LaunchX was a Startup Once, Too!
High school students have such enormous potential, and our founder, Laurie Stach, believes immensely in that potential. Read more below to learn about the history and timeline of the story of her founding LaunchX including the early years, being brought into and subsequently spinning out of MIT, and growing to meet the immense demand of entrepreneurship education.
High-achieving high school students love to innovate, challenge themselves, and want to change the world! Only it's hard to be taken seriously at such a young age - these promising young innovators are told they'll do great things once they get a degree and some experience. Founder Laurie Stach was no different as a young girl, and always had a 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 that she had to pursue this calling to help high school students fulfill their entrepreneurial spirit.
The best place for these students to get the mentorship and resources to grow as entrepreneurs was at Laurie's alma mater, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In the first summer, LaunchX 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.
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 and reach even more students.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, LaunchX made the proactive strategic decision to take the summer program online for the first time with LaunchX Virtual.
The LaunchX Virtual Program delivers the same quality program experience and community in an online environment. What's more, the virtual environment allows for a more tailored student experience, while also bringing even more talented speakers and mentors for our students to learn from. With the world rapidly chaging, we're more excited than ever to see what these young entrepreneurs launch this summer.