publishing_and_the_plutocracy_relying_on_billionaires_like_the_kochs_to_survive_is_nothing_to_celebrate/ ^

  21. Homepage. ElizabethKoch.com. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.elizabethkoch.com/ ^
  22. Homepage. ElizabethKoch.com. Accessed February 19, 2022. https://www.elizabethkoch.com/ ^
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