Search

Blog

Stories. Reflections. Entrepreneurial Thoughts.

Month

September 2015

Trisha Kagalavadi: The Reciprocity Ring

trisha-round

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.

reciprocity     reciprocity2

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…

chris-quote

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

Brian Coombs: Mens et Manus at MIT

brian

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.

marty-proto

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.

coombs-blog

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

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: