Keval Patel’s Lessons-Learned from a Summer at LaunchX
By Keval Patel
December 17, 2015
It’s been four months since Launch ended, but the memories will continue to live. The experiences I faced and the friendships I made are unforgettable and will always be a part of my life.
One of the key messages from Launch is that you are never too young to be an entrepreneur. This was embedded in all of us since day one. Launch gives students the opportunity to become immersed in the entrepreneurial world. From day one, we were tasked to develop a mini-business overnight out of forty dollars.This assignment taught me that money isn’t the foundation of successful entrepreneurs, but rather it is the thought-process and focus that are key. Even though a certain idea may seem to be unique and desirable to the public, you have to find your differentiation – the customers you serve better, and the way you serve them better with your product and marketing. Young entrepreneurs have this innovative imagination that allows them to come up with truly novel ideas. With the correct passion, they are able to make their fantasies into entrepreneurial realities, despite the opposition they may receive.
A couple days into Launch, one of the instructors drew two axes of a graph on the board and a positive parabola in the middle. She then labels the x-axis “Time at Launch”, and the y-axis “Level of Happiness”. This image represents that entrepreneurs will start their project with ambition and excitement, hit a few rough patches, and then the excitement will ensue again. I never expected to follow the Happiness Curve during my entrepreneurial experience. However, I realized in Launch that it is inevitable. Throughout the process of developing my team’s project, my group underwent numerous downfalls. The first one represented the lowest point of the Happiness Curve because we were not used to tough situations. Certainly, we had the feeling to just give up.
However, the entrepreneurial curriculum at Launch that covered not just the business side, but the professional development skills and mindset to tackle the challenges of starting a company helped us handle and overcome these unexpected occurrences, and not just cope with downfalls better, but become even better because of them. The last day of Launch showed everyone that the message communicated on day one is in fact true. Through the month-long entrepreneurial process at Launch, each group was able to pitch their own entrepreneurial idea on par with startups at business schools and esteemed accelerators. We silenced individuals who have deemed the idea of youth entrepreneurs as fallacious because we, indeed, proved that we are never too young to be entrepreneurs.