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high school startup team Juku

The Summer Program Experience

By LaunchX Team

October 25, 2017

Our summer program taps into your potential as an ambitious high school student, supporting you through the process of launching an actual startup.

We bring a highly-curated group of promising young entrepreneurs together from around the globe. Living on-campus at one of the top universities for innovation, you’ll spend four intense weeks learning from industry experts and working in a group of peer co-founders to build real products and solve business challenges in meaningful and viable ways.

Watch our video to hear from alum Pranathi Peri about her experience launching her 3D-printed gifts business, Juku.

I've always wanted to start my own business. To me, being a direct contributor and turning something from an idea into reality is an amazing experience and there's nothing I love more.  My name is Pranathi Peri and I am 17 years old and I am an entrepreneur.  This summer, I had the opportunity to go to LaunchX.  It's a summer program where we create a real business with teams of other high school entrepreneurs from all around the world.  I have friends that I talk to on a daily basis from other states and even other countries that attended LaunchX with me. 

My team was absolutely amazing.  From day one, we connected.  It felt like we were one mind working together to come up with insane solutions to everyday problems.  I was challenged instantly.  We hit a few roadblocks in the beginning of our brainstorming process that we didn't see coming.  Being on this team was a test of my ability to think on my feet, lead a team through crisis, and remain resilient despite troubles.

The ProtoWorks maker space at MIT was amazing.  We had the opportunity to use MIT's Ultimaker as well as their industrial Stratasys 3D printer.  The minute we came up with an idea, we were able to run over to ProtoWorks and have it printed within a day, something that none of us had had the opportunity to do before or even ever.  

We also had great role models through the program, like our mock board of directors.  They always pushed us to think logically about the next step, but even more than that, they modeled how to conduct a professional meeting and speak with passion and positivity, even when faced with tough roadblocks.

LaunchX culminates into pitch day.  We practiced many times for our presentation, but it's still a little nerve-racking standing up in front of the panel of real world entrepreneurs, but I'm so glad I did.  The feedback we got was incredible.  Seeing other entrepreneurs as excited about the potential of our idea was so incredibly motivating.  Their encouragement and continued contact has helped keep us working to expand Juku even after LaunchX is over.    

I think that I've become more confident, forward-thinking, and creative since LaunchX.  I learned that there's so much more to entrepreneurship than just starting a business.  It helped bring out my inner CEO, gave me opportunities to express and display my leadership, and put me in an environment with other like-minded teens who even after LaunchX basically feel like my family.