My name is Pranathi Peri, I’m 17 years old living in Austin Texas, and I’m an entrepreneur.
I’ve always wanted to start my own business. To me, being a direct contributor in turning something from an idea into reality is an amazing experience, and there’s nothing I love more. Entrepreneurship is just that.
Being a direct contributor in turning something from an idea into reality is an amazing experience, and there’s nothing I love more. Entrepreneurship is just that.
So this summer, I went to LaunchX. It’s a summer program where we created a real business with teams of other high school entrepreneurs from all around the world. I have friends that I talk to on a daily basis from other states, and even other countries. My team was absolutely amazing. From day one, we connected—it felt like we were one mind, working together to come up with insane solutions to every day problems.
I was challenged instantly. We hit a few roadblocks in the beginning of our brainstorming process that we didn’t see coming. Being on this team was a test of my ability to think on my feet, lead a team through crisis, and remain resilient despite troubles. As our team spent more together, we became really good at analyzing each other’s strengths and weaknesses and using them to our advantage and, better leaders in the process.
The ProtoWorks maker space at MIT was amazing—we had the opportunity to use MIT’s Ultimaker, as well as their industrial Stratysys 3D printer. The minute we came up with an idea, we were able to run over to ProtoWorks and have it printed within a day, something that none of us have had the ability to do before.
We also had great role models through the program, like our mock board of directors. They always pushed us to think logically about the next step. But even more than that, they modeled how to conduct a professional meeting and speak with passion and positivity, even when faced with tough roadblocks. In the end, they helped us put our ideas into perspective, and are the reason we were able to move forward.
I think that I’ve become more confident, forward-thinking, and creative since LaunchX. I learned that there’s so much more to entrepreneurship, than just starting a business. It helped bring out my inner CEO, gave me opportunities to express and display my leadership, and put me in an environment with other like-minded teens who even after LaunchX basically feel like my family.
I learned that there’s so much more to entrepreneurship, than just starting a business.
LaunchX culminates into Pitch Day. We practiced many times for our presentation, but it’s still a little nerve wracking standing up in front of the panel of real-world entrepreneurs. But I’m so glad I did. The feedback we got was incredible. Seeing other entrepreneurs as excited about the potential of our idea as we were was so incredibly motivating. Their encouragement and continued contact has helped keep us working to expand Juku even after LaunchX is over.
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