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Startup Advice from MIT GFSA Teams

By Laurie stach

June 12, 2015

In addition to classes and team activities, students at Launch also get the chance to meet and learn from other young entrepreneurs. This week, MIT Launch was honored to have 5 entrepreneurs from MIT’s Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator (GFSA) come to the class to speak on their experiences of the early stages of founding their companies. The MIT Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator is MIT’s student venture accelerator which takes the best teams with an interesting idea or proof of concept focused on creating impactful, innovation-driven startups. Out of hundreds of applications, only 14 teams are selected each summer to participate in GFSA, and they spend 3 months building the right product and securing initial customers/partners. A Closer Look At The Speakers:

“The opportunity to make a huge impact is what attracts me to entrepreneurship” – Gavin Cotter, Founder of R&R

R&R is creating a new controller for consumer drones that allows the operator to simultaneously control the drone, and the video camera, all in one easy to understand, and intuitive to use controller. Their target market is the burgeoning prosumer videographer market that cares more about the art and videography than the novelty of flying drones.

“I didn’t want to be a small cog in a big machine” – Kale Rogers, Co-Founder of Spyce

“Be very, very open-minded” -Advice on being an entrepreneur from Michael Farid, Co-Founder of Spyce

Spyce is creating an automated robotic chef that can cook food like stir fry on demand, at a tiny 4×4 kiosk. By removing the cost of space, overhead and labor related with quick service foods, they can use fresher, healthier ingredients while creating meals at the same cost as McDonalds.

“You sacrifice a lot of things in order to pursue a company” – Daniel Wiese, Co-Founder of Humon

“When I make decisions, I understand what I want to do in 5 years and ask myself, ‘Is what I’m doing now going to lead me there?'” Alessandro Babini, Co-Founder of Humon

Humon creating the first Human Power Meter. This wearable sensor non-invasively measures lactic acid and muscle oxygenation in real time, empowering endurance athletes with data they need to help them achieve the maximum possible performance from their body without ever exceeding their limits.

The Launchie Perspective: What do the students (Launchies) think about the GFSA speakers?

“The GFSA speakers were the highlight of my day! It is truly great to receive advice from experienced entrepreneurs!” – Adi Sidapara

“Talking to the MIT GFSA panel helped show me what the next steps are for me as an entrepreneur and what the path ahead of me looks like.” -Dhruv Iyer

“The speakers helped to inspire our ideas and consolodate our prototyping process.” – Antonio Cao

Thank you Gavin, Michael, Kale, Daniel and Alessandro for your great advice and for sharing your stories!

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