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Stories. Reflections. Entrepreneurial Thoughts.

Launch Life: Roommate Edition

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Session one of Launch is just over a month away! We hope that you are as excited as we are for the program to start. There are many reasons why Launch is a worthwhile experience, and the college experience of roommate living is just one of them.

You might be nervous about living with a roommate for the first time. Maybe you are an only child or a like to listen to music at all hours of the night. Rest assured, our Launch team works hard to make sure that students enjoy a positive living experience throughout the program by intelligently matching roommates, while also offering some single rooms. Launch admits fill out a pre-work survey that includes questions about lifestyle and work habits, giving us some key information that is statistically proven to contribute to positive roommate experiences.

While there is an option to request a single room, Launch alumni highly suggest rooming with a classmate to have a richer experience during the program. For some students, this may be your first time away from home for an extended period of time. Not only will your roommate keep you company, they will surely provide motivation during the intense four weeks of the program. Launch roommates have often become best friends and continue to inspire each other in their business ventures.

Still feeling nervous? We’ve asked some of our previous Launchies to share their roommate experiences. Here’s what they said:

“Launch couldn’t possibly have got my roommate allocation more right. Before the program even began my roomie Lauren and I were best friends, and our bond only grew as a result of our month together. We were on different teams, so we were there for each other to help brainstorm ideas and support each other when things got tough or the workload piled up. I’m still super close with Lauren and we definitely have a sisterly relationship. I know we’ll be friends for life!” -Ciara

Continue reading “Launch Life: Roommate Edition”

No meal plan?! No worries!

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Obligatory Boston clam chowder photo

One of the most commonly asked questions we get at Launch is regarding the lack of a meal plan.  Unfortunately, the dormitory dining halls are closed during the summer. While many students ask about how much to budget for meals, it’s difficult for us to provide a recommendation since it’s very dependent on the student (and their appetite).  Not having a meal plan, though, also means that there is a lot of flexibility the offers great culinary experiences.  One of our former Launchies, Sunny, is here to share some of her adventurous explorations.  Rest assured, though, there are lots of options at the MIT student center and Sloan cafeteria for those who prefer to stay on campus.

Hi, my name is Sunny and I attended Launch in 2015. Launch was one of the best experiences of my life, and my tastebuds would agree. As a self-proclaimed foodie, the culinary adventures that Boston has to offer trumps any meal plan. I want to share with you nostalgic Launchies and prospective Launchies some of my favorites and some reasons why it’s beneficial to not have a meal plan. (Beware of photos of excessively delicious food. Caution to readers on an empty stomach.)

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially when you will be challenging yourself in class all morning.  A few of my favorite spots include Clover, Rebecca’s Cafe, Flour, Cosi and Au Bon Pain. These cafes/restaurants are all found around Kendall square near your classes. I highly recommend Clover’s breakfast sandwich or popover, and Cosi’s breakfast wraps. Plus, there is a Starbucks nearby if you want your dose of caffeine.

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Chilled borscht soup from Flour

Continue reading “No meal plan?! No worries!”

What does it take to get into MIT Launch??

 

We’re so impressed with the applicant pool this year, and had some really hard decisions to make.  We often get asked throughout the process and after decisions come out: What do we look for in applicants?  There’s no one profile or formula, and there’s not a way to build your resume or application to reverse-engineer what we’re looking for, though here are a few examples of admits this year, to give you a better idea of what appealed to our admissions committee.

Admit Example #1:

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  • Clear passion and drive within STEM and education
  • Co-founder and CTO of two STEM-related initiatives, clearly communicating both the vision and progress of these projects, and committing significant time
  • Internship at a startup that creates games for kids both through apps and 3D objects
  • Leadership in extracurricular activities
  • ~3.0 GPA (we recognize that entrepreneurs do not always have the best grades!)

Continue reading “What does it take to get into MIT Launch??”

MIT Launch Admissions Stats 2016

Congratulations again to all those accepted to MIT Launch Summer 2016!  To give you a bit better idea of the class profile, here are a few stats on our admitted class.

Our admission rate this year is <15%!

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genderPrimary background of students
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Continue reading “MIT Launch Admissions Stats 2016”

Why Launch?

It’s a huge decision to pick up and move to MIT for the summer to start a company.  You could be at home watching reruns and hanging out with friends, starting a company on your own, or attending another program.  But if you’ve applied to MIT Launch, we know you think a bit different, so we’d like to share some of the reasons our unique cadre of innovation-driving, game-changing leaders of both today and tomorrow chose to attend Launch.

 

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“For me, it was mainly a function of the hands-on, practical philosophy Launch has. The environment that a lot of high schoolers, myself included, are in is one that is focused on what can be done ‘in the future.’ Launch, on the other hand, was giving us the resources to actually build a company now, not just write business plans or learn vague concepts.”

 – Launch 2014 alum, Divya Goel, MIT student

 

This desire resonates throughout the students of Launch, with many of them growing up having the overwhelming urge to fix problems and help others.  Launch provides the tools to build something to scale, teaching the Disciplined Entrepreneurship methodology and providing prototyping facilities.

Continue reading “Why Launch?”

What if I’m… *gasp*… denied?

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Admissions decisions come out soon!  Which means we know that many of you are laying in eager wait.  There are so many wonderfully qualified students that apply to Launch, so before decisions are released, we want to cover a few things:

  • Select applicants are placed on a waitlist.  There is not a specific order of these applicants since many factors may be considered if an admitted student does not accept, so please do not ask us for your position on the list.
  • We do not release the number of students who are on the waitlist, nor the number of students admitted from each application round.
  • We cannot provide individualized feedback to each specific applicant regarding their admissions decision, though please know that every application was reviewed by several admissions committee members.
  • If you are denied or waitlisted but not ultimately admitted, keep your head up!  Several admits this year were denied last year, but had an improved application this year that truly impressed us.  In fact, while only ~5% of our applicants applied previously, the number of previous applicants that have been admitted is 2-3 times that rate!

We hope to see you soon – in Launch Summer 2016, during our online course this summer, or applying for Summer 2017!

Launch Admissions FAQs

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Congratulations on applying to MIT Launch! Whether you are waiting on your admissions decision or trying to decide whether to accept, we understand you have many questions, and we’re here to help! Please see below for the most commonly asked questions. Don’t see your question below? Check out the MIT Launch
website for more FAQs.

 

First, a couple of logistics:

 

  • All regular round admissions decisions, including deferrals, will be announced by April 15, 2016.
  • Applications are still being reviewed until decisions are sent.  

 

 

Q: Can I change my application once I’ve submitted it?

A: Applications cannot be changed once they have been submitted. ONLY if you become aware that the link to your video does not work, or there is another part of your application that is incomplete, may you email info@launchsummer.org.  

 

Q: My friends have received interview requests but I have not. Does that mean I have been denied?

A: Interviews are offered on a rolling basis as applications are reviewed.  There is not any specific order to when applications are reviewed during the review period, and interviews may still be offered until late in the process.  

 

Q: I have received an interview and I am trying to set up a time on SimplyBook.Me. Are the times offered in my time zone?

A: All interview times are shown by default in Eastern Standard Time (EST). Please review your schedule and plan accordingly.

Continue reading “Launch Admissions FAQs”

International Students: Applying for a Visa?!

So you’ve been accepted to MIT Launch. First of all, congratulations! You’re in for one crazy summer. But now, if you’re from outside the US you’re probably going to have to start thinking of logistics, and most of all getting a visa.

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I’m Ciara and I was a student in the Launch Class of 2015. As I am from Ireland, I am allowed to freely enter the United States without a visa for tourist purposes, but as MIT Launch wasn’t exactly a holiday, I wasn’t sure if that would cover it. I did a bit of research and came up with two options:

Business Visa (B-1)

After considering all my options I ended up applying and getting a business visa. This covers you to enter the United States for temporary business purposes, with the maximum duration of your stay being 6 months. As Launch can technically be considered a business incubator this visa will permit you to attend the program. Personally I think this is the best option for most people as, depending on where you are from it can be valid for up to 10 years. This means if your Launch company takes off (which hopefully it will) you will be able to return to the USA for business trips, conferences etc. using this visa for the next ten years before you will have to renew it.

To get this visa you will likely need a letter of acceptance for Launch (which I got emailed to me and printed myself) and the address in which you will be staying for the duration of your time in Boston (I just gave the address of MIT Campus). However I would recommend you consult the US embassy or consul in your country to get more detailed instructions.

Tourist Visa (B-2)

By considering Launch as a summer program rather than a business incubator it could be possible to use a tourist visa to enter the country. I personally would see this as a less reliable option due to the fact that the length of your stay is determined by the Department of Homeland Security upon your entry to the United States, so it adds an extra variable to the equation. Also, if you ever want to return to the US for business purposes, this visa will not permit your entry.

If you already have a B-2 visa and would like to use this for Launch, I’d advise you again consult the US embassy or consul in your country to get more guidance from them.

 

So that’s my tips for you! And once you get your visa you can concentrate on what’s important – getting super excited for the summer of a lifetime you are about to experience!

Who teaches at MIT Launch?

We’re gearing up for another exhilarating summer at MIT Launch, and a question we often hear is, “Who teaches the lectures?”

First, we try to avoid the term “lectures,” since our classroom sessions provide so much more than the traditional one-directional lecture.  Our sessions range from interactive case discussions, to activities and simulations, to entrepreneur panels and speakers.  The first week is a bit heavier with time in the classroom to lay some foundational groundwork, plus form teams and ideas.  Past the first week, classroom sessions are only held in the mornings.  Afternoons are a more open format for teams to work on their businesses – interviewing customers, prototyping, meeting with their mentors or having a mock board of directors meeting, doing competitive analysis, and more!

Our innovative teaching format requires great instructors to match.  Several of the courses are taught by MIT Launch staff, with guest lecturers of MIT and HBS professors, new and established entrepreneurs, and industry experts.  Here’s a tiny preview of what is to come this summer:

Continue reading “Who teaches at MIT Launch?”

Is MIT Launch Worth It?

By: Nate Friedman

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If this post title appealed to you, you’re among the applicants or admits (or parents or teachers) who has asked whether or not Launch is worth the cost, time, and giving up other opportunities of what else you might do during the summer.  I almost turned down my offer to attend Launch, and want to share with you my story.

My Background: Before attending Launch, I was working on a company that I was passionate about, and considered turning down the offer to attend Launch.  My dad, who is also an entrepreneur, challenged the idea of attending Launch.  “Maybe you really don’t need this program; you can get a desk at an innovation center and really start working.”  The combination of making progress with a business that I was passionate about plus following the advice of my father made the alternative to Launch tempting.  

Starting A Company “The Right Way”:  My oldest brother, who was about to graduate from Harvard Business School, offered a different perspective, even in light of my exciting alternative. He told me, “you need to go to this program.  You need to learn how to start a company the right way. You have been trying for years to get a real company off the ground and Launch will help you with a real framework, an abridged version of what I learned in business school, plus give you a network and community of like-minded peers – best friends – for life.”

In the past, I have started companies by drafting up a business plan and designing a logo. Starting a company is an impressive thing to do in high school, but starting it the right way and really fixing a problem – that’s special – and people in the startup world, colleges, and especially you will know the difference. This is the significance of Launch. You may hear about young people starting companies in high school, but Launch alumni know how to use a specific framework to launch (hehe) their ideas and really solve the problem that their company is addressing, plus will be able to do it repeatably over time.

Why My Brother Was Right: It was really hard to turn down my father’s advice, but I’m grateful that I was guided and supported in making the choice that I did.  I talk to my friends from Launch, at least one, every single day. We spent a month together and that was enough time to guarantee best friends for life. You may not believe that now, but Launchies have each others’ backs and that’s what my brother alluded to. He also mentioned what might seem like the obvious, but a resume boost. Attending MIT Launch and starting a company – not bad for a month’s time.  Let me finish this section with this, my brother knew I could do all that and have fun.  We all will get different things out of Launch, make different mistakes, experience different success, but we will all grow as entrepreneurs and people, and have an unforgettable summer that bonds us for life.

Ciara Judge: Last Minute Inspiration

ciaraThere are three weeks left to apply for MIT Launch – and I’m here to tell you why a last minute application could change your life.

Around this time last year I was surfing the internet, looking for things to do to fill up my summer when a Facebook notification popped up on my screen. My sister had sent me a link with a single sentence caption: “THIS IS THE PLACE FOR YOU!!!” One click led me to the MIT Launch website and I began to explore.

Everything I read about the program just screamed out from the page to me as something I wanted to participate in. I had always been the entrepreneurial type from a young age, starting up little businesses or making a fortune by lending to my friends and charging interest as soon as I found out what the term meant (I drove a hard bargain). But I never took this attitude of mine seriously until I read about MIT Launch. Suddenly I saw myself growing up to be an entrepreneur, forging my own path and working with a team of like-minded individuals. So without hesitation I decided I just had to apply.

I had two weeks, so I was on quite a tight deadline, but thankfully I got my application in on time. And fast forward to a few months later in April, I received news that I had been accepted. Suddenly it all became so real! That summer, I was going to actually start up a proper company!

However, upon arriving at MIT Launch I realised that this experience was going to mean so much more than cofounding a startup. Over that summer I made friends for life, learned skills I’ll carry with me forever, and built a network of contacts to call on in the years to come as I travel along this journey of entrepreneurship. Of course I met my fantastic PurchaseMate team, and we are still working together now with big plans for the future. PurchaseMate is currently in beta and we plan to get it up on the app store very soon. The course perfectly combines fun and enjoyment with professionalism, and I now a more well-rounded, competent individual as a result of my involvement.

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That last minute application last year certainly changed my life, and who I am. Ironically, although entrepreneurship is usually seen as a high-risk career path, I am now so much more certain of my future. Because MIT Launch taught me that even if I fail over and over again I can keep going if I have enough determination grit.

If you were one of those kids who always challenged the status quo, who saw another way of doing things, maybe entrepreneurship is for you. If you like making things, creating things, maybe entrepreneurship is for you. If you want a life of excitement and are willing to put in the work to make it so, maybe entrepreneurship is. You’ll never know unless you take that leap, and applying for MIT Launch is a perfect way to do that. You have three weeks, so you better get going!

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International Applicants: Hello From The Other Siiiiide

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Less than one month left to apply to MIT Launch 2016, and the questions from international applicants are rolling in! I’ve collected some advice from former international Launchies for all of you with similar questions out there:

Do I need a visa if I’m admitted to Launch? What kind of visa will work best?

Many international students come to Launch using a tourist visa. According to Launch alum Nicholas Raga, “…since you don’t get any college credit and it is short then you don’t need a student visa.” Alumna Ciara Judge from Ireland says that “any tourist or B1 visa will work.”

Of course, this can vary by country, so be sure to check the specifics of your location.

How do I submit my grades? My school doesn’t use a GPA! What if my school doesn’t grade on the ABCDF scale?

“As a student from the UK, the whole GPA thing was pretty foreign to me, so when it came to transcripts I simply submitted my internal grades from school. I also submitted my grades for GCSEs (our external exams at the end of 10th Grade). All in all, I would say aim to submit enough material to allow Launch to gauge your academic strength – and don’t be afraid to provide extra explanations here so that it’s clear what each grade means!” -Ashwin Agarwal 2014

Basically, help Launch calibrate your school’s grading system as much as possible.  There are some suggestions within the application for how to do this, though also use your best judgment.  We’re not trying to be overly prescriptive here – we just aren’t experts on every single potential academic system and need your help, so your translation of grades to a GPA and letter grades is much appreciated.

Keval Patel: Never Too Young

It’s been four months since Launch ended, but the memories will continue to live. The experiences I faced and the friendships I made are unforgettable and will always be a part of my life. One of the key messages from Launch is that you are never too young to be an entrepreneur. This was embedded in all of us since day one.

Launch gives students the opportunity to become immersed in the entrepreneurial world. From day one, we were tasked to develop a mini-businesses overnight out of forty dollars.  This assignment taught me that money isn’t the foundation of successful entrepreneurs, but rather it is the thought-process and focus that are key. Even though a certain idea may seem to be unique and desirable to the public, you have to find your differentiation – the customers you serve better, and the way you serve them better with your product and marketing.  Young entrepreneurs have this innovative imagination that allows them to come up with truly novel ideas. With the correct passion, they are able to make their fantasies into entrepreneurial realities, despite the opposition they may receive.

A couple days into Launch, one of the instructors drew two axes of a graph on the board and a positive parabola in the middle. She then labels the x-axis “Time at Launch”, and the y-axis “Level of Happiness”. This image represents that entrepreneurs will start their project with ambition and excitement, hit a few rough patches, and then the excitement will ensue again. I never expected to follow the Happiness Curve during my entrepreneurial experience. However, I realized in Launch that it is inevitable.

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Continue reading “Keval Patel: Never Too Young”

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the…2016 MIT Launch Application (4/4)

Hello December! We’re back!

The early application deadline is just around the corner (December 28)!  So it’s time to look at the the video portion of the application.  And we’ve saved the best for last.  This is essentially your opportunity to pitch yourself – an important skill as an entrepreneur!

You are asked to introduce yourself to your future class at Launch in a video of 90 seconds or less.  No, you may not exceed this time limit, no exceptions for your awesome video wizardry. We want you to portray what you think is most important, not your whole life story.  And no, we aren’t going to share all of these videos before the first day, but knowing how you approach this question can give us a lot of insights into your entrepreneurial propensity in Launch.

So what are we looking for in these videos?

Continue reading “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the…2016 MIT Launch Application (4/4)”

Public Speaking Advice from my TEDx Talk

I recently had the honor of doing a TEDx talk.  It was a humbling, exciting, overwhelming, and exhausting experience.  I was among a panel of esteemed speakers including some previous TED global speakers, an Emmy-Award winner, a performance storyteller, and an expert in neurodevelopment.  Wow… And I had to kick off the event as the first speaker.  I’m proud of my talk, though also know how I can improve going forward, and would like to share some advice for any of you who may have the opportunity to have a public speaking engagement.
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Continue reading “Public Speaking Advice from my TEDx Talk”

The Creative Process

Launch starts before students even set foot on MIT campus with some assignments to be completed prior to arrival – primarily the creative process ideation and filtering.  The best ideas are at the intersection of students interests, passions, and market trends and needs.  Activities guide students through the process of diversion of ideas, then conversion, which then gets repeated in the first few days of the program in a group setting.  While ideas are often overrated (since most good ideas have been thought of before and success typically comes down to execution / commercialization), they’re still a necessary component of a good business!

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Check out this article by Launch student Josh Seides who was particularly inspired by the Creative Process and published “How to Turn Your Many Ideas Into A Million-Dollar Business”

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Hitchhiker’s Guide to the…2016 MIT Launch Application (3/4)

Hello again. Hope everyone had a happy Halloween! This week we’re going to focus on a trickier bit of the application (well it’s really not that tricky–it just looks confusing): the Entrepreneurial Baseline. What do we mean by “entrepreneurial baseline”?  We have identified some key questions that will give us a good idea of what kind of entrepreneur you are, your strengths, your motivations, and your expectations for MIT Launch and that #startuplyfe.

IMPORTANT: Don’t game your answers! What I mean is – don’t answer in a particular way because you think we’re looking for particular answers. There’s not a right or wrong answer – there are all different types of potential entrepreneurs – and we want to get a better sense of your potential role within a team, aspirations for the summer, and the person behind the resume.  Just be honest – we appreciate self-awareness, open-mindedness, and willingness to learn.  Plus, this helps us get an idea of where our incoming class is starting from (the baseline) so we know how best to tailor programming to reach our common goals.

Here are some of the more confusing questions explained:

Continue reading “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the…2016 MIT Launch Application (3/4)”

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the…2016 MIT Launch Application (2/4)

Hello again. I hope you all have started on those applications! This week we’re done with housekeeping–let’s talk about your schoolwork and your activities.

Transcript:
Basic School Info: This is pretty typical, the easy stuff:)

Class Rank: Don’t sweat it. Seriously. Class rank is calculated differently at each school and we know it. Providing your class rank will not hurt your application—it just gives us a little more context to see what the student body of your school is like.  This field is optional.

Grades/Advanced Coursework: Again, this should not be a stress point. Your admissions decision will never be based solely on your school grades or what classes you take because we know that there is a lot of variation in different schools (some offer 18 AP classes, while others might not have any!). We ask that you provide this information just to see how you are using the opportunities at your school and to see how you are challenging yourself, because at the end of the day Launch is all about being resourceful about the opportunities presented to you and challenging yourself.

Transcript Upload: Give us a copy of your transcript, which can be picked up from your school’s registrar or your counselor, or if your school uses an online grade reporting system such as Naviance, you may upload the transcript you find on there. Please DO NOT have your school mail the transcript, ONLY submit it digitally.  We also do NOT accept updated transcripts past the deadline of the application round to which you apply.  This means that if you really want to have your current semester grades as part of your application, you need to apply regular round. Sorry, you can’t apply early round and email us your transcript later.

Activities Involvement:

NOTE: You may add up to 5 activities. This doesn’t mean that you need to fill all 5, but also means that if you have more that you need to be selective in what you share.  Pick the ones that are most meaningful to you and those that demonstrate impact.

Role: Put your current role first (if you have had other roles in the program, list them after with the years you served in that role). If you do not have a title yet you may just put “member or participant”.

Description: The word limit is a 100 word MAXIMUM. You don’t need to write a profound and emotional reflection, just describe what you did and the impact of your activity.  Including any aspect that might make it entrepreneurial or your specific contributions can be valuable, but don’t feel like you need to be super sentimental or overly philosophical about it.  Being concise is appreciated.

Entrepreneurial program experience: If you have gone to other programs, let us know what you did there! We just want to get a sense of how much background our applicants may be coming in with. Don’t worry if you have not been part of an entrepreneurial program before—many of our students come in with little to no business backgrounds.  It takes a variety of backgrounds to start a company!

If you haven’t already, start your application today!  And check out our FAQs on the Launch website.  Plus check back for the next issue where we’ll cover the Entrepreneurial Baseline section of the application.

Financial Need Scholarships

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Hello future Launchies! My name is Russell Reed, and I serve as the Onboarding Coordinator at MIT Launch. I know that, among the questions you have about the application itself, many of you have another concern: paying for Launch if you are accepted. I’m going to do my best to demystify our financial aid process in this post, but if you have any further questions, please post them here and we will do our best to answer them.

First of all, admission to Launch is need blind — if you indicate you will be applying for financial aid, it will only be used to follow up appropriately when / if you are accepted. Our goal is to make Launch affordable for every accepted student, and therefore financial aid packages are curated on an individual basis with the intention of meeting all demonstrated need.

“Affordability is the last thing one should worry about when applying to MIT Launch. The program has all the resources to help you and your family afford an amazing entrepreneurial education… As we say in Launch: ‘an entrepreneur is someone who pursues an opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.’”

-Besart Copa, 2015 Alumnus

At Launch, we are dedicated to bringing together the most ambitious and driven young aspiring entrepreneurs from across the globe, and we will ensure that financing the program does not stand in your way of attending.  We have compiled information from previous sessions to provide these average financial aid offers, but remember that each package is made individually, so they may vary based on some additional factors of the admitted student and family circumstance.

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“MIT Launch changed me in more ways that I could have imagined. Now I am confident in my potential and I know I have what it takes to start a company. Even though I couldn’t afford to pay for the program, it didn’t matter, because I knew there’s financial aid in place to make sure everybody who is admitted could join the program. So be one of the bold ones! Apply!

– 2015 Launch Alumnus 

Best of luck to everyone applying, and please feel free to contact us through the College Confidential post linked earlier in this post if you have any more questions!

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the…2016 MIT Launch Application (1/4)

Hello hello, Annie here:) It’s been such an exciting summer with Launch, and I can’t believe it’s already application season again! Here at MIT the campus, tours are in full swing again and every day as I pass by the Admissions Office on my way to class, I see anxious parents and their seniors crowding around, trying to glean some insight about the college admissions process. And in this way, I’m reminded everyday that while all applications are designed to be as straightforward as possible, they almost never feel that way.

That’s why I’m starting this blog series to debunk the myths and demystify the application for the coolest summer program this side of the Mississippi River—shhhh, I might be biased:) Feeling confused should never stand in the way of applying for programs that you really would like to participate in. Having “graduated” from MIT Launch myself and also having worked on the backend of things, I hope my perspectives will be helpful in understanding what the MIT Launch application is all about.

This will be a 4 part blog series and every week or so I’ll be explaining a different part of the application, so check back often as to not miss out!

Continue reading “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the…2016 MIT Launch Application (1/4)”

Lillian Chen: To Lead, To Teach, To Launch

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When I stumbled upon entrepreneurship at MIT Launch Summer Program last year, I also discovered the superpower to change the world through my creative ideas. My experience with MIT Launch made me believe high school students could build companies.

After returning home, my excitement for growing my company was crushed by what I found back at school: my friends couldn’t connect to me when I went on passionately about marketing strategies; the school atmosphere was one geared towards science, sports, and fine arts. We had Debate Club, Environment Club, even Beyoncé Club, but no Entrepreneurship Club. Business was just something people typically didn’t believe high schoolers were interested in or could even do it.

Wanting to pursue my passion for entrepreneurship and find like minded people, I decided to start the Launch Houston Entrepreneurship Club and succeeded into tricking 12 open minded students who’ve never experienced business to join (just kidding…they joined on their own free will). Rather than pursuing my own passion for entrepreneurship, I saw the impact of sharing this knowledge with others. I heard Margaret T. challenge conventional norms with her questions. I saw Matthew F. open his shell and become one of the most eloquent, persuading public speakers I’ve ever met. I saw Anirudh S. marketing in school and Divya J.marketing through neighborhoods. I saw each students put in #work; I saw teams fight, make up, tackle big dilemmas and decisions, pivot, and grow stronger together. I felt their determination to succeed. 

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I’ve always loved teaching others: I tutored refugees in the summer and volunteered as a mentor for various summer camps for disabled children But it was through Launch that I really saw how I could help illuminate the talent and spark in each student. One student told me that she wanted to pursue business in the future because of Launch Houston. Another student said that Launch Houston had changed his life: now, he does not stop thinking of new ideas and wants to continue growing his company. Although I thought I knew why I started Launch Houston, my club members were the ones who showed me why I fell in love with teaching entrepreneurship.

Last year, my Launch group had three teams, two of which became finalists at the MIT Launch Pitch Competition (more than 60 teams worldwide competed and only the top ten became finalists). MoGo, a company that teaches children how to manage money, received 4th place; my team’s company LocaFoods, a company that provides an online platform that connects local farmers to schools, restaurants, and homes, won 1st! Both companies continue to grow to this day.

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This year, Launch Houston has more than tripled in size, expanding to 38 members. While managing this many people is difficult, I’ve learned some lessons for last year’s session that will help me effectively run this club: Continue reading “Lillian Chen: To Lead, To Teach, To Launch”

Trisha Kagalavadi: The Reciprocity Ring

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Launch is much more than a group of students working tirelessly to create their companies: it’s a community. The power of the Launch community is an invaluable network comprised of people with a variety of different skills, resources, and knowledge. I began to see the power of the network when we created the Reciprocity Ring.

Everyone wrote down an obstacle they were facing on a blue post-it note, then we arranged all of the notes on the wall in a circle. Together, we brainstormed possible solutions to these obstacles, and wrote down ways we could help each other on yellow post-it notes. It really showed how everyone at Launch has an abundance of talents, and regardless of whether someone was facing a technology or design obstacle, there was always another Launchie who could help out! After we thought about ways to help each other, we drew lines connecting the obstacle we were facing, to the one we were able to help out with.

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Launch provides you with access to amazing resources, connections, and people, all at your fingertips. This activity allowed us to help each other reach our goals and illuminated the importance of the Launch family. As a family, we helped each other, laughed a lot, and argued a little bit, but at the end of the day, we were always there for each other. Even in the midst of AP classes, and SAT prep, I still talk to the friends I made at Launch everyday, and the connections I made have continued to thrive, long after the four weeks ended!

Will starting a company get me into college?

Running an entrepreneurship program for high school students at MIT, I have faced this question either directly or indirectly from both applicants and students of MIT Launch. Applicants want to know if attending will give them a better chance of getting into MIT, while program alumni are assessing how much of their time to balance on different aspects of college applications versus continuing their companies.

In light of this question, I’ve spent some time gathering input from admissions directors, in addition to using my own experience reviewing applications, to provide an answer.

The short answer:  No.

Getting into college or putting “Founder” on your resume shouldn’t be a factor in deciding whether or not to start a company.

But what DO admissions committees care about?

And what ARE the reasons to start (or continue) a company?

(And do these two overlap?  Spoiler alert: they do!)

What Admissions Care About…

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Continue reading “Will starting a company get me into college?”

Brian Coombs: Mens et Manus at MIT

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Launch just ended, but the memories refuse to fade.  My most prominent memories stem from the challenging learning experience of designing and implementing our hardware product. I co-founded Vintage Vitality, a health wearable company dedicated to connecting ailing loved ones to their family and keeping them safe.

Heading into the development phase, my group was worried about our lack of experience in prototyping, particularly electrical hardware. I became team lead for product development, but my experience was limited to architectural CAD (computer aided design), and I had never done any electrical engineering before. Luckily resources abound at Launch. I was assisted personally by MIT professors and students:

  • Marty Culpepper, MIT Maker Czar and Mechanical Engineering professor, scheduled times with all the hardware teams, and advised us on silicone molding and potential difficulties inherent in the manufacturing phase.
  • Entrepreneurs at the Global Founders Skills Accelerator plus EIRs (Entrepreneurs in Residence) and other staff at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship provided assistance with anything from wiring to 1-on-1 learning about Arduino to 3D printing.

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There was never a dull step along the way. Within the Trust Center’s Protoworks, every tool was specific to what small companies like us needed to bring our ideas onto the workbench of reality.

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Continue reading “Brian Coombs: Mens et Manus at MIT”

Aakanksha Saxena: From Vision to Reality

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When I first applied to Launch, I vaguely understood that I would be learning about creating a company. Surely, I would learn the ins and outs of marketing, public speaking, and working effectively with a team. Launch, however, offers so much more. While Launch did help me develop these skills, Launch’s wide array of resources drastically expanded my technical skill set in a way I had not perceived possible. In less than four weeks, my team was able to make a fully functional hardware prototype and compatible iOS application. Equipped with cutting-edge hardware prototyping technology and inspirational mentors, students truly do have the power to launch their vision into reality.

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Aakanksha was a part of team Ecomyst, developing a technology that syncs consumers’ sprinkler systems to their phones. By integrating local databases concerning external factors such as temperature, wind pressure, and humidity, the users’ mobiles manages sprinkler output to optimize plant health and water usage. This technology has the potential to annually save hundreds of thousands of gallons of water and can significantly cut water bills.

In Focus: PurchaseMate

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Hi, we’re PurchaseMate and we’re here to help you be a more conscious and effective shopper.

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PurchaseMate is a social impact data company, working to educate both shoppers and corporations on the products that they stock, ship, and buy. We work through a user base of socially responsible shoppers; people who are looking to vote with their wallet.

Continue reading “In Focus: PurchaseMate”

Lauren Yang: So Much More

Lauren70 incredibly intelligent students, four weeks, one unforgettable experience: MIT Launch. When I first found out that I had been accepted into MIT Launch, a four week summer entrepreneurship program, I was excited to not only to be learning about entrepreneurship but also to be meeting like minded peers. Little did I know that this program would provide so much more. Throughout the four weeks at Launch, I have learned a myriad of lessons. The entrepreneurship panels, engaging lectures, and market simulation activities have exposed me to everything from how to conduct primary market research to defining an MVP. From my mentors and teachers, I’ve absorbed tidbits of advice, like “perfect is the enemy of done” and “don’t drop out of college”. Launch has helped me develop my skills as an entrepreneur, as a teammate, and as an individual.

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The uniquely quirky culture at Launch is also something that is key to the program. Living with 70 other makers, comedians, hackers, fearless risk takers, scientists, artists, innovators, and everything in between has given me the opportunity to learn from some of the most talented students in their respective fields.

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One of my favorite memories was when my peers and I were on a duck boat tour. By the end of the trip, everybody on the boat had chanted songs, laughed, and taken pictures together. At that point, Launch no longer felt like a summer program; it became an experience that I’d never forget. By the end of four weeks, we were no longer just 70 talented individuals, we were a family and a community that had pushed each other to accomplish what we never imagined we could. thumb_DSC_6988_1024Perhaps on the surface it seems that Launch is just 4 weeks, just 70 students, just a summer program. But it’s also where people truly believe in the capability of high school students to do so much more, and that is exactly why Launch IS so much more.

In Focus: Bites

Hello! We’re Bites and we’re on a mission to make sure you never miss a home-cooked meal again!

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Bites connects hungry students to chefs in college campuses to sell home cooked meals to each other. Through a mobile app platform, Bites creates a marketplace where chefs sell meals with ease to students to pick up near them.

Team:

Ishani Thakur: Chief Technology Officer

Xavier Rivera: Chief Marketing Officer

Cao Andong: Chief Design Officer

Jack Zeiders: Chief Finance Officer

Experience: For us, one of the greatest lessons Launch gave us was how to live and breath your business. With Bites, we decided that testing the viability of our concept was crucial for us to see if making this company was worth it or not. Throughout our time at MIT, we ran multiple MVP’s that required so much coordination and demanded so much of our attention that we found ourselves working on the Bites Beta tests all the time outside of our team’s working hours. This showed us what it takes to bring a pretty concept to rugged reality. People questioned every facet of our freshly made business decisions relentlessly as they were beta testers. In our classes, we seemed to have an answer for every question our teacher asked us regarding our company, but Launch taught us that in concept, there is always the right answer, but in practice, when you’ve launched (and are generating revenue) that is when the most valuable lessons are learned.

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Future: Going forward, we’re launching Bites in our team’s local universities. We also plan on starting Bites in new apartment developments where Bites can really spark a food sharing community. We would love to come back to MIT Launch and work as interns next year because it would be the perfect way for us to pass on our lessons from Launch to the next batch of amazing entrepreneurs next year just as this year’s interns generously shared their insights with us. For the future, we hope that Bites will spread to new communities and that we are able to get as much feedback as possible to continue growing and developing the company.

In Focus: Dropwise

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Hi! We’re the Dropwise team, and we’re here to connect you to your water usage in a smarter, more effective way.

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Dropwise uses modernized technology to connect homeowners to their water usage in a smarter, more effective way to encourage smart water conservation. Our device clips easily onto water meters and transmits real-time water usage data to a smartphone app, where users can track and understand their water usage throughout the day. By providing homeowners with the tools to easily monitor and act on their water usage, we can help them both reduce their water bill costs and save the environment.

Continue reading “In Focus: Dropwise”

Ayden Howle: A Home Away from Home

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Walking through those large transparent doors, I already knew was entering my new home: a place where we are all family, where we are welcome. Here at Launch, valuable speakers from across the world present our lessons, creating this wonderfully powerful learning environment. While brainstorming and pitching, other teams always are willing to help and give advice. Here at Launch, innovation is driven by collaboration, rather than competition. Since I entered the program, I already made lifelong friends, both with members of my team and with everyone within Launch. The people at Launch are unlike any group I’ve met. Everyone is unique, with different passions and skills. In less than five minutes, Launchies immediately connect. When I came to Launch, everyone accepted me for who I was. All the life skills we learn in the classroom can be implemented socially. I really feel that we embrace each other’s differences and we are careful to not make quick assumptions.

Continue reading “Ayden Howle: A Home Away from Home”

Two Mini-Businesses In Two Days

It’s been just two days and each group of our students has already started not just one, but two mini businesses! A market simulation and app simulation gave students the necessary tools and skills to conduct market research, come up with a MVP through prototyping and receive customer feedback.

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Continue reading “Two Mini-Businesses In Two Days”

Marshmallow Challenge

Marshmallows were first invented as throat medicine in Ancient Egypt and in Ancient Rome gladiators rubbed the marshmallow plant’s sap into their bodies in preparation for the challenges. Here at MIT Launch, our students use it in an even more creative way.

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Continue reading “Marshmallow Challenge”

You Get Only One “First Day of Launch”

There is nothing more exciting than the beginning of something new. New ideas, new phase of life, new friendships, new careers…

Today we welcomed 70 brilliant self-starters from around the world to Session 2 of our MIT Launch summer program. This is the beginning of an amazing entrepreneurial journey for both our fearless students and us here at MIT Launch! Who knows what new challenges they will solve? How many heights they we conquer? How many exciting new connections they we make?

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Bill Aulet, Managing Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and a passionate MIT Launch program advisor joined us for the welcome lunch. “Entrepreneurship is a mindset and a skillset”, he said to the students today, “In order to be taught, it just requires an environment in which you can do that. You have to get the spirit and the skills.”

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In just four weeks from today, teams will have formed and executed on their business ideas, which for many of them include coming up with a revenue model, prototyping a beta version of their app, product, or service, plus putting together a full business pitch. However, Launch isn’t all work and no play. Students embarked on a mad dash across campus, collecting “selfies” with iconic MIT buildings and completing fun challenges as part of an MIT themed scavenger hunt.

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We are looking forward for the upcoming session: challenges are exciting! We’ll finish today’s post with words of Annie Zhang, our Marketing Coordinator who spoke to the class today: “I encourage you to grow, I encourage you to jump off the metaphorical cliff and to do something that scares you a little bit, every single day.”

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Good luck Session 2 of 2015!
We’ll keep you posted on all the exciting things that will be happening here!

In Focus: Paul Stoltz

This week MIT Launch we were lucky to have Dr. Paul Stoltz teach a class on the importance and application of grit and resilience. He has spent over 30 years researching and trying to decode the element that sets the best entrepreneurs apart from the rest. The results? It turns out that the secret to entrepreneurial accomplishment is grit and the ability to turn adversity into an advantage. For a great way to kick off the week, Stoltz taught the students how grit can help them follow through and really execute a plan in order to turn something good into something really great. Through his riveting stories, he demonstrated that sometimes when things go really wrong, it is possible to respond to the advertises in order to achieve a much better outcome. He also shed light on the most important aspects of building a team and how to improve yourself as a better, more respected leader. Here is just a peek at some these important lessons:

Paul 2 Continue reading “In Focus: Paul Stoltz”

In Focus: MIT Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator (GFSA)

In addition to classes and team activities, students at Launch also get the chance to meet and learn from other young entrepreneurs. This week, MIT Launch was honored to have 5 entrepreneurs from MIT’s Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator (GFSA) come to the class to speak on their experiences of the early stages of founding their companies. The MIT Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator is MIT’s student venture accelerator which takes the best teams with an interesting idea or proof of concept focused on creating impactful, innovation-driven startups. Out of hundreds of applications, only 14 teams are selected each summer to participate in GFSA, and they spend 3 months building the right product and securing initial customers/partners.

A Closer Look At The Speakers:

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Gavin Cotter from R&R:
R&R is creating a new controller for consumer drones that allows the operator to simultaneously control the drone, and the video camera, all in one easy to understand, and intuitive to use controller. Their target market is the burgeoning prosumer videographer market that cares more about the art and videography than the novelty of flying drones.

Kale Continue reading “In Focus: MIT Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator (GFSA)”

Countdown to Launch: T-Minus 24 Hours

Here at MIT Launch we’ve been working hard, and we’re just about ready to launch! From expanding the executive team and intern team, to streamlining the curriculum and student support systems, we’ve been making lots of improvements and are excited to be sharing them with you all! We can’t wait to meet all the Session 1 students tomorrow!

Here’s a sneak peek of our preparation for move-in day tomorrow:

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Pallavi Deshpande: Meeting Peers and Facing Fears

Imagine a summer program where there are people from all around the world, life-changing experiences and memories that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life and be given a platform to improve yourself in an international environment. That is Launch in a nutshell! Launch has been a fantastic mix of making friends, exploring my passions and having the courage to voice my opinions and beliefs with renewed confidence.

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From all the engaging classes and talks from eminent and established entrepreneurs to exciting and fun activities, Launch had it all. It forced us to understand our true interests and passions which in turn helped me understand myself better and gave my the confidence to talk about my passions or ideas with revitalized fervor. At Launch we leaned to be uncomfortable, to be original and to be a “painkiller” not a “vitamin”. It’s only a 4-week program, but it feels like we’ve learned more to apply to our lives than any school course could teach us in a year.

Coming from across the globe (literally), I was anxious as to whether or not I would be able to fit in with the group of students attending Launch. The culture shock was evident but the warmth and openness of the faculty and students helped my ease into the program. It was my first time visiting Boston but due to Launch’s impeccable efforts to make you feel at home, you’ll be surprised as to how quickly a month can pass by leaving you pining for more!

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On my first day at Launch, with an incredible level of anxiety, I started talking to people. What if I would be stuck doing something that I really hate? Or even worse, what if I miss home too much and mess up my stay? Mustering my courage and confidence I began to go up to people with a pounding heart and started talking to them. “Hi, my name is Pallavi, I am…” and I am fairly certain that I messed up with the first couple of people that I talked to. However, it got a little easier as I continued to talk to others. I was surprised by how comfortable everyone seemed to be and how open they were. This made me want to be more confident and I forced myself to stick around and talk to people, understand their interest and delve into intellectually stimulating conversations with everyone there!

But by the end of program, Launch motivated me to be more creative every day, to focus more on innovative solutions to problems, and most importantly, to learn to be flexible, to ADAPT.

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Jacob Johnston: How to Keep the Fire Going

Hey everyone! My name is Jacob Johnston and I am the CMO and Co-Founder of Landme.org, a company dedicated to getting high school students connected with summer opportunities. As this year’s MIT Launch sessions are getting ready to start, I wanted to share a few thoughts on my experience during and after Launch:

When I was accepted into Launch I was ecstatic and at first I didn’t know what to think besides “How the heck did I get chosen for something so amazing?”. The feelings I had going into the program were really mixed: I was nervous, excited, and curious all at the same time to meet my fellow classmates and be on MIT’s campus. When I stepped foot into Simmons (the dorm we were housed in) I was welcomed warmly by the director and staff and felt like part of the family right away.

Within the next few days we hit the ground running, met our fellow Launchies, and got to creating the ideas that would later form into our companies. During the ideation process, my team and I made sure that we chose an idea that would be able to continue after the program ended and that it was something that we would all be interested in. It turned out that for us the most important thing was finding something the whole team was passionate about because if someone is not interested in the idea, they most likely will not put in their full effort and determination. Although coming up with the idea of Landme.org took us multiple idea changes, a lot of pivoting our focus, and a substantial amount of time, in the end it all paid off because it was an idea we all wanted to continue working with even after Launch.

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Even though we all really wanted to continue what we had started at Launch, we had to figure out how to realistically make it work. Two members of our team lived fairly close to each other in Massachusetts, but I lived in Arkansas and Chris lived in New York, which would make it very difficult for us to meet coordinate all our work. So, I started researching a little on things we could use to communicate a little better after we left Boston. Sure there’s Skype and Google hangouts, but we needed something a lot more organized and professional. I came across Slack, a web platform that allows startups to create chat channels, organize files, and integrate specific programming modules to allow team members to see progress updates. It was perfect for us, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who plans to continue working with their team (especially if you live in different places). With communication being the biggest barrier to success with geographically distanced team members, we scheduled  to have weekly meetings to keep each other updated on what we were doing. This worked really well and allowed us to stay in touch and make sure that we were meeting the goals that we had set for ourselves.

As the excitement slowly started to dwindle down after Launch, my team looked for something more structured that we could do to further our business. YCombinator? Another Accelerator? Business competitions? Eventually we stumbled upon Catapult; a business incubator for startups with a location in Boston. We applied, had an interview, and were accepted to the program all within a short few months after Launch. This was a huge deal for us because it was what we needed to keep the fire going. Putting our team back into a program with structure where we could all meet and work together was exactly what helped us propel our efforts.

Best Social Impact on Catapult Demo Day!

Continuing the company after Launch is going to be hard. You’re going to have to get past the communication barrier and tackle problems as a team. Get organized, set goals, have meetings, and do something structured if you feel like you need it. On Launch pitch day, our team placed 5th, but we were also one of the only teams to continue our company after the program and at the end of Catapult, we won Best Social Impact on Catapult Demo Day.

Moral of the story is: what you create at Launch doesn’t have to end at the end of Launch. Do your best and if you still are passionate about the idea, keep tackling it! It might turn out even better than you expected!

Introducing Simmons: Commons, Culture, and Location

This is the second part of a two-part introduction to Simmons Hall. Please check out our last blog post for more information on Architecture, Rooms, and Resources.

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Commons
On every floor there are at least a couple of common rooms and meeting rooms. Common rooms are usually carpeted and furnished with couches and beanbag chairs and a TV. These are typically areas to play music or hold a Super Smash Bros tournament. Common rooms are also equipped with board games and the larger common rooms/lobbies on the first floor even have building blocks and foosball tables (see Culture).

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Meeting rooms are usually closed off by a glass wall and contain large conference-type desks. Meetings rooms are often where teams choose to work because they are conveniently scattered throughout the dorm, while still remaining separate enough and quiet enough to concentrate and be highly productive.

Culture
As mentioned before, Simmons is a quirky cool dorm with a lot of personality. As soon as you enter the building, you’ll notice a small pond with tiny rubber duckies bobbing around, and on the walls you may notice posters with references to velociraptors. These two are the unofficial “mascots” of Simmons and you’ll find signs of them scattered around the building.

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Simmons culture also comes from the unique architecture. The undulating concrete walls are actually similar chalkboard material, and you’ll see that people draw all over the walls with colorful chalk. Furthermore, in the front lobby, there are piles of wooden building blocks, and in the commons rooms there are plenty of board games. If you didn’t get the chance to doodle on the walls and build dangerously high Jenga towers as a kid, this is your chance:)

Location
The MIT campus is a long triangle that flanks the Charles river, and Simmons is located at the west end of this triangular layout. Directly across the river from Simmons is Boston University, and just a little further down Massachusetts Avenue is Harvard University.

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Simmons is just about on the opposite side of campus to the MIT Sloan School of Management, where classes will be held. Fortunately, the MIT campus shuttle stops right in front of Simmons and will drive all the way to Sloan. If you want to enjoy a morning walk to class, you can walk along the river for about 20 minutes to reach Sloan.

Located much closer are the Student Center, the Z-Center, and other athletic fields. Some athletic fields are right outside of Simmons while the Student Center and the Z-Center are about 8-10 minutes of a walk from Simmons.

Introducing Simmons: Architecture, Rooms, and Resources

SimmonsSimmons Hall might be one of the most recognizable buildings on the MIT campus (other than the Great Dome and the Stata Center). Famous for it’s architecture and culture, Simmons is definitely one of the most exciting dorms to live in and explore. In fact, architects from all over come to study Simmons, and some even try to sneak in to get an inside peek into this fascinating building! I’ll break down the tips and tricks of Simmons hall into 6 categories (Architecture, Rooms, Resources, Commons, Culture, and Location) and today I’ll be covering the first 3.

Architecture
Simmons is generally referred to as “The Sponge” by MIT students because–well, it really does resemble a sponge. There are many rows of small windows on each floor (it’s almost like having a grid of pixels) which makes it very convenient for spelling out words and shapes by lighting up certain rooms. The quirky architecture only gets weirder from the inside. The whole building is made of concrete, and many of the walls are not straight, and will have large, intentional undulations in them. There are also 3 towers in Simmons, and elevators service each tower. However, because of the arrangement of the towers, it’s often necessary to switch elevators multiple times to get from one tower to another. The architecture is quite confusing, but don’t worry–there are maps in every single elevator that will explain how to travel within the building.

Rooms
Launch students will be living in doubles (rooms with 2 beds) inside Simmons. These rooms are generally pretty spacious and come with a full set of furniture for each student: extra-long twin bed, bookshelf, desk and chair, a set of drawers, a wastebasket and a simple wardrobe. True to Simmons spirit, all the furniture is modular. Yes, you read that right! You can arrange your furniture creatively to achieve a loft-bed layout, or just adjust your bed and desk height by using the sets of drawers to add height where needed.IMG_3434

There are a lot of windows in each room for really great natural lighting, and the rooms also have ceiling lights, so desk lamps really aren’t necessary. All the rooms have tile flooring, which makes it easy to keep the rooms clean, but some students may choose to bring small throw rugs to make the space more cozy.

Most importantly, there are bathrooms for at least every three rooms. Some rooms will have private bathrooms inside the room–lucky you if you get one of these! Other rooms are arranged so that usually two (or occasionally three) rooms will share a bathroom.

Resources
Laundry rooms are located every few floors. As of 2014 it cost $1.00 per washing load, and $0.75 per dryer load and both machines accept quarters. Detergent may be left over from the semester, but your best bet will be to bring a few detergent tablets/pods.

During the school year, Simmons residents subscribe to the mandatory meal plan so there are no real kitchens in Simmons. However, there is a small kitchenette on one of the floors equipped with a sink, a hot plate, a few plates, a microwave, and a communal refrigerator. If you do buy food, make sure you label it with your name or else you may not see your food again! This kitchenette is pretty much only good for heating up leftovers, because it is nearly impossible to actually cook with such a limited kitchen.

The MIT app is available for both iOS and Android devices, and will show a campus map, shuttle maps and locations, and other vital MIT campus information. Download the MIT app and you will never get lost going to and from Simmons!

Lastly and probably most importantly, MIT wifi is campus-wide, free, and super fast. No more buffering when you’re trying to stream Netflix!

An introduction of Simmons commons, culture, and location can be found here!

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