Our Founding Story
Learn more about the history and timeline of the founding of LaunchX by founder Laurie Stach, including the first years, being brought into and subsequently spinning out of MIT, and growing to meet the immense demand of entrepreneurship education.
Founder Laurie Stach recalled her frustration as a young girl when adults told her she’d do great things someday. At the same time, she had felt underprepared with the skills to succeed in her career. She’d always had the passion and drive to create real impact—what she’d lacked as a young student was the tools, resources, and confidence to do it. Suddenly, Laurie knew she had to pursue this mission.
Laurie prepared to run the pilot summer of LaunchX at her alma mater, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In her first summer, she was able to accept only 15% of the 210 student applications, validating that there was a real need here. Yes—this program was something that ambitious high school students wanted.
MIT took notice. There was synergy between our hands-on strategy to help students churn out companies in just one month and MIT’s mens et manus—mind and hand—philosophy. LaunchX also implements many aspects of Professor Bill Aulet’s Disciplined Entrepreneurship methodology. We were invited to join MIT’s Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship as the Trust Center’s offering for high school students. We grew to run two sessions per summer with additional students in each session.
Our students were inspired and energized by entrepreneurship, and began bringing LaunchX curriculum back to their own high schools to start entrepreneurship clubs. Upon seeing this demand, we began to support these clubs with curricular resources and mentorship, and LaunchX Clubs were born.
Recognizing the need for greater reach of entrepreneurship education, we developed and launched our online course, Becoming an Entrepreneur, on the edX/ MITx platform, allowing students from around the world to start their entrepreneurial journey.
We received the highest number of applicants yet, and enrolled our largest number of students, but also reached the limit of what we could do at one university.
We want to make entrepreneurship education available to more high school students, so we left the Trust Center and rebranded from MIT Launch to LaunchX to expand to other universities.