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Financial Need Scholarships for 2017

Every year we get so many great questions about the Launch program. While many of these questions can be answered here, we’d like to take a moment to address one important topic- financial assistance. We have covered this topic before, but we have some updated information that will give applicants a better idea about our financial assistance process. In 2016, more than 25% of students received financial need scholarships and we’re excited to continue offering scholarships for the 2017 sessions!

It’s important to stress that Launch is need blind. Indicating on your application that you require financial assistance will in no way impact your acceptance outcome. Furthermore, you won’t be asked to submit proof of financial need until after you are accepted to Launch. Financial assistance packages are provided on a case-by-case basis and vary depending on the student’s individual situations. Assistance is offered to both international and domestic students. 

But what about the application fee?

The application does require a fee but do not let this deter you! Fee waivers are available for students who provide evidence of need. The goal of Launch is to inspire young entrepreneurs, regardless of their personal or family situations.

As in the past, we have compiled information the financial scholarship offers of our previous financial need applicants to provide average figures, though please note that each package is made individually, so they vary based on additional factors of the admitted student and family circumstance.  

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We strongly encourage you to apply to MIT Launch Summer, regardless of your financial situation, and we look forward to reviewing your application!

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.

Continue reading “Will you take the pledge?”

What does it take to get into MIT Launch??

 

We’re so impressed with the applicant pool this year, and had some really hard decisions to make.  We often get asked throughout the process and after decisions come out: What do we look for in applicants?  There’s no one profile or formula, and there’s not a way to build your resume or application to reverse-engineer what we’re looking for, though here are a few examples of admits this year, to give you a better idea of what appealed to our admissions committee.

Admit Example #1:

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  • Clear passion and drive within STEM and education
  • Co-founder and CTO of two STEM-related initiatives, clearly communicating both the vision and progress of these projects, and committing significant time
  • Internship at a startup that creates games for kids both through apps and 3D objects
  • Leadership in extracurricular activities
  • ~3.0 GPA (we recognize that entrepreneurs do not always have the best grades!)

Continue reading “What does it take to get into MIT Launch??”

MIT Launch Admissions Stats 2016

Congratulations again to all those accepted to MIT Launch Summer 2016!  To give you a bit better idea of the class profile, here are a few stats on our admitted class.

Our admission rate this year is <15%!

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genderPrimary background of students
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Continue reading “MIT Launch Admissions Stats 2016”

What if I’m… *gasp*… denied?

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Admissions decisions come out soon!  Which means we know that many of you are laying in eager wait.  There are so many wonderfully qualified students that apply to Launch, so before decisions are released, we want to cover a few things:

  • Select applicants are placed on a waitlist.  There is not a specific order of these applicants since many factors may be considered if an admitted student does not accept, so please do not ask us for your position on the list.
  • We do not release the number of students who are on the waitlist, nor the number of students admitted from each application round.
  • We cannot provide individualized feedback to each specific applicant regarding their admissions decision, though please know that every application was reviewed by several admissions committee members.
  • If you are denied or waitlisted but not ultimately admitted, keep your head up!  Several admits this year were denied last year, but had an improved application this year that truly impressed us.  In fact, while only ~5% of our applicants applied previously, the number of previous applicants that have been admitted is 2-3 times that rate!

We hope to see you soon – in Launch Summer 2016, during our online course this summer, or applying for Summer 2017!

Launch Admissions FAQs

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Congratulations on applying to MIT Launch! Whether you are waiting on your admissions decision or trying to decide whether to accept, we understand you have many questions, and we’re here to help! Please see below for the most commonly asked questions. Don’t see your question below? Check out the MIT Launch
website for more FAQs.

 

First, a couple of logistics:

 

  • All regular round admissions decisions, including deferrals, will be announced by April 15, 2016.
  • Applications are still being reviewed until decisions are sent.  

 

 

Q: Can I change my application once I’ve submitted it?

A: Applications cannot be changed once they have been submitted. ONLY if you become aware that the link to your video does not work, or there is another part of your application that is incomplete, may you email info@launchsummer.org.  

 

Q: My friends have received interview requests but I have not. Does that mean I have been denied?

A: Interviews are offered on a rolling basis as applications are reviewed.  There is not any specific order to when applications are reviewed during the review period, and interviews may still be offered until late in the process.  

 

Q: I have received an interview and I am trying to set up a time on SimplyBook.Me. Are the times offered in my time zone?

A: All interview times are shown by default in Eastern Standard Time (EST). Please review your schedule and plan accordingly.

Continue reading “Launch Admissions FAQs”

International Students: Applying for a Visa?!

So you’ve been accepted to MIT Launch. First of all, congratulations! You’re in for one crazy summer. But now, if you’re from outside the US you’re probably going to have to start thinking of logistics, and most of all getting a visa.

ciara

I’m Ciara and I was a student in the Launch Class of 2015. As I am from Ireland, I am allowed to freely enter the United States without a visa for tourist purposes, but as MIT Launch wasn’t exactly a holiday, I wasn’t sure if that would cover it. I did a bit of research and came up with two options:

Business Visa (B-1)

After considering all my options I ended up applying and getting a business visa. This covers you to enter the United States for temporary business purposes, with the maximum duration of your stay being 6 months. As Launch can technically be considered a business incubator this visa will permit you to attend the program. Personally I think this is the best option for most people as, depending on where you are from it can be valid for up to 10 years. This means if your Launch company takes off (which hopefully it will) you will be able to return to the USA for business trips, conferences etc. using this visa for the next ten years before you will have to renew it.

To get this visa you will likely need a letter of acceptance for Launch (which I got emailed to me and printed myself) and the address in which you will be staying for the duration of your time in Boston (I just gave the address of MIT Campus). However I would recommend you consult the US embassy or consul in your country to get more detailed instructions.

Tourist Visa (B-2)

By considering Launch as a summer program rather than a business incubator it could be possible to use a tourist visa to enter the country. I personally would see this as a less reliable option due to the fact that the length of your stay is determined by the Department of Homeland Security upon your entry to the United States, so it adds an extra variable to the equation. Also, if you ever want to return to the US for business purposes, this visa will not permit your entry.

If you already have a B-2 visa and would like to use this for Launch, I’d advise you again consult the US embassy or consul in your country to get more guidance from them.

 

So that’s my tips for you! And once you get your visa you can concentrate on what’s important – getting super excited for the summer of a lifetime you are about to experience!

Ciara Judge: Last Minute Inspiration

ciaraThere are three weeks left to apply for MIT Launch – and I’m here to tell you why a last minute application could change your life.

Around this time last year I was surfing the internet, looking for things to do to fill up my summer when a Facebook notification popped up on my screen. My sister had sent me a link with a single sentence caption: “THIS IS THE PLACE FOR YOU!!!” One click led me to the MIT Launch website and I began to explore.

Everything I read about the program just screamed out from the page to me as something I wanted to participate in. I had always been the entrepreneurial type from a young age, starting up little businesses or making a fortune by lending to my friends and charging interest as soon as I found out what the term meant (I drove a hard bargain). But I never took this attitude of mine seriously until I read about MIT Launch. Suddenly I saw myself growing up to be an entrepreneur, forging my own path and working with a team of like-minded individuals. So without hesitation I decided I just had to apply.

I had two weeks, so I was on quite a tight deadline, but thankfully I got my application in on time. And fast forward to a few months later in April, I received news that I had been accepted. Suddenly it all became so real! That summer, I was going to actually start up a proper company!

However, upon arriving at MIT Launch I realised that this experience was going to mean so much more than cofounding a startup. Over that summer I made friends for life, learned skills I’ll carry with me forever, and built a network of contacts to call on in the years to come as I travel along this journey of entrepreneurship. Of course I met my fantastic PurchaseMate team, and we are still working together now with big plans for the future. PurchaseMate is currently in beta and we plan to get it up on the app store very soon. The course perfectly combines fun and enjoyment with professionalism, and I now a more well-rounded, competent individual as a result of my involvement.

purchasemate team

That last minute application last year certainly changed my life, and who I am. Ironically, although entrepreneurship is usually seen as a high-risk career path, I am now so much more certain of my future. Because MIT Launch taught me that even if I fail over and over again I can keep going if I have enough determination grit.

If you were one of those kids who always challenged the status quo, who saw another way of doing things, maybe entrepreneurship is for you. If you like making things, creating things, maybe entrepreneurship is for you. If you want a life of excitement and are willing to put in the work to make it so, maybe entrepreneurship is. You’ll never know unless you take that leap, and applying for MIT Launch is a perfect way to do that. You have three weeks, so you better get going!

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International Applicants: Hello From The Other Siiiiide

international students

Less than one month left to apply to MIT Launch 2016, and the questions from international applicants are rolling in! I’ve collected some advice from former international Launchies for all of you with similar questions out there:

Do I need a visa if I’m admitted to Launch? What kind of visa will work best?

Many international students come to Launch using a tourist visa. According to Launch alum Nicholas Raga, “…since you don’t get any college credit and it is short then you don’t need a student visa.” Alumna Ciara Judge from Ireland says that “any tourist or B1 visa will work.”

Of course, this can vary by country, so be sure to check the specifics of your location.

How do I submit my grades? My school doesn’t use a GPA! What if my school doesn’t grade on the ABCDF scale?

“As a student from the UK, the whole GPA thing was pretty foreign to me, so when it came to transcripts I simply submitted my internal grades from school. I also submitted my grades for GCSEs (our external exams at the end of 10th Grade). All in all, I would say aim to submit enough material to allow Launch to gauge your academic strength – and don’t be afraid to provide extra explanations here so that it’s clear what each grade means!” -Ashwin Agarwal 2014

Basically, help Launch calibrate your school’s grading system as much as possible.  There are some suggestions within the application for how to do this, though also use your best judgment.  We’re not trying to be overly prescriptive here – we just aren’t experts on every single potential academic system and need your help, so your translation of grades to a GPA and letter grades is much appreciated.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the…2016 MIT Launch Application (4/4)

Hello December! We’re back!

The early application deadline is just around the corner (December 28)!  So it’s time to look at the the video portion of the application.  And we’ve saved the best for last.  This is essentially your opportunity to pitch yourself – an important skill as an entrepreneur!

You are asked to introduce yourself to your future class at Launch in a video of 90 seconds or less.  No, you may not exceed this time limit, no exceptions for your awesome video wizardry. We want you to portray what you think is most important, not your whole life story.  And no, we aren’t going to share all of these videos before the first day, but knowing how you approach this question can give us a lot of insights into your entrepreneurial propensity in Launch.

So what are we looking for in these videos?

Continue reading “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the…2016 MIT Launch Application (4/4)”

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the…2016 MIT Launch Application (3/4)

Hello again. Hope everyone had a happy Halloween! This week we’re going to focus on a trickier bit of the application (well it’s really not that tricky–it just looks confusing): the Entrepreneurial Baseline. What do we mean by “entrepreneurial baseline”?  We have identified some key questions that will give us a good idea of what kind of entrepreneur you are, your strengths, your motivations, and your expectations for MIT Launch and that #startuplyfe.

IMPORTANT: Don’t game your answers! What I mean is – don’t answer in a particular way because you think we’re looking for particular answers. There’s not a right or wrong answer – there are all different types of potential entrepreneurs – and we want to get a better sense of your potential role within a team, aspirations for the summer, and the person behind the resume.  Just be honest – we appreciate self-awareness, open-mindedness, and willingness to learn.  Plus, this helps us get an idea of where our incoming class is starting from (the baseline) so we know how best to tailor programming to reach our common goals.

Here are some of the more confusing questions explained:

Continue reading “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the…2016 MIT Launch Application (3/4)”

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the…2016 MIT Launch Application (2/4)

Hello again. I hope you all have started on those applications! This week we’re done with housekeeping–let’s talk about your schoolwork and your activities.

Transcript:
Basic School Info: This is pretty typical, the easy stuff 🙂

Class Rank: Don’t sweat it. Seriously. Class rank is calculated differently at each school and we know it. Providing your class rank will not hurt your application—it just gives us a little more context to see what the student body of your school is like.  This field is optional.

Grades/Advanced Coursework: Again, this should not be a stress point. Your admissions decision will never be based solely on your school grades or what classes you take because we know that there is a lot of variation in different schools (some offer 18 AP classes, while others might not have any!). We ask that you provide this information just to see how you are using the opportunities at your school and to see how you are challenging yourself, because at the end of the day Launch is all about being resourceful about the opportunities presented to you and challenging yourself.

Transcript Upload: Give us a copy of your transcript, which can be picked up from your school’s registrar or your counselor, or if your school uses an online grade reporting system such as Naviance, you may upload the transcript you find on there. Please DO NOT have your school mail the transcript, ONLY submit it digitally.  We also do NOT accept updated transcripts past the deadline of the application round to which you apply.  This means that if you really want to have your current semester grades as part of your application, you need to apply regular round. Sorry, you can’t apply early round and email us your transcript later.

Activities Involvement:

NOTE: You may add up to 5 activities. This doesn’t mean that you need to fill all 5, but also means that if you have more that you need to be selective in what you share.  Pick the ones that are most meaningful to you and those that demonstrate impact.

Role: Put your current role first (if you have had other roles in the program, list them after with the years you served in that role). If you do not have a title yet you may just put “member or participant”.

Description: The word limit is a 100 word MAXIMUM. You don’t need to write a profound and emotional reflection, just describe what you did and the impact of your activity.  Including any aspect that might make it entrepreneurial or your specific contributions can be valuable, but don’t feel like you need to be super sentimental or overly philosophical about it.  Being concise is appreciated.

Entrepreneurial program experience: If you have gone to other programs, let us know what you did there! We just want to get a sense of how much background our applicants may be coming in with. Don’t worry if you have not been part of an entrepreneurial program before—many of our students come in with little to no business backgrounds.  It takes a variety of backgrounds to start a company!

If you haven’t already, start your application today!  And check out our FAQs on the Launch website.  Plus check back for the next issue where we’ll cover the Entrepreneurial Baseline section of the application.

Financial Need Scholarships

Russell

Hello future Launchies! My name is Russell Reed, and I serve as the Onboarding Coordinator at MIT Launch. I know that, among the questions you have about the application itself, many of you have another concern: paying for Launch if you are accepted. I’m going to do my best to demystify our financial aid process in this post, but if you have any further questions, please post them here and we will do our best to answer them.

First of all, admission to Launch is need blind — if you indicate you will be applying for financial aid, it will only be used to follow up appropriately when / if you are accepted. Our goal is to make Launch affordable for every accepted student, and therefore financial aid packages are curated on an individual basis with the intention of meeting all demonstrated need.

“Affordability is the last thing one should worry about when applying to MIT Launch. The program has all the resources to help you and your family afford an amazing entrepreneurial education… As we say in Launch: ‘an entrepreneur is someone who pursues an opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.’”

-Besart Copa, 2015 Alumnus

At Launch, we are dedicated to bringing together the most ambitious and driven young aspiring entrepreneurs from across the globe, and we will ensure that financing the program does not stand in your way of attending.  We have compiled information from previous sessions to provide these average financial aid offers, but remember that each package is made individually, so they may vary based on some additional factors of the admitted student and family circumstance.

scholarship

“MIT Launch changed me in more ways that I could have imagined. Now I am confident in my potential and I know I have what it takes to start a company. Even though I couldn’t afford to pay for the program, it didn’t matter, because I knew there’s financial aid in place to make sure everybody who is admitted could join the program. So be one of the bold ones! Apply!

– 2015 Launch Alumnus 

Best of luck to everyone applying, and please feel free to contact us through the College Confidential post linked earlier in this post if you have any more questions!

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the…2016 MIT Launch Application (1/4)

Hello hello, Annie here 🙂 It’s been such an exciting summer with Launch, and I can’t believe it’s already application season again! Here at MIT the campus, tours are in full swing again and every day as I pass by the Admissions Office on my way to class, I see anxious parents and their seniors crowding around, trying to glean some insight about the college admissions process. And in this way, I’m reminded everyday that while all applications are designed to be as straightforward as possible, they almost never feel that way.

That’s why I’m starting this blog series to debunk the myths and demystify the application for the coolest summer program this side of the Mississippi River—shhhh, I might be biased 🙂 Feeling confused should never stand in the way of applying for programs that you really would like to participate in. Having “graduated” from MIT Launch myself and also having worked on the backend of things, I hope my perspectives will be helpful in understanding what the MIT Launch application is all about.

This will be a 4 part blog series and every week or so I’ll be explaining a different part of the application, so check back often as to not miss out!

Continue reading “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the…2016 MIT Launch Application (1/4)”

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