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LaunchX Startups By High School Entrepreneurs

Click on each to learn more about these featured companies started by our high school entrepreneurs during previous summer programs

Lifestyle Product Startups

Lifestyle companies are those companies that address the everyday needs of customers, whether those needs be food, clothing, entertainment, connectivity, personal care, and more. Companies and startups excel in this category by understanding their customer is not just filling a specific need with their product offering but that it fits into a bigger ‘lifestyle’ and identity. Consider brand leaders in this category such as Apple and Lululemon. These LaunchX startups have also made great strides in this category.

Piolock – Smart Pillow Alarm Clock

Piolock is a smart pillow alarm clock which ensures a peaceful morning for dorm residents by silently waking the user. Piolock is a smart pillow that contains a vibrating alarm clock, night-reading light, and a riser (inflator).

They seek to be the leading company in the field of youth’s sleeping health and to sell their product to students in need internationally.  They’ve developed a novel smart pillow that employs inflation and ascending vibration technology to help heavy sleepers wake up without disturbing alarm noise and sit up with high efficiency.

As of the end of the program at the beginning of August, the team had 13 real paying customers. These customers signed their consumer contract and left their personal contact info, promising to buy Piolock once it’s out.

Team members: Baize Hou, Jiyang Chen, Jeein Hong, Aiwei Zhang, Sophie (Bing) Zhu

Learn more about their company progress

Ami – smart plush toy

Ami aims to “keep kids healthy and happy in a place where love never ends." Ami’s pilot product is Penny the Penguin, a smart plush that can speak parent-crafted messages through an app-controllable bluetooth speaker. For kids, Penny is a fuzzy best friend that they can listen to and follow. For parents, Penny bridges the communication gap between children and parents and makes it easier for parents to instill healthy habits in their kids.

Traction:

  • Pilots and prototyping—The team developed a plush and played messages to 24 children at MIT Daycare Center and noted both parents’ and children’s reactions to the product. Of the 35 parents interviewed, almost all requested pre-orders. Many more pre-orders have taken place through the company website.
  • The first version of the accompanying app is available on the App Store.
  • Press:
    • Appeared on StartUpTVBoston, a Boston-based TV Show that features aspiring entrepreneurs and their companies.
    • Featured on Launched! blog
    • Featured on LEO magazine
    • Competed at #builtbygirls challenge
  • Manufacturing—The team is now working with a toy manufacturer in China.

Team members: Izzy Kim, Navami Jain, Peter Zhong, Alexander Lam, Yvonne Hong

Learn More

Savy – fashion deals platform

Savy is a fashion deals platform that allows customers to discover styles at 1000-plus retail partners and enter how much they’d be willing to pay.  Customers get great deals and partnered businesses get direct feedback about their product pricing, access to customers’ emails, and also become a part of the community of Savy Stores.  So far, it has significantly increased conversions and revenues for businesses while allowing customers to get great deals.

Disha Shidham started Savy while at Launch in 2014 and was on Shark Tank.

Learn more

Piolock is a smart pillow alarm clock which ensures a peaceful morning for dorm residents by silently waking the user. Piolock is a smart pillow that contains a vibrating alarm clock, night-reading light, and a riser (inflator).

They seek to be the leading company in the field of youth’s sleeping health and to sell their product to students in need internationally.  They’ve developed a novel smart pillow that employs inflation and ascending vibration technology to help heavy sleepers wake up without disturbing alarm noise and sit up with high efficiency.

As of the end of the program at the beginning of August, the team had 13 real paying customers. These customers signed their consumer contract and left their personal contact info, promising to buy Piolock once it’s out.

Team members: Baize Hou, Jiyang Chen, Jeein Hong, Aiwei Zhang, Sophie (Bing) Zhu

Learn more about their company progress

Ami aims to “keep kids healthy and happy in a place where love never ends." Ami’s pilot product is Penny the Penguin, a smart plush that can speak parent-crafted messages through an app-controllable bluetooth speaker. For kids, Penny is a fuzzy best friend that they can listen to and follow. For parents, Penny bridges the communication gap between children and parents and makes it easier for parents to instill healthy habits in their kids.

Traction:

  • Pilots and prototyping—The team developed a plush and played messages to 24 children at MIT Daycare Center and noted both parents’ and children’s reactions to the product. Of the 35 parents interviewed, almost all requested pre-orders. Many more pre-orders have taken place through the company website.
  • The first version of the accompanying app is available on the App Store.
  • Press:
    • Appeared on StartUpTVBoston, a Boston-based TV Show that features aspiring entrepreneurs and their companies.
    • Featured on Launched! blog
    • Featured on LEO magazine
    • Competed at #builtbygirls challenge
  • Manufacturing—The team is now working with a toy manufacturer in China.

Team members: Izzy Kim, Navami Jain, Peter Zhong, Alexander Lam, Yvonne Hong

Learn More

Savy is a fashion deals platform that allows customers to discover styles at 1000-plus retail partners and enter how much they’d be willing to pay.  Customers get great deals and partnered businesses get direct feedback about their product pricing, access to customers’ emails, and also become a part of the community of Savy Stores.  So far, it has significantly increased conversions and revenues for businesses while allowing customers to get great deals.

Disha Shidham started Savy while at Launch in 2014 and was on Shark Tank.

Learn more

Business Services Startups

Business services startups use a selling model called B2B (business to business), where the customer of the company is businesses. Many companies that you may think of as ‘free’ follow this model such as Google and LinkedIn, charging businesses to either advertise or for recruitment services respectively. Other companies like software companies often have business clients as their primary source of income even if they offer individual licenses. Here are a few LaunchX alumni companies who have found some success with their business services companies.

Payloc – HR software

Payloc aims to make outdated business practices obsolete and save both money and time for business owners and employlees. They provide resources to make essential tasks such as payroll management and employee scheduling easy, and allows for quick and easy communication between managers and employees. Offering payroll, scheduling, geofencing, and mobile services, their app has been published and is available for use and download for both iOS and Android. They have partnered with and begun onboarding major hotel chains Holiday Inn and Best Western.

Team members: Christopher, Johnny, Zachary, Intel Chen

Learn More

Avanti3D – detecting and avoiding 3D printer problems

For businesses that develop and create 3D printed prototypes, Avanti3D offers an invaluable tool that saves time, money and stress. Their product decreases the learning curve for new users while making the overall 3D printing experience more enjoyable.

The Avanti 3D product detects problems and allows detecting and avoiding 3D printer problems.

  • Detecting Problems:  Avanti3D uses computer vision and filament tracking technologies to alert you about problems with bed adhesion, nozzle clogging, and layer worping
  • Allows you to watch 3D printing live or later: Avanti3D allows you to watch a livestream of your prints and creates a timelapse video of every single one of your prints and stores it for you in the cloud, so you can review your print later on and find the source of the error

During the program, the team already developed a beautiful brushed aluminum product that works with most 3D printers on the market, plus designed an app with push notifications.  They also surveyed and interviewed nearly 250 people, an dreceived feedback from many makerspace operators and students across the MIT campus

Team members: Adam Potter, Bo Hrytsak, Jasper Katzban, Nate Houston

Learn More

Foundery – idea and teaming platform

Foundery came to be at LaunchX during the 2017 summer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology when the program was called MIT Launch.

Foundery lets you bring your ideas to life by forming teams around world-changing visions.  You start by creating an account, then add your ideas, and wait for the team to find you. It’s that easy.

If you don’t want to create an idea, don’t worry! You can scroll through the discover page until you’ve found an idea you like, click “let’s talk,” and boom! You’ve found your first potential teammate.

Team members: Prez Thomas, Hunter Hancock, Akhi Khakhar, Alex Brufsky

Their advice for other entrepreneurs

Payloc aims to make outdated business practices obsolete and save both money and time for business owners and employlees. They provide resources to make essential tasks such as payroll management and employee scheduling easy, and allows for quick and easy communication between managers and employees. Offering payroll, scheduling, geofencing, and mobile services, their app has been published and is available for use and download for both iOS and Android. They have partnered with and begun onboarding major hotel chains Holiday Inn and Best Western.

Team members: Christopher, Johnny, Zachary, Intel Chen

Learn More

For businesses that develop and create 3D printed prototypes, Avanti3D offers an invaluable tool that saves time, money and stress. Their product decreases the learning curve for new users while making the overall 3D printing experience more enjoyable.

The Avanti 3D product detects problems and allows detecting and avoiding 3D printer problems.

  • Detecting Problems:  Avanti3D uses computer vision and filament tracking technologies to alert you about problems with bed adhesion, nozzle clogging, and layer worping
  • Allows you to watch 3D printing live or later: Avanti3D allows you to watch a livestream of your prints and creates a timelapse video of every single one of your prints and stores it for you in the cloud, so you can review your print later on and find the source of the error

During the program, the team already developed a beautiful brushed aluminum product that works with most 3D printers on the market, plus designed an app with push notifications.  They also surveyed and interviewed nearly 250 people, an dreceived feedback from many makerspace operators and students across the MIT campus

Team members: Adam Potter, Bo Hrytsak, Jasper Katzban, Nate Houston

Learn More

Foundery came to be at LaunchX during the 2017 summer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology when the program was called MIT Launch.

Foundery lets you bring your ideas to life by forming teams around world-changing visions.  You start by creating an account, then add your ideas, and wait for the team to find you. It’s that easy.

If you don’t want to create an idea, don’t worry! You can scroll through the discover page until you’ve found an idea you like, click “let’s talk,” and boom! You’ve found your first potential teammate.

Team members: Prez Thomas, Hunter Hancock, Akhi Khakhar, Alex Brufsky

Their advice for other entrepreneurs

Social Technology Ventures

Social technology ventures prioritize doing work that serves or attempts to solve a local or global community needs leveraging new technology. The social impact can range from those addressing education, healthcare, energy, sustainability, accessibility, and more.  New technologies might be artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), robotic process automation (RPA), the internet of things (IoT), and more. The 3D printer companies FormLabs and MakerBot are great examples of social technology ventures, as are all of these LaunchX alumni companies.

Dotbot – tactile diagrams for blind students

Dotbot creates a time and cost-efficient solution, making tactile diagrams accessible for blind students.  We use our proprietary smart OCR technology to convert any text from the input image into braille. Our device then creates the tactile shape or diagram using our US patent-pending method.  A perfect tactile diagram is produced in a matter of seconds. What makes Dotbot special is our groundbreaking price point, which drastically increases affordability and accessibility. We see the problem from a new perspective, and hence are able to use existing technology in a new way, allowing us to achieve disruptive results.

Team members: Michelle Chang, Navyansh Malhotra, Michëal Dooley, Surya Somayyajula

Learn More

VocalEyes – ML app to help blind people detect objects

The Product:

  • The app uses a proprietary machine learning algorithm to help the blind identify objects in their daily lives. The simple UI allows users to take a picture and listen to what the camera sees.
  • The hardware product will provide extremely fast object recognition, as well as implement live recognition to provide continuous feedback about your surroundings.

Their Traction:

  • They have grown the team since LaunchX summer, adding a couple of team members.
  • The team has been nominated for Forbes 30 Under 30.
  • In addition to already launching on the App store in such a short time, they have already achieved over 6,000 downloads.

The Team: Neil Deshmukh, Mahmood Alfayoumi, and Marwan Refaat

Nomination for Forbes 30 Under 30

Cognality – VR for autistic children

Cognality helps autistic children deal with triggering situations by allowing them to transport to their safe space through virtual reality.

People with autism are usually highly sensitive to their environments. This is different for people on the spectrum, but in general, autistic people have unusually sensitive “sensory” systems. This means that they can be easily overwhelmed by senses sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste.

The best way to help calm your child is to identify when your child is on the verge of the meltdown and take them to a quiet place where they can redeem themselves. However, this is sometimes not possible, especially in public places. With the usage of virtual reality, Cognality offers instant transportation to your child’s favorite calm place anywhere and at any time.

While your child uses the headset, you can view exactly what they are seeing through a separate phone, tablet, or computer.

Team members: Henry Kang, Ian Kim, Espen Garner, Gianna Valencia

Learn More

Dotbot creates a time and cost-efficient solution, making tactile diagrams accessible for blind students.  We use our proprietary smart OCR technology to convert any text from the input image into braille. Our device then creates the tactile shape or diagram using our US patent-pending method.  A perfect tactile diagram is produced in a matter of seconds. What makes Dotbot special is our groundbreaking price point, which drastically increases affordability and accessibility. We see the problem from a new perspective, and hence are able to use existing technology in a new way, allowing us to achieve disruptive results.

Team members: Michelle Chang, Navyansh Malhotra, Michëal Dooley, Surya Somayyajula

Learn More

The Product:

  • The app uses a proprietary machine learning algorithm to help the blind identify objects in their daily lives. The simple UI allows users to take a picture and listen to what the camera sees.
  • The hardware product will provide extremely fast object recognition, as well as implement live recognition to provide continuous feedback about your surroundings.

Their Traction:

  • They have grown the team since LaunchX summer, adding a couple of team members.
  • The team has been nominated for Forbes 30 Under 30.
  • In addition to already launching on the App store in such a short time, they have already achieved over 6,000 downloads.

The Team: Neil Deshmukh, Mahmood Alfayoumi, and Marwan Refaat

Nomination for Forbes 30 Under 30

Cognality helps autistic children deal with triggering situations by allowing them to transport to their safe space through virtual reality.

People with autism are usually highly sensitive to their environments. This is different for people on the spectrum, but in general, autistic people have unusually sensitive “sensory” systems. This means that they can be easily overwhelmed by senses sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste.

The best way to help calm your child is to identify when your child is on the verge of the meltdown and take them to a quiet place where they can redeem themselves. However, this is sometimes not possible, especially in public places. With the usage of virtual reality, Cognality offers instant transportation to your child’s favorite calm place anywhere and at any time.

While your child uses the headset, you can view exactly what they are seeing through a separate phone, tablet, or computer.

Team members: Henry Kang, Ian Kim, Espen Garner, Gianna Valencia

Learn More

Education and Healthcare Startups

Education and healthcare companies address the variety of needs across the spectrum of stakeholders in these fields.  In healthcare, for example, there is the patient, their families and/or caretaker, nurses, doctors, hospitals, the healthcare financial system, among many other people to consider in building solutions. Startups that do well in these fields ensure they are solving a big enough problem for everyone who needs to be on their platform.  Brightwheel has incentives for the teacher, parent, and student to be engaged without being a burden to anyone involved.  These LaunchX startups have found similar opportunities and aligned incentives for their customers.

Auesome – Activity Kits for Autistic Children

AUesome is an app for autistic children promotes spatial & sensory learning with cognitively engaging games & an integrated physical activity kit.  Their vision is to simplify the at-home therapy process for parents of children with autism by combining a physical play kit with an app that serves as an accompanying training tool for the activities in the kit.

As of partway through LaunchX Virtual, this startup team completed their minimum viable product (MVP) kits to send out for user testing. They sent out 5-8 free kits (adjustable to customer interest) to parents for initial feedback plus set up a GoFundMe to help fund free kits. They also are applying for a grant, as they are a non-profit and could be eligible for certain grant based funding. They have also coded a website to further promote their product, idea, and demonstrations of their kit, along with an app mockup.

Team members: Arnav Gurudatt, Andrew Kim, Priyanka Senthilanshul Gupta, Isabella He

Learn more about their company progress and metrics

Deaux – Financial Literacy for Young Children

Deaux is a mobile app that uses augmented reality to immerse middle school students in the world of financial literacy. The offering teaches many topics, including budgeting and loans, and is delivered as a B2B solution for middle schools, as a B2C app on the App Store, and through partnerships with charitable organizations.

The team has tested their prototype and curriculum with seven (7) Subject Matter Experts, receiving feedback and iterating their strategy and approach in measurable ways.  And this is just the beginning!

Team members: Dustin Ho, Anthony Li, Chancharik Mitra, Stanley Wong, Vincent Xu

Learn More About Deaux's Progress

Remedium – Improving Care For Chemotherapy Patients

Remedium strives to improve the experience, efficiency, and outcomes of chemotherapy care.

Thousands of chemotherapy patients receive inaccurate treatment because doctors misunderstand their side effects between appointments. Remedium provides an easy-to-use web app that improves treatment outcomes by sending real-time synthesized data to doctors when needed. Users can log any side effects they are experiencing, view their charts of inputted data, and communicate with their doctors.

Team members: Zaid Ali, Kelly Ding, Elaine Liu, Arnav Machavarapu, Cameron Meyer

Learn More About Remedium

AUesome is an app for autistic children promotes spatial & sensory learning with cognitively engaging games & an integrated physical activity kit.  Their vision is to simplify the at-home therapy process for parents of children with autism by combining a physical play kit with an app that serves as an accompanying training tool for the activities in the kit.

As of partway through LaunchX Virtual, this startup team completed their minimum viable product (MVP) kits to send out for user testing. They sent out 5-8 free kits (adjustable to customer interest) to parents for initial feedback plus set up a GoFundMe to help fund free kits. They also are applying for a grant, as they are a non-profit and could be eligible for certain grant based funding. They have also coded a website to further promote their product, idea, and demonstrations of their kit, along with an app mockup.

Team members: Arnav Gurudatt, Andrew Kim, Priyanka Senthilanshul Gupta, Isabella He

Learn more about their company progress and metrics

Deaux is a mobile app that uses augmented reality to immerse middle school students in the world of financial literacy. The offering teaches many topics, including budgeting and loans, and is delivered as a B2B solution for middle schools, as a B2C app on the App Store, and through partnerships with charitable organizations.

The team has tested their prototype and curriculum with seven (7) Subject Matter Experts, receiving feedback and iterating their strategy and approach in measurable ways.  And this is just the beginning!

Team members: Dustin Ho, Anthony Li, Chancharik Mitra, Stanley Wong, Vincent Xu

Learn More About Deaux's Progress

Remedium strives to improve the experience, efficiency, and outcomes of chemotherapy care.

Thousands of chemotherapy patients receive inaccurate treatment because doctors misunderstand their side effects between appointments. Remedium provides an easy-to-use web app that improves treatment outcomes by sending real-time synthesized data to doctors when needed. Users can log any side effects they are experiencing, view their charts of inputted data, and communicate with their doctors.

Team members: Zaid Ali, Kelly Ding, Elaine Liu, Arnav Machavarapu, Cameron Meyer

Learn More About Remedium

Lessun – Learning Platform

Lessun is a global community for students that pursue the AP (Advanced Placement) or IB (International Baccalaureate) curriculum. The mission of Lessun is to connect students to share their learning experiences outside of school, anytime, anywhere. In short, they are an online space that eliminates distractions and nurtures an academic environment. Check out Lessun’s Demo Day Video Here.

In the early stages, being students themselves, Team Lessun identified a problem in the current education system. On top of procrastination, the purpose of learning for the majority of students was to get good grades instead of really understanding the curriculum itself. They also realized schools had different academic rigor and faculty size resulting in discrepancies giving some students an advantage over others. Based on this knowledge, Lessun pledged to become the bridge to connect all students to share their learning hacks and shortcuts to develop a collaborative environment.

Thanks to early guidance and mentorship from LaunchX instructors and peers, Team Lessun finished their initial MVP and now transitioned to hardcoding their website. They have amassed an initial community of more than 50 students from 10 international schools, partnership offers from large communities including Fiveable, and interview requests from both the US and Vietnamese media.

Team Lessun consists of 5 members: Dylan Kim (CEO), Mingyu Bae (CTO), Yoonseo Ko (CMO), Tiffany Chen (CDO), and Ishan Kapoor (CFO). They all bring unique perspectives to the table such as past startup experiences, financial expertise, programming, artistic ability and much more.

We are determined to become the academic social platform for students all around the world. Interested in knowing more about our journey? Follow us on instagram @lessunco.

Learn More About Lessun

Buzz – The Communication App For Seniors

Buzz is a revolutionary communication startup app revolutionize the current social media trend through enhancing the connection between the different generations.

Due to the complexity of current social media platforms and the physical conditions of the elderly (ex: eyesight, typing speed), there is currently a gap in communication among the elderly, leading to decreased social interactions within their demographic and among generations.

Through Buzz, we hope to enhance the social interactivity of the elderly and combat loneliness the elderly often experience due to not being able to communicate with their loved ones.

Find Out More Info About Buzz

Lessun is a global community for students that pursue the AP (Advanced Placement) or IB (International Baccalaureate) curriculum. The mission of Lessun is to connect students to share their learning experiences outside of school, anytime, anywhere. In short, they are an online space that eliminates distractions and nurtures an academic environment. Check out Lessun’s Demo Day Video Here.

In the early stages, being students themselves, Team Lessun identified a problem in the current education system. On top of procrastination, the purpose of learning for the majority of students was to get good grades instead of really understanding the curriculum itself. They also realized schools had different academic rigor and faculty size resulting in discrepancies giving some students an advantage over others. Based on this knowledge, Lessun pledged to become the bridge to connect all students to share their learning hacks and shortcuts to develop a collaborative environment.

Thanks to early guidance and mentorship from LaunchX instructors and peers, Team Lessun finished their initial MVP and now transitioned to hardcoding their website. They have amassed an initial community of more than 50 students from 10 international schools, partnership offers from large communities including Fiveable, and interview requests from both the US and Vietnamese media.

Team Lessun consists of 5 members: Dylan Kim (CEO), Mingyu Bae (CTO), Yoonseo Ko (CMO), Tiffany Chen (CDO), and Ishan Kapoor (CFO). They all bring unique perspectives to the table such as past startup experiences, financial expertise, programming, artistic ability and much more.

We are determined to become the academic social platform for students all around the world. Interested in knowing more about our journey? Follow us on instagram @lessunco.

Learn More About Lessun

Buzz is a revolutionary communication startup app revolutionize the current social media trend through enhancing the connection between the different generations.

Due to the complexity of current social media platforms and the physical conditions of the elderly (ex: eyesight, typing speed), there is currently a gap in communication among the elderly, leading to decreased social interactions within their demographic and among generations.

Through Buzz, we hope to enhance the social interactivity of the elderly and combat loneliness the elderly often experience due to not being able to communicate with their loved ones.

Find Out More Info About Buzz