Want to Apply? Read this First
By Claire oxner
December 01, 2019
We know that applying to LaunchX can be a daunting process, especially when you’re first starting the application. Here at LaunchX we want to do everything we can to make this process a bit easier for you, so we’ve outlined some of the main things you need to know as you fill out your application. If you haven’t already, start your application today and get a head start on the competition!
As you fill out your application, feel free to reference this page for our admissions experts’ advice on how to curate the best application you can. If you have any other questions that aren’t answered here, check out our FAQ page. We also have a general summary of our application process here, so if you haven’t had a chance to look through it, I highly recommend it. Also, feel free to check out our regularly updated social media for more information.
Getting Started with Your Summer Entrepreneurship Program Application
The first thing to do to get started on your LaunchX journey is to just hit apply! This will take you straight to where you can go to begin to fill out your application. Go ahead and create an account, and the application portal will ask you to put in your email address. An important thing to remember here is that you want to use an email address where you can receive correspondence from LaunchX. Make sure that whatever email you put in is one that we can easily contact you.
Next, give your application a title. We recommend just using your first and last name for this, as it will make it easier for our admissions team to find and review your information. Once this is done, get started on the individual “tasks” listed on the application itself. Each task has to be done to submit your application, so don’t forget to save your progress!
1. General Information
Your first task on your application is to fill out the general information section. We know that this part can be tedious, but at least it is for the most part straightforward! There might be a few sections that you have questions on, and those are explained here.
- Personal URL/LinkedIn: One thing that we ask for is your personal website or the URL to your LinkedIn. While we might take a look at what you have for an online presence, please keep in mind that this is optional and not a core element of our review process. In addition, this is not a replacement for any other area on the application. Even if your accomplishments are listed on your website, please put them on your application as well in order to be considered as an applicant.
- Financial need: LaunchX’s application will ask for information about you and your family’s financial status to determine if you are eligible for financial need. Please keep in mind that LaunchX is proudly 100% need-blind and is looking to admit skilled students regardless of their family’s income. Requesting financial need will in no way serve as a detriment to your application, and we only ask to determine if you qualify for an application fee waiver or a financial need application.
- Your address: This is where we’ll send any welcome materials if you’re admitted to LaunchX, so make sure you have a valid mailing address here.
- To what other opportunities are you applying to this summer?: We ask this because we want to see what interests you and what you’re passionate about. Put whatever you plan on doing this summer in this section, whether it’s a program you’ll apply to, a cool project you’re hoping to work on, or an internship you have lined up. Keep in mind that this has NO impact on your admission to LaunchX, and we just are using this to get to know you a bit better.
- Dates of availability: On this portion of the application, you’ll be asked to select dates for which you’re available to attend the LaunchX summer program. Make sure to check with your school and summer schedules before you fill this section out because you will not be able to change it afterward! If you’re admitted, we will use your availability dates to place you in the program location that works best for you. You aren’t able to select which location you’ll be applying to, but regardless of where you end up being placed, you will have the same LaunchX curriculum and the same LaunchX experience.
2. Transcripts and basic school info
The next task you’ll have to complete on your LaunchX application is filling out a bit of information on your academics. We ask that you provide this information so that we are able to see a bit more about how you intellectually challenge yourself, but this is by no means the most important part of your application. LaunchX is a very different experience than a traditional classroom environment, and the students who are succeeding in school aren’t necessarily the best fit for LaunchX. We recognize that entrepreneurs may not always have the best grades! Here are a couple of areas you might have questions on:
- Teacher reference: For this, it is optional for you to send a request for a teacher who can submit a recommendation for you. This is NOT a recommendation letter, but rather a section where your teacher will rate you in a few categories. Please do not have any reference send us a letter of recommendation, as this will not be included in your application.
- GPA: Please do not leave this section blank, even if your school doesn’t provide a GPA for you. Use the calculator linked here if you need to calculate it on your own. Please put your weighted and unweighted GPA, with your weighted scale having your maximum GPA possibility shown.
- Class rank: Again, this is not the most important part of your recommendation! We’ve set this as an optional field, and it is just used to see what your class body is like to determine how you’re challenging yourself. If your school doesn’t provide class rank, you can just leave this section blank.
- Classes with each grade/score: Input your full semester classes that you’ve completed and put in your letter grade. If your school doesn’t use letter grades, you can take a look at our suggested guidelines. Any course that is only half a semester should be inputted as 0.5.
- Transcript upload: We know that we’re asking for you to input your classes and upload a transcript, but we have a reason for doing this. Manually inputting your grades lets us streamline our application process and be able to see you in a fair comparison to your fellow applicants. The transcript upload is just to confirm what you’ve inputted in the prior section, and it by no means needs to be official. Please note that LaunchX only will accept digital submissions and does not accept mail submissions. Additionally, we cannot accept transcripts we’ve received after the application deadline you’ve submitted for. This means you cannot apply early action and email us your transcript later; we need all your information by that early action deadline.
3. Mindset and Teaming Questions
These sections give us a chance to understand a bit more about the person behind the application. The questions are meant to assess your “entrepreneurial baseline,” which basically means that we’re trying to get an idea of what kind of entrepreneur you are and how you’ll fit into the LaunchX community, as well as a potential co-founding team.
One thing to note here is that LaunchX is looking for all types of students since it takes all different entrepreneurial types to come together to make truly innovative change. As you will see in the application, we want to know all about your different skills, mindset, learning style, and more. There is no one type of entrepreneur, so we do not want you to change your answers to what you think will get you admitted. We want to use this section to get to know you better, and it is in your best interest to represent your true self.
Here are a few of the questions that will be asked on the application:
- What is your main driver for wanting to be an entrepreneur?: We use this question as a way to get to know what drives you and what your priorities are. Whatever your reason for being an entrepreneur is, we want to hear it. There’s no wrong answer to this question and knowing your personal motivation will help us determine how you will fit in the learning style provided at LaunchX. If you’re admitted, we can also use the information here to help us partner you with a team that shares similar values to you.
- What is your entrepreneurial type?: Share with us what skill sets you have and what you think you can provide to your classmates at LaunchX. This is an important question in helping us pick your team if you’re admitted, so keep in mind that we’ll have different expectations for you and your application depending on what boxes you check. Additionally, we don’t expect you to check off every box there is, because we are looking for a diverse student body with a diverse set of skills. Everyone brings something different to LaunchX.
- What is your primary reason for applying to our summer program?: As teenagers, we know that there’s anything that you can do during your summer. You can spend it any way you want, so share a little bit of what makes you want to spend your summer learning about entrepreneurship. We want to know what gets you excited so that we can make sure to give you the best opportunity we can.
- Complete this sentence: “I am out of my comfort zone when… “: We ask for a quick sentence or two describing when you are out of your comfort zone. Part of being an entrepreneur is knowing yourself and your limits, plus having the courage and curiosity to challenge yourself. We want to get a sense of your self-awareness around how you push yourself.
- Please share any business ideas you have that you may be interested in pursuing while at LaunchX: This is not a prompt that is set up as a creativity exercise, and you also won’t be limited to pursuing the ideas that you put down in this answer. This is a way for you to show us how you think entrepreneurially, and it can be a good way for you to show us your skills as a creative problem solver, especially if you see that being a key value that you would bring to a team.
There will be a few more questions in this section for you to answer, largely consisting of your teaming and learning preferences. There are additionally some prompts that require less detailed descriptions, such as the multiple-choice questions asking you who you admire and the statements asking you to describe yourself in three short words. LaunchX is not a traditional learning environment, and we want to tailor our summer program experience to our admits. Getting to know you a bit better can help us and help you have the best summer possible. Don’t overthink these questions, and just give us a glimpse of who you are. This genuine response is one of the things we look for in an applicant.
Several more sections of the application follow, specifically your activities, the optional innovator portfolio, the optional photo submission, and your video. These will all allow you to continue to showcase your individuality and accomplishments through a variety of mediums, helping our admissions committee get to know you as best as possible. For our advice on these sections, keep checking back at the LaunchX website for our next blog post!