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September 2016

Launch Alumni Conference-2 Weeks!

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Launchies from all over the world will be returning to MIT campus in just two weeks to enjoy a weekend of learning, professional development and fun. MIT Launch hosts an annual conference to continually engage alumni in our community and, more importantly, to continue supporting the amazing work that alumni do as young entrepreneurs. The learning and professional development that takes place is really geared towards pushing students to the next level of their entrepreneurial, building and refining skills that we had no time to cover in four weeks! The theme for this year’s program is Invention + Innovation. There is a gap between those who make things and those who build businesses.

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Will you take the pledge?

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Let’s start with the million-dollar question: What is entrepreneurship?

Most of what you see on TV is built on the myths of entrepreneurship: freedom, wealth, power, etc.. Entrepreneurship is not quite so glamorous as it may appear. As Shark Lori Grenier says, “Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours per week to avoid working 40 hours a week.” Successful entrepreneurs share this definition of entrepreneurship: the relentless pursuit of opportunities beyond resources controlled.  

MIT Launch is a transformative summer experience that enables students to begin their entrepreneurial journey and acquire a better understanding of the method for starting a successful venture. From move-in day to final pitches, we focus on providing Launchies with the mindset and skills to go from high school students to entrepreneurs who have started real companies.

The program guides students through the disciplined entrepreneurship framework. While the summer curriculum covers a variety of business topics including pricing, revenue models, strategy, etc., the core focus is on the entrepreneurial topics of primary market research and building a minimum viable product. At Launch, we have adopted the lean start-up methodology. We encourage companies to go from idea to testing as quickly as possible through first market research then testing a MVP. To evaluate and benchmark company progress, teams have three Mock Board of Directors meetings with experienced entrepreneurs and experts in their respective fields.

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Launch Stories: Gabi Fullam, Ireland

Gabi

 

When I applied for Launch, I didn’t really consider the fact that I might ACTUALLY get in. It was more a far away cloudy dream. I had no idea that this dream would materialize in front of me into something so real and tangible.

I remember the nerves before my interview and excitement after the “Congratulations” email. I remember the relief that came with receiving a scholarship, and I remember long hours spent packing and hugging friends and family goodbye at the airport. But it only really sunk in when my feet touched MIT soil.

The environment we were all working in was amazing. Living with 70 innovators from all over the world as you try and build a company from scratch was phenomenal.

Having straight A’s and a million accomplishments wasn’t what ended up mattering in Launch. Sure, prior experience is great, but hard work, excitement, passion, resilience and grit helped to propel me through the four weeks and have the best time ever while I was at it.


I built a great start up at Launch with my team, but I also built friendships and bonds to last forever. I’m more confident and relaxed, with the risk of being cheesy, I’d like to say, you can take the girl out of Launch, but you can’t take the Launch spirit out of the girl.

politifund

While attending Launch, Gabi co-founded Politifund with guest blogger- Jason Zhao, Rahi Patel and Nick Majer. Best of luck to Gabi in all of her future endeavors!

Bring MIT Launch to your school!

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Guest Blogger & MIT Launch Program Coordinator, Marvin Vilma

High school students around the world have identified a lack of entrepreneurship education at their schools. Project-based learning has become a buzz term that educators use, but students want more. They want the space to create, innovate and, most importantly, solve problems. MIT Launch Clubs are providing an opportunity for students to do just that. Over the course of a year, students develop companies in teams of three to five that center around a theme. This year’s theme, for example, is Education. Students are provided a series of lesson plans that include activities, videos and discussions that guide them through the Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework. Additionally, teams have access to a strong mentor network, the staple of the Launch Clubs program. Students can reach out to many industry experts including engineers, programmers, entrepreneurs and others who have a wealth of diverse experience. They are able to leverage these relationships for feedback, advice and connections.

 

This past year, we invited nine teams to campus to participate in our final pitch event at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The teams were able to pitch in front of a group of accomplished educators, entrepreneurs and business people for feedback on their ventures. Many of the ventures from Launch Clubs plan to continue beyond the academic year, demonstrating that students are creating things that they really care about. Students who chose not to continue their ventures, however, continually express their appreciation of learning about the process to think the entrepreneurial mindset that they are building.

 

We are excited that the Launch Clubs program is growing significantly since its inception! As the initiative scales, we are happy to announce a couple new additions for students. This year, we are launching a brand new remote leadership training program for all school champions alongside the Launch Clubs program that will help develop their professional skills. We are also hosting a webinar series for all Launch Clubs participants with guest speakers from different industries. We want our community members to learn from the best! Finally, we are building out future programming for students who want to continue with our initiative for multiple years. Be on the lookout for more information soon. If you are interested in starting a Launch Club at your school, please visit http://mitlaunch.com/clubs/

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