Advice for Aspiring High School Entrepreneurs
By Leonard Fan
July 10, 2019
The heart of LaunchX is in finding the amazing minds that want to impact our world. We believe that the creatives and entrepreneurs who pour their heart and soul into their craft help make the world a better place. With that said, we would like to introduce Leonard Fan, a high school student who attended LaunchX at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this summer.
About Leonard and His Company
Leonard is currently a rising senior from Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego, California. His company, Bridge, co-founded by himself, Mouadh Elarbi, Sean Zatz and Andrew Yiu, is a platform that helps international students with the United States college application process by connecting them to other students that have been through the process already. Their goal is to make the application process easier for international students looking to attend college in the United States. Within the company, Leonard manages Bridge’s website and operations. His day-to-day tasks are usually updating and maintaining their website.
Inspiration, Reflections, and Advice
During his interview, Leonard describes two main takeaways from Bridge: The first is don’t give up—continue striving to be the best you can be. He goes on to say “Anyone can be successful given the effort and time spent.” The second takeaway he described is giving back to the community that raised you. Leonard went on to say “Bridge hopes to inspire those international students to give back by providing a platform for students from the same countries to connect.” Many of the current college aid websites are directed only towards US students— providing US statistics and proving minimal aid to those who live international. The team finds satisfaction in encouraging and helping students to continue their interest in education through high-level post secondary institutions. Whether it be joining Bridge in their cause or in their own methods, the founding team wishes to teach all users that the community around them is important and worth giving back to.
Leonard’s Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
The definition of success is different person-to-person. For Leonard, his goal is to help others. When describing what success meant to him, Leonard states,
“In whatever I do or make, I want it to benefit the lives of others around the world.”
Veteran entrepreneurs may label his definition of success simple or naive, but he believes it is the best way for him to keep his priorities straight and achieve what others may think is impossible. As advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, Leonard says there are three main qualities or characteristics that correlate with success: admitting failure, communication, and passion.
Admitting Failures: Admitting failure means learning from past mistakes and moving forward. As Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” You have to keep learning from what went wrong and fix it.
Communication: Communication is important for two essential reasons: 1) to work together with your team and 2) to share your idea. First, teamwork is built around communication and trust. A team that trusts is a team that triumphs. Second, your idea could be the most amazing solution in the world however, not being open and able to communicate your idea correctly could result in failure.
Passion: The fire within any project that you do is ignited by the drive for something you love. If you love something, just do it. If you truly have a passion for something, there is nothing stopping you. Go out of your way to find all the necessary steps to start and the success will follow.
Making Sense of All the Information
As a final thought, Leonard closed out his interview saying,
“Anyone can be an entrepreneur. Your good friends, teachers, parents. . . anyone! A good place to connect is through LaunchX Clubs or even through people with the same passion in your school or community.”