LaunchX Curriculum Foundation: Disciplined Entrepreneurship
By Laurie Stach
August 07, 2016
The LaunchX curriculum follows a framework that leverages best practices from Disciplined Entrepreneurship, design thinking, and lean startup to allow high school students to start real companies. In particular, the Disciplined Entrepreneurship methodology uses an integrated, comprehensive, and proven process that has allowed MIT to churn out new ventures throughout many decades. While this process uses a robust 24 step process, the LaunchX methodology simplifies the process to the core themes, adds initial steps of opportunity identification and teaming, plus integrates professional development. Within each theme, most of the steps are covered, but in a lighter-touch that is more geared towards new entrepreneurs.
Here is an overview of our process:
- Step 1: Mission
- Starting the Journey: pre-course evaluation, what entrepreneurship is, and the common hurdles to starting and how to overcome them
- Idea Development: creativity exercises and brainstorming to come up with problems to solve and associated ideas, and how to filter ideas
- Teaming: designing a well-rounded team and setting expectations
- Step 2: Understanding Your Customer
- Customers: determining who your customer is, what the market research methods are and their value, how to interview, and choosing your customer
- Step 3: Designing and Testing Your Offering
- Designing Your Offering: surveying to assess how best to fill customer needs, differentiating against competition, and value proposition
- Testing Your Offering: developing your MVP to test your assumptions about your customer, pitching and selling
- Steps 4 and 5: Building Your Business
- Business Logistics: operations and financial planning
The LaunchX program has benchmarked the Disciplined Entrepreneurship methodology since the first year of the program, having the opportunity to receive advance copies of the book even in the first year of the program in 2013, and attend the book launch during the first summer in 2013.
The students of the 2013 summer program were able to meet Bill Aulet, director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, at his book launch at the MIT Media Lab. As a strategic advisor of LaunchX, Bill has provided foundational support to our curriculum through this great teaching. Bill signed some copies of his book for our students and stayed for a photo with the students and his “Disciplined Entrepreneurship toolbox”.
Every year, Bill has spoken at the LaunchX program and continues to be an inspiration to entrepreneurship education worldwide.