The best way to get your classmates excited about entrepreneurship is to host a Launch Club Blastoff event at your high school. Follow these guidelines to recruit new club members and to host a successful kickoff:

WHAT IS BLASTOFF?

Blastoff—on September 16th, 2017—is the kickoff for the MIT Launch school clubs program. This event is for Launch Clubs members, as well as high school students who are interested in and curious about entrepreneurship. Here are the highlights:

  1. Learn about the Launch Clubs theme for this year! Each year, MIT Launch announces a theme for Launch Clubs. This will be a broad problem for your club to solve throughout the year. For example, last year’s theme was “education.” You and your cofounders will not be required to create a company that fits in that theme, but you will have to follow the theme in order to be eligible to be a finalist at Demo Day at MIT.
  2. Hear exciting guest speakers—You’ll get virtual access to our guest entrepreneur speakers, including founders who’ve closed major deals on Shark Tank and ran viral Kickstarter campaigns.
  3. Participate in an inventathon—Your team will be challenged to invent a new product that fits into the theme for the year. Share your inventions on social media for a chance to win great prizes.

HOW TO PLAN A BLASTOFF EVENT AT YOUR SCHOOL:

1. Decide on a time and location— Find a space to hold your event, such as at school or a community center. Be sure there will be enough space for  all of your attendees. Speak with a faculty advisor to confirm a space.

2. Promote your club and event— The more peers you have at your event, the more fun it will be. If you have 20 or more participants signed up, we’ll send boxes full of goodies to fuel your idea development and to help you design great products. Make sure all your participants are registered on Eventbrite so we know how many people you’ll have. Here are some promotion tips:

  • Share our Eventbrite page for Blastoff and encourage your peers to sign up
  • Share on social media and ask your school to help you promote across its social channels
  • Talk to your school’s secretary about adding to daily announcements, website, or newsletters
  • Ask your favorite teachers and coaches to advertise the event in their classrooms
  • Set up a table during lunch so students can come to sign up and learn more about the program
  • Sign up for a booth at your school’s extracurricular fair
  • Print out flyers that can be hung up at school or sent home with your peers

3. Consider food, music, and decorations— Success comes down to execution! Consider details like food, music, and decorations to make your event as successful as possible. Maybe you can hold a fundraiser, get some budget from your school, or request a small fee from each participant to buy snacks.

4. DO NOT OPEN your Blastoff kit— Again, if your event has 20 participants or more signed up, you’ll get a box of mystery items to help you build a prototype. Kits include an arduino kit, cricket flour, CDs, and more. Please do not open your box until we say so!

TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL BLASTOFF:

  • Have a check-in list for all students who signed up
  • Introduce Launch Clubs and your club president. Explain that MIT Launch’s clubs program supports high school students in starting real companies. This means that all club members will be cofounders of actual startups
  • Explain the purpose of Blastoff—to think outside-of-the-box and generate real solutions for an important global issue. Give a brief explanation of what will happen throughout the day

Take pictures and videos throughout the event. Post them to your social media channels using our hashtag and we’ll share the top ones on our channels: #Blastoff2017.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash.