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.
At Launch, we look for students who are going to embrace the learning process, harness adversities along the way, and further contribute to the entrepreneurial community. The following is the pledge 2017 Launch Summer entrepreneurs will take as part of their application process:
- I know this will be really hard and I still want to do it.
- I understand that entrepreneurship is a team sport and that I cannot do this alone.
I will leave my comfort zone nearly every day to grow and be successful.
I will seek and listen to the advice of others, though recognize that in the end, my team and I (and only us) will own implementation, final results and accountability.
I understand the goal to become anti-fragile (personally and the company I start), which means becoming stronger over time when faced with problems, failures, uncertainty and surprises (versus just coping with or managing them).
I accept that this will be a lengthy process with humbling failures that I must learn from and not take personally.
I understand that the path to success is not an equation but an iterative process than only increases my odds of success and there are no assurances – and that even if I achieve success, it is temporary.
I am doing this for more than the money. I believe in creating something real and will commit myself 100% to the process at MIT Launch.
Do you agree with all of the above and think you have what it takes? Apply today! The application for the 2017 summer program is open now.