Stories. Reflections. Entrepreneurial Thoughts.


Panels, Mentors, and Lab Tours

In Focus: MIT Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator (GFSA)

In addition to classes and team activities, students at Launch also get the chance to meet and learn from other young entrepreneurs. This week, MIT Launch was honored to have 5 entrepreneurs from MIT’s Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator (GFSA) come to the class to speak on their experiences of the early stages of founding their companies. The MIT Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator is MIT’s student venture accelerator which takes the best teams with an interesting idea or proof of concept focused on creating impactful, innovation-driven startups. Out of hundreds of applications, only 14 teams are selected each summer to participate in GFSA, and they spend 3 months building the right product and securing initial customers/partners.

A Closer Look At The Speakers:


Gavin Cotter from R&R:
R&R is creating a new controller for consumer drones that allows the operator to simultaneously control the drone, and the video camera, all in one easy to understand, and intuitive to use controller. Their target market is the burgeoning prosumer videographer market that cares more about the art and videography than the novelty of flying drones.

Kale Continue reading “In Focus: MIT Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator (GFSA)”

“We’re all in good hands”

One of our wonderful and enthusiastic entrepreneur mentors reflects on his experience working with Launch students at his site here.

Panos Panay

The way I see it is this: entrepreneurship, like any other creative discipline (music, art, dance etc.) needs practice, early exposure to influences and experiences, and should be embraced as something both fun and expressive from an early age. The earlier this starts the better — these early experiences, like becoming comfortable with a musical instrument or swinging a tennis racket, fine-tune and develop instincts that serve would-be business-launchers well down the road.”

Panos Panay is the founder of SonicBids, which connects bands with music promoters to the tune of 750,000 gigs since its creation.

Entrepreneur Panel: Keys to Success

Today’s panel covered topics ranging from growing beyond the initial startup phase, to keys to success in entrepreneurship, to general advice on how to achieve your dreams.

The panelists today included:

Launch_jonathan sheffiJonathan Sheffi – Co-founder and Product Marketing Director of Clinical Future



Launch_michael schrader

Michael Schrader – Co-founder and CEO of Vaxess Technologies



Launch_adam berreyAdam Berrey – Investor; CEO of Clinical Future

Disciplined Entrepreneurship Book Launch

We were able to see Bill Aulet, director of the MIT Martin Trust Center, launch his new book, Disciplined Entrepreneurship, today at the MIT Media Lab.  As a strategic advisor of Launch, Bill provides foundational support to our curriculum through this great new teaching.  It is an excellent complementary process that can be easily tailored fit with some useful lean startup tools.

Bill signed some copies of his book for our students and stayed for a photo with the students and his “Disciplined Entrepreneurship toolbox”.

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Entrepreneur Panel: Customer Development

Today’s entrepreneur panel topics started in customer development and expanded to general entrepreneurship and life lessons.

The entrepreneurs today included:

Evan Baehr – Co-founder of Outbox

Isaiah Kacyvenski – Head of Sports Segment at MC10

Chris Goldstein – Co-founder of Kartis


Harvard Innovation Lab Visit

Today, we got to tour the new Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab) on the campus of the Harvard Business School.  The i-lab serves as a resource for students from across Harvard interested in entrepreneurship and innovation, helping them grow their ventures at any stage of development and covering a wide range of disciplines.

The Launch students loved seeing the openness of the co-working space, inspirational collaboration and whiteboard methods, and even made some powerful connections by networking and talking about their ideas and learning more about what others were working on.

“The iLab tour was so amazing- and the most important thing was realizing that there is really an infinite potential for idea development and novel solutions to needs.” – Student Feedback


MIT Martin Trust Center Visit

Christina Chase, the Entrepreneur in Residence at the MIT Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship, was gracious enough to give us a tour of the center today.  The Trust Center provides the knowledge, support, and connections needed for MIT students to become entrepreneurs.

Christina provided business advice to many of the student teams during the tour and was a mentor to one team throughout the program.  A student of the Trust Center, Gabe Blanchet, also came to the classroom on multiple occasions, providing advice to the students both on their businesses and their futures.


Entrepreneur Panel: Innovation

Today, students had the opportunity to ask a panel of successful entrepreneurs about how they came up with their ideas, what they did to test to make sure it was a good idea, and how they had to pivot based on feedback.  The crucial things they learned were that getting customer feedback early is critical, all of these ideas had changed from their early days, and success requires being truly passionate about your idea.

The entrepreneurs gracious enough to spend time with the students were:

Jonathan Yaffe – Co-founder and CEO of AnyRoad

Clemens Raemy – Co-founder and CEO of Safer Taxi

Ryan Adams – COO at Jewish Venture Mentoring Service

Chris Goldstein – Co-founder of Kartis


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