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LaunchX Summer Program Application Tips: Part 1

By Laurie Stach

November 14, 2022

It’s already application season again! This two-part article series is intended to debunk the myths and demystify the application for the LaunchX summer program.  If you haven’t already, start your application today. Make sure to check out our FAQ page for answers to many of the most comon questions. Chances are, you’re not the first person who had this question, so check here first before reaching out to LaunchX staff—we love to see this self-reliance and problem-solving skills in our applicants.

Before we get started, it’s important that you know the deadlines and timeline for our admissions schedule.

Application Deadline: Decision By: What's the Benefit?
Early Admissions December 21, 2022 February 24, 2023 Be compared against a smaller pool of applicants and find out sooner if you're in.
Regular Admissions February 15, 2023 April 21, 2023 Get more time to complete your application.

This blog post series will break our application into two main parts—

  • Part 1: Getting started, general information, transcripts, and entrepreneurial baseline / startup teaming
  • Part 2: Activities, innovator portfolio, and video (read here)

In today’s post, we’ll focus on part one.

Getting Started with Your Summer Entrepreneurship Program Application

Program choice

The first thing for you to consider is to which program you might apply or prioritize. There are several factors that might influence this decision, though the most important is the topic area of the program, namely whether you will focus on entrepreneurship (starting a company) or innovation (innovating for an existing company).

The next most important factors are either the dates of the program or the location, depending on some restrictions you may have with travel or the dates your school may start or end.  Please ensure you check these in advance before filling out your application.

Dates for each of the summer sessions is available on the website on this page. Only apply to sessions for which you will be available for the entirety of the dates shown, as you will not be able to switch sessions for any reason—even if it’s because of your school schedule. Be sure to check the schedule in advance.

Check out this YouTube Live webinar recording for more on the differences between the programs and how you might make a decision between them.

1) Starting the Application—

Go to our application website and create an account. The email address that you use to login will be the one to which we send any updates on your application, including reminders of deadlines and admissions notices, so please make sure you create your account with an email address where we can reach you.

After you have created an account for your application you will see that within the application itself there are several “tasks” – some of these are required and some are optional (such as the recommendation and innovator portfolio). You will have to click into each task to work on it and can work at your own pace—remember to save your progress on each page before you close the window!

application with tasks

2) General Information—

This section should be quick, especially if you’ve already discovered the magic of Google Chrome Autofill. Here is a bit more on the importance of some of these sections:

  • Your address: We will want to send you some goodies if you are admitted! Please make sure that your address is where we would be able to send any mailers, or if not, please add your mailing address.
  • Program prioritization: This is very important—please leave any programs that you do not wish to attend blank (or select N/A), and rank the remaining. If admitted, you will not be able to switch between session dates or locations, and applying to any program, even if you rank it low, is an indication that you would be able to attend.  LaunchX will do our best to give you one of your higher priority programs if you are admitted, though there are several factors that will go into forming a well-balanced cohort of students at each location.
  • Financial need: Our admissions process is need blind, meaning your family’s financial status will never affect your application negatively. The first portion of this question assesses the potential for an application fee waiver, where a fee waiver task will become available if you indicate this need.  The second portion of the question lets us know to follow up with a financial need application if you are admitted.  Note that the financial need application will ask for two years of taxes of the parents/guardians of the applicant (to be filled out after admitted and financial need package provided after LaunchX team review, though you may see average financial need packages on this page of the website).

3) Transcripts and Basic School Info—

While we do ask for your transcripts and school information, your grades are the least important part of your application. We ask that you provide this information to see how you are using the opportunities at your school and to see how you are challenging yourself academically.  LaunchX is about being resourceful about the opportunities presented to you and challenging yourself.

  • Grades and advanced coursework: Again, this should not be a stress point. Your admissions decision will never be based solely on your school grades or what classes you take because we know that there is a lot of variation in different schools (some offer 18 AP classes, while others might not have any!). Here’s what’s involved in this section—
    • GPA—If your school does not provide a GPA, calculate yours using the calculator provided in our application if your school does not provide one.
    • Classes with each grade/ score—Input how many regulary term classes (whatever is deemed a full ‘semester’ or ‘term’ for your school) you have completed with each letter grade. If you have taken a course that only runs for a half semester, add it as 0.5. If your school does not use letter grades, approximate based on the suggested guidelines.
  • Transcript Upload: Provide a copy of your transcript, which can typically be emailed to you from your school or downloaded from your school’s online reporting system such as Naviance. A digital copy is preferred so that it can be seen clearly.  The transcript does not need to be official.  Please note that we do not accept transcripts updated past the deadline of the application round to which you apply. This means that if you really want to have your current semester grades as part of your application, you need to apply regular round. You unfortunately cannot apply early round and email your transcript later.

4) Entrepreneurial Mindset and Startup Teaming—

The first of these sections is meant to assess your “entrepreneurial mindset.” What does this mean? We have identified some key questions that will give us a good idea of what kind of entrepreneur you are—your entrepreneurial motivations and expectations for LaunchX.

The other is “startup teaming,” which assesses your startup interests and skills as it pertains to how you might within a team at LaunchX.

IMPORTANT: Don’t game your answers! What this means is, don’t answer in a particular way because you think we’re looking for specific answers. There are no right or wrong answers—there are all different types of entrepreneurs, and we want to get a better sense of your potential role within a team, aspirations for the summer, and the who the person behind the résumé really is. Be honest—we appreciate self-awareness, open-mindedness, and willingness to learn. And, this helps us get an idea of where our incoming class is starting from so we know how best to tailor our programming to reach our common goals.

Here are a few of the questions explained:

  1. Drivers: Whatever your personal reasons (and there’s no wrong reason), this will shape your priorities, your decision-making, and your ways of interacting with your team. We want to know what your personal motivation is so we can see what direction you’re headed in. If admitted, this will help ensure you end up with teammates that share similar entrepreneurial missions and values
  2. Short Answers: These are intentionally encouraging you to be concise and thoughtful.  There is not a format you need to follow, so use this as an opportunity to ‘pitch’ as you see fit!
  3. Skills and Interests: Be honest!  This should align with areas of your application that we see strengths, while also allowing for the opportunity of complementary skills in potential teammates.

None of these are trick questions. None have right or wrong answers, so long as you answer honestly. Think of this as your opportunity to showcase yourself, the person behind the accomplishments and activities. There will be another opportunity for you to showcase your individuality in the video portion of the application, which we’ll demystify in our next guide post. Until then, good luck!

Read more—LaunchX Summer Application: Part 2

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