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Aashni Sawhney: From Egg Cartons to LaunchX

By Aashni Sawhney

July 24, 2019

When looking back upon my childhood, there is not one distinct memory that comes to mind, but rather a series of memories that all revolve around a budding passion for creation and entrepreneurship.

As a child, I was an explorer – I created working prototypes out of egg cartons, toothpicks, bottle caps, popsicle sticks, water bottles, and other common materials. When I was 7 years old, I collected two egg cartons from the recycling bin that my mother had just thrown out. In utter confusion, she asked me what I was doing or planning to do. I responded that I wanted to make a moving car. My mother thought I was delusional. Perhaps I was. But soon enough, with the use of some motors and wheels from an engineering starter kit, I had actually developed a fully functional battery-operated car. At the age of 7, this felt like a milestone:  I was finally smart enough to create and innovate. What did I feel then? Pure and raw emotion. Since that moment, I knew my trajectory in life. My mom and I went to the bookstore to buy a professional legal pad and elegant pink pen, which would soon come to be known as my “book of inventions.” Every page was a new idea, an idea about how I could create something that would change the world. I would become an entrepreneur.

Right now, I am at that age where everyone incessantly asks me about my further trajectory in life. Certainly, I do not have everything figured out but I do know that I am passionate about business and innovation. To that end, I want to carry my endeavors to the next level and acquire the skills needed to become a more effective leader. I personally have the good fortune to be a part of a multitude of clubs and start-up businesses that have enabled me to establish myself as an emerging business leader in my school and community. One of the clubs that I started at my high school is called MKA Innovation Lab whose main purpose is to help aspiring entrepreneurs in our school create successful start-ups that can then be pitched to a panel of investors.

I want to be a leader like Satya Nadella, who was able to take a few ideas and completely transform Microsoft from a sleepy software company to one of the most successful companies out there. With his creation of innovation services such as Cloud and Virtual Reality, he was able to make a name for himself. I want to be able to go back to school and transform my clubs and projects just like Satya Nadella did with Microsoft. I want to be able to catalyze high impact change and I know that that is why I want to be an entrepreneur. I applied to LaunchX this year because I wanted to learn more about being a leader and generating change. I came to LaunchX with the hope that I would be able to go back to school with more knowledge and confidence. I am definitely more of an extrovert and I do believe that this quality has helped me grow as an entrepreneur. Maintaining conversations and developing connections has provided tremendous value to my companies. Furthermore, being extroverted has allowed for me to enjoy fleeting moments, since I am able to hold discussions with people about anything at nearly any time.

Aashni Sawhney and team IOX systems at LaunchX demo day

To close, I want to give a special shoutout to my LaunchX team, IOX Systems! I am incredibly proud of my awesome team with whom I had worked together with; we developed a company to help the visually impaired community better navigate the world. Click here to learn more about IOX Systems.

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