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August 2016

Launch Stories: Rodrigo Ruz, Mexico

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Being accepted into Launch was a valuable recognition that told me: “You are on the right track.” Fortunately, I have learned to use my time not doing the things a college, job or someone else expects me to do; but rather for the things I am passionate about and I love. When I was accepted into the program it was a reassurance that MIT was the kind of place I wanted to be and it valued me as a person. There was still a long way to go, and I was skeptical at first. 

I decided to attend Launch because I believe you are only presented with opportunities like these once in a lifetime and it takes courageous people to take them. My parents supported me as much they could, and I used the money from my past four summer jobs and from threes months of constant academic tutoring for my classmates, to pay for the program.

Rodrigo and his team successfully launched their company, Eko, which generates electricity through sound absorption. We can’t wait to hear about all of the wonderful things Rodrigo accomplishes!

Eko2.jpg-Rodrigo and his teammates, Tak-Ho, Pascal and Paulina

Growth Hacking: Scaling Post-Launch

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Guest Blogger and Launch AlumnJason Zhao

The first few weeks after Launch are the true tests of your entrepreneurial aptitude: the welcoming environment and massive network available at MIT are replaced with “the real world.” Not to fear, because as a Launch alumnus, you have been amply prepared for the challenges ahead, armed with a talented network, an intricate understanding of the renowned Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework, and most importantly of all, a mindset of endless possibility.

The goal of this post then, is not to cover the basics, but rather to take the plunge into more advanced topics in entrepreneurship that will not only empower you to maintain momentum, but also elevate your company to the next level.

  1. Team

Regardless of the idea, market research, or media attention that you garnered at Launch, if you don’t have people to fuel this traction into something concrete, then you’re left with nothing more than a well-designed business plan. If you haven’t already, get on a call (yes, a call) with your team as soon as you can and plan meetings at least once a week (preferably bi-weekly) to keep each other updated and accountable. First and foremost, invest in your team.

Continue reading “Growth Hacking: Scaling Post-Launch”

What to Expect on Pitch Day

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We have all taken tests and we know how important preparation is. The same goes for pitching your company. Your pitch marks the culmination of countless hours of researching the market, number crunching, prototyping and (not) sleeping. When pitch day arrives, it is important to remember that you are the expert on  your company. You should know the ins and outs of every aspect of your product or service and should be prepared for the toughest questions.

Yes, it is absolutely necessary to know your go-to-market strategy and financials inside and out. It is expected that you will be able to answer any questions about your beachhead and TAM. You will need to justify the decisions that you have made and routes that you have abandoned. However, the most important thing to remember is that pitching is not about getting funding; it is about proving that there is a market for your product or service. Build value and money will come later.

We asked some of our Session 1 Launchies to share their insights about pitch day.

Gabi“The days leading up to Demo Day were daunting, but being able to see all the work we had put in over the past 4 weeks come to fruition  was nothing short of amazing.You’re going to be nervous standing up in front of the crowd, not just because you want to do well and to impress the board, but also because of a need to make your teammates proud. But you can’t let that worry you too much. This is one of the best moments of launch, let yourself enjoy it, and be sure to support your fellow Launchies. For me, demo day was the cherry on the cake. It let me show off what I had learned and appreciated from all the other wonderful businesses at launch. There was a real sense of community and bonding among us all. It was bittersweet to see the 4 weeks finish with such a spectacular bang, but it felt like more of a beginning than an end.” –Gabi Fullham, Politifund.

 

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“Pitch day helped everything come together – it was amazing to see all the teams present all the hard work we’d put in during the four weeks at launch, and pitch day acted as a grand culmination of our time and effort.” –Michael Wang, Self Check.

 

 

ANair

“From a country where people don’t respect entrepreneurship as much, I was overwhelmed to see hundreds of people cheer when I presented my own company. And the joy I had when a guy from a VC firm came up to me and gave me his card cannot be quantified. I would never have such an opportunity if it wasn’t for launch. It was an experience that I’ll never forget and will always be special to me.” –Anirudh Nair, Atria

 

Check out the Launch pitches on the MIT Launch YouTube channel.

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