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Summer Program

Our entrepreneurship summer program taps into the potential of ambitious high school students, supporting our young entrepreneurs through the process of launching an actual startup.

 

Entrepreneurship Summer Program for High School Students

LaunchX brings together top aspiring high school entrepreneurs from around the world each summer, supporting you through the process of launching an actual startup.

You join a highly-curated group of promising young entrepreneurs from around the globe, learn from industry experts, and leverage our leading course materials and experienced team.  Working with your peer co-founders, you build real products and solve business challenges in viable ways.

LaunchX isn’t a business plan competition – students start real companies.

About the Online Summer Program

After careful consideration, we made a decision not to move forward with our campus locations this summer.  We will continue with our online program only, and ensure we provide an engaging and rewarding experience in this safe environment.

The LaunchX online experience provides the same quality program and community, including interactive classes, simulations, and speakers. You also receive top quality mentorship, check-ins, progress tracking of your startup team, and support for prototyping.

How The LaunchX Online Program Experience Works

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. You’ll learn from industry experts and work in a group of peer co-founders to build real products and solve business challenges in meaningful and viable ways.

Structure

Startup teams are assigned a lead instructor and team mentors, with whom they get time each week. There is a combination of interactive class discussions, team time, instructor check-ins, and community feedback to ensure personal growth and startup progress.

Startup Progress

Market research and prototyping has its pros and cons when working remotely. You’ll be in the same location during the program as after, and have access to some of the resources that you already know. Roles in your team will be important to consider, and we’ll help with shipping materials you identify for prototyping, providing mentors, and outsourcing where we can.

Community

Startup teams are part of a cohort for classroom sessions, feedback amongst teams, and community building. Plus, students have opportunities to attend community events to get to know their fellow classmates outside of the classroom and startup team environment.

Startup teams are assigned a lead instructor and team mentors, with whom they get time each week. There is a combination of interactive class discussions, team time, instructor check-ins, and community feedback to ensure personal growth and startup progress.

Market research and prototyping has its pros and cons when working remotely. You’ll be in the same location during the program as after, and have access to some of the resources that you already know. Roles in your team will be important to consider, and we’ll help with shipping materials you identify for prototyping, providing mentors, and outsourcing where we can.

Startup teams are part of a cohort for classroom sessions, feedback amongst teams, and community building. Plus, students have opportunities to attend community events to get to know their fellow classmates outside of the classroom and startup team environment.

Summer Program Dates And Fees

Dates and fees for the 2023 summer program will be announced in September

Financial Need-Based Support

Our admissions process is need-blind, meaning if you indicate that you need financial support, this will not impact your chances of acceptance in any way.

Family Location* Family Income/Resources of 2022 Admits Receiving Financial Need Support* 2022 Admitted Student Financial-Need Support** Remaining Program Fees**
United States More than $25k but less than $50k Average of $4,616 Average of $1,364
United States More than $50k but less than $75k Average of $3,480 Average of $2,500
International Less than $25k Average of $5,429 (some covering close to the full program fees) Average of $551 (range starting at $20)
International More than $25k but less than $50k Average of $2,665 Average of $2,180
International More than $50k but less than $75k Average of $3,150 Average of $2,830

*Family location and income/resources based on previous two years of student’s parents / guardians tax information inclusive both of income and financial need system calculation of additional resources.

Families making more than $100k per year are not eligible to apply for financial need support.

**Specific financial-need support package varies based on specifics of family income and costs as calculated by the financial need application system that is provided upon admission to the program. Remaining program fees are determined based on the specific program to which the student is admitted.

Financial need is not available for any travel or supplemental program costs.

Summer Program Admissions

The application for the 2023 LaunchX Summer Program will open by October.

In the meantime, please submit an interest form so that you will be notified of any early news of the application and program information.

2023 Interest Form

Bringing a real product to the market during the short timeframe of the summer is no small task.

Classroom activities, case study discussions and mentor meetings will immerse you in the entrepreneurial process and push you to stretch the limits of what you thought was possible. Each day, you’ll learn from startup founders and industry experts who know first-hand what it takes to build a viable company. During the downtime of your scheduled class sessions, mentor meetings, and instructor check-ins, you’ll work with your cofounder team to put these lessons to work—applying your newfound knowledge and skills to take your company to the next level.

Your LaunchX experience will be challenging. It will be intense. And it will be worth it.  Join us for this groundbreaking and life-changing experience!

Example Previous Speakers

Core classes are taught by the amazing LaunchX staff who are entrepreneurs and educators. Students are also able to sign up for elective speaker sessions to customize their learning experience, hearing from university instructors, industry experts, and real-life entrepreneurs, all while launching their startups.

Check out some of our speakers below.

CHRISTA CHAMBERS-PRICE

Christa Chambers-Price is the CEO of Entre-SLAM, Inc. a brand story and marketing strategy group. Christa is a U.S. Military Intelligence Army veteran and a former FBI Analyst. She helps brands discover, build, and launch big ideas that move the world. With an emphasis on consumer psychology, behavioral science, and storytelling, Entre-SLAM has crafted a methodology that guides innovators on how to discover what makes their brands unique and identify market opportunities, while learning how to blend them together to tell a compelling story.

Our students had this to say:

  • Miss Chambers-Price is quite different from other speakers considering that she has been in the army – this may be common in the US, but definitely NOT where I live in (Hong Kong). We don’t often see (former) army members hosting lectures for high school kids.
    But I enjoyed it quite a lot since she was able to inspire me to think how to discover my purpose at Launch and at my own startup with her unique experiences.
  • Your brand isn’t just company it is building your image so that it is compelling and presentable to others because people invest in others, not the company.
  • Never ever give up on your mission! Your mission should be so compelling that everyone involved with your brand is subconsciously aware of it.

BILL AULET

Bill Aulet is changing the way entrepreneurship is understood, taught and practiced around the world. He is an award-winning educator and author whose current work is built off the foundation of his 25-year successful business career first at IBM and then as a three-time serial entrepreneur. His first book, Disciplined Entrepreneurship, released in August 2013, has been translated into 18 languages and has been the content for three online edX courses which have been taken by hundreds of thousands of people in 199 different countries. He has been a featured speaker on shows such as CNBC’s Squawk Box, BBC News, Bloomberg News as well as at events and conferences around the world. He has degrees from Harvard and MIT and is a board member of MITEK Systems (NASDAQ: MITK) and XL Hybrids Inc. (Private) as well as a visiting professor at University of Strathclyde (Scotland). On July 1, 2017, Bill was named a Professor of the Practice at MIT Sloan.

Our student had this to say about their session with Bill:

  • Definitely one of the highlights of my LaunchX experience! I loved this session. I learned about different myths that really challenged my mindset and how I view entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs.
  • The content is pretty interesting and the slides are really cool, which totally drew my attention to the course
  • Entrepreneurship is invention combined with commercialization, and both are very important in ensuring a successful startup! In a team, you should have people specializing in both aspects.
  • Being a successful entrepreneur takes skill, passion and drive. Passion for an idea isn’t enough – be passionate about your vision, your values.

Laís de Oliveira

Laís de Oliveira is an entrepreneur with 12 years of experience in community building. Laís de Oliveira went from leading 2000 volunteers across 3 countries, to training and developing community leadership across 3 continents (Latam, Africa, APAC) on behalf of Startup Grind. After selling her first business, she joined Startup Genome to facilitate collaborative networks and knowledge sharing between governments across 70+ startup ecosystems.

Our student had this to say about their session with Laís de Oliveira:

  • This is definitely the most helpful lesson I had so far here at LaunchX and I am not exaggerating. This course will help my company so much and I can’t wait to get started on community building.
  • This was such a wonderful session, with a great presentation and an awesome speaker!
  • I thought this was amazing. I loved Laís’s passion and this is something that my team will definitely be implementing.

Christa Chambers-Price is the CEO of Entre-SLAM, Inc. a brand story and marketing strategy group. Christa is a U.S. Military Intelligence Army veteran and a former FBI Analyst. She helps brands discover, build, and launch big ideas that move the world. With an emphasis on consumer psychology, behavioral science, and storytelling, Entre-SLAM has crafted a methodology that guides innovators on how to discover what makes their brands unique and identify market opportunities, while learning how to blend them together to tell a compelling story.

Our students had this to say:

  • Miss Chambers-Price is quite different from other speakers considering that she has been in the army – this may be common in the US, but definitely NOT where I live in (Hong Kong). We don’t often see (former) army members hosting lectures for high school kids.
    But I enjoyed it quite a lot since she was able to inspire me to think how to discover my purpose at Launch and at my own startup with her unique experiences.
  • Your brand isn’t just company it is building your image so that it is compelling and presentable to others because people invest in others, not the company.
  • Never ever give up on your mission! Your mission should be so compelling that everyone involved with your brand is subconsciously aware of it.

Bill Aulet is changing the way entrepreneurship is understood, taught and practiced around the world. He is an award-winning educator and author whose current work is built off the foundation of his 25-year successful business career first at IBM and then as a three-time serial entrepreneur. His first book, Disciplined Entrepreneurship, released in August 2013, has been translated into 18 languages and has been the content for three online edX courses which have been taken by hundreds of thousands of people in 199 different countries. He has been a featured speaker on shows such as CNBC’s Squawk Box, BBC News, Bloomberg News as well as at events and conferences around the world. He has degrees from Harvard and MIT and is a board member of MITEK Systems (NASDAQ: MITK) and XL Hybrids Inc. (Private) as well as a visiting professor at University of Strathclyde (Scotland). On July 1, 2017, Bill was named a Professor of the Practice at MIT Sloan.

Our student had this to say about their session with Bill:

  • Definitely one of the highlights of my LaunchX experience! I loved this session. I learned about different myths that really challenged my mindset and how I view entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs.
  • The content is pretty interesting and the slides are really cool, which totally drew my attention to the course
  • Entrepreneurship is invention combined with commercialization, and both are very important in ensuring a successful startup! In a team, you should have people specializing in both aspects.
  • Being a successful entrepreneur takes skill, passion and drive. Passion for an idea isn’t enough – be passionate about your vision, your values.

Laís de Oliveira is an entrepreneur with 12 years of experience in community building. Laís de Oliveira went from leading 2000 volunteers across 3 countries, to training and developing community leadership across 3 continents (Latam, Africa, APAC) on behalf of Startup Grind. After selling her first business, she joined Startup Genome to facilitate collaborative networks and knowledge sharing between governments across 70+ startup ecosystems.

Our student had this to say about their session with Laís de Oliveira:

  • This is definitely the most helpful lesson I had so far here at LaunchX and I am not exaggerating. This course will help my company so much and I can’t wait to get started on community building.
  • This was such a wonderful session, with a great presentation and an awesome speaker!
  • I thought this was amazing. I loved Laís’s passion and this is something that my team will definitely be implementing.

Jheal Shah

Jheal has done her BSc (Hons) in Biology from University of Warwick, UK; AAS in Fashion Marketing from Parsons the New School for Design, New York, USA; International Business from Harvard Business School (summer course), Boston, USA and Executive Education from IIM, Ahmedabad, India.
She has also had the opportunity of working with Tommy Hilfiger, Vera Wang, Armani Exchange, Bank of America and Times of India and therefore brings forth tremendous work experience from several sectors, prior to successfully launching The Stylease. She currently also runs a digital marketing and branding agency by the name of Raise the Bar and is working on a mental health start up called Ikaria

Students had this to say about Jheal’s session:

  • I really enjoyed the presentation. I found it to be very informative and the guest speaker was so entertaining and interactive and super nice so I really enjoyed the session and would not change it at all, it’s perfect! Thank you!
  • Absolutely loved Jheal’s presentation. She is a really engaging speaker!
  • I really enjoyed this session, I thought that it would be greatly beneficial to my team, who have trouble selecting specific target customers and industries with our product. The speaker was engaging and informative.

Jim Schuchart

Jim Schuchart is a business unit leader. Jim love’s helping businesses, teams, and individuals grow faster than they were before. Focused on working with amazing people and building top-performing teams. Experience driving growth from single-digit employee at a startup to Fortune 100. Former consultant with background in go-to-market and pricing strategy. 10+ years sales leadership experience in tech / software across markets. Occasional investor and advisor, rare blogger. Currently helping the next generation of sales leaders and entrepreneurs as Adjunct Faculty member of MIT Sloan teaching Entrepreneurial Sales in the MBA program.

Student comments:

  • I thought this session was perfect as it was a wonderful and informative session about selling skills and I absolutely loved the role play situations that we had at the end of class as it nicely utilized the time to show us real-time what selling skills would look like.
  • I enjoyed this session very much. I feel like it was definitely a topic that is relevant to me, because I am rather inexperienced in sales compared to other areas of business. The things that were talked about in the presentation would definitely help the running and promotion of my start-up.

MICHAEL POISEL

Mr. Poisel is responsible for managing PCI Ventures, including transitioning technologies into start-up companies, assisting the principal investigators with funding strategies including grant applications, as well as mentoring the developing companies.

Prior to UPenn, Michael made investments in enterprise software and business services for NewSpring Capital, Apax Partners and GE Capital spanning more than ten years in private equity. He began his career in manufacturing operations for General Electric/Lockheed Martin and participated in the successful completion of several commercial and government satellite programs.

  • Start building relationship before you ask for money. “If you ask for advice, they’ll give you money. If you ask for money, they’ll give you advice.”
  • I thought the session was very informative and interactive, with important steps for our startups. The most valuable thing I learned in this session was the long process, with specific anecdotes, from an idea, to company formation, team recruitment, business development, capital acquisition, to business operations.

Jheal has done her BSc (Hons) in Biology from University of Warwick, UK; AAS in Fashion Marketing from Parsons the New School for Design, New York, USA; International Business from Harvard Business School (summer course), Boston, USA and Executive Education from IIM, Ahmedabad, India.
She has also had the opportunity of working with Tommy Hilfiger, Vera Wang, Armani Exchange, Bank of America and Times of India and therefore brings forth tremendous work experience from several sectors, prior to successfully launching The Stylease. She currently also runs a digital marketing and branding agency by the name of Raise the Bar and is working on a mental health start up called Ikaria

Students had this to say about Jheal’s session:

  • I really enjoyed the presentation. I found it to be very informative and the guest speaker was so entertaining and interactive and super nice so I really enjoyed the session and would not change it at all, it’s perfect! Thank you!
  • Absolutely loved Jheal’s presentation. She is a really engaging speaker!
  • I really enjoyed this session, I thought that it would be greatly beneficial to my team, who have trouble selecting specific target customers and industries with our product. The speaker was engaging and informative.

Jim Schuchart is a business unit leader. Jim love’s helping businesses, teams, and individuals grow faster than they were before. Focused on working with amazing people and building top-performing teams. Experience driving growth from single-digit employee at a startup to Fortune 100. Former consultant with background in go-to-market and pricing strategy. 10+ years sales leadership experience in tech / software across markets. Occasional investor and advisor, rare blogger. Currently helping the next generation of sales leaders and entrepreneurs as Adjunct Faculty member of MIT Sloan teaching Entrepreneurial Sales in the MBA program.

Student comments:

  • I thought this session was perfect as it was a wonderful and informative session about selling skills and I absolutely loved the role play situations that we had at the end of class as it nicely utilized the time to show us real-time what selling skills would look like.
  • I enjoyed this session very much. I feel like it was definitely a topic that is relevant to me, because I am rather inexperienced in sales compared to other areas of business. The things that were talked about in the presentation would definitely help the running and promotion of my start-up.

Mr. Poisel is responsible for managing PCI Ventures, including transitioning technologies into start-up companies, assisting the principal investigators with funding strategies including grant applications, as well as mentoring the developing companies.

Prior to UPenn, Michael made investments in enterprise software and business services for NewSpring Capital, Apax Partners and GE Capital spanning more than ten years in private equity. He began his career in manufacturing operations for General Electric/Lockheed Martin and participated in the successful completion of several commercial and government satellite programs.

  • Start building relationship before you ask for money. “If you ask for advice, they’ll give you money. If you ask for money, they’ll give you advice.”
  • I thought the session was very informative and interactive, with important steps for our startups. The most valuable thing I learned in this session was the long process, with specific anecdotes, from an idea, to company formation, team recruitment, business development, capital acquisition, to business operations.

GERRY ROSTON

Gerry recently served as an Executive-in-Residence (EIR) for a medical device program jointly run by Spectrum Health Innovation and others. Recently, he was the CEO of Civionics, a University of Michigan Industrial Internet-of-Things (IIoT) startup that was acquired; and an EIR at TechTown Detroit, where he helped entrepreneurs transition their ideas into sustainable businesses. Gerry earned his PhD from Carnegie Mellon, where he worked on ground-breaking mobile robotics projects; and recently passed the USPTO patent bar exam.

Students had this to say about the session:

  • I learned about different ways to start prototyping a design. I learned about different types of models, how to develop them, and significance of MVP. Moreover, I learned about how to actually start prototyping because there are different types and ways to prototype.
  • The most valuable thing I learned in this session was how were the steps needed to be taken to build a minimum viable product, with all sorts of modeling tools that might help us do that, from physical objects to digital software.
  • Working with a tech startup, this session provided valuable advice when it came to how to work through iterations and operations of a tech prototype.
  • I thought the session had a lot of informative content and I enjoyed the class exercise in designing an app idea with example card screens.

PHILIP GREENWALD

Philip Greenwald is the associate director of technology at Harvard Innovation Labs. Before founding the Lab’s Technology Development department, he lead technology programming and advised student and alumni entrepreneurs on software development and building new technologies.

In addition to teaching, Phil has worked with aspiring CEOs and young professionals from Boston to Korea to bring minimum viable products (MVPs) to realization, secure business funding, and get accepted into accelerators such as Y Combinator and MassChallenge. He has officially advised approximately 60 startups that have in aggregate raised over $100 Million. Prior to teaching, Phil was the chief software architect on several large-scale web and mobile applications and the Founder of the Code Undercover coding school. Phil continues to take on a small number of clients for whom he oversees large-scale and tough tech development tasks, primarily in the fields of AI, AR/VR, and mobile app development.

Students had this to say about Philip’s session:

  • He’s seriously the best teacher I’ve ever had in my entire life I never imagined that a virtual class would be the best thing I’ve experienced so far I’m so thankful for having this opportunity and for sure I’ve learned far more than just coding and nerdy stuff. He was so patient with 35 students, each had their own problems and difficulties but he was committed and he helped every single one, he put in his time and patience and just went through it all. Instead of 8 hours per day we worked for 12 and more per day which is something not much people would sacrifice for others, he inspired me to change for the better. I’m so grateful, I don’t think I made him know how much I enjoyed this weekend, but he deserves tons of credit for it and I hope one day I could meet him which is pretty close to impossible, but I really hope thank you for giving me this opportunity.
  • BEST CLASS I HAVE EVER TAKEN! I learned so much about Ruby on Rails, the different syntax, and a lot about the back end of programming!
  • Phil is an incredible instructor! What a treat to learn from him this weekend. I gained lots of valuable insight into how coding works because I came into this workshop with little experience with coding.
  • This was an amazing experience. Mr. Greenwald as a fantastic teacher. He was patient with all questions and happily shared his knowledge about deeper concepts that weren’t part of the course. He spent hours and hours making sure that everyone was on the same page and that everyone’s code would work. I learned a ton from this session and every second was worth it!

Diane Darling

Before starting her own business as a speaker, consultant, and career coach, Diane’s career spanned the globe. She was a tour leader on all seven continents and in over 60 countries, a non-profit fund-raiser, and a business guru helping top companies maximize their talent, time, and money.

Drawing from these experiences, Diane’s talks and one-on-one coaching services teach people how to find common ground with others in order to form beneficial relationships for mutual benefit.

As an internationally published author, educator, and consultant, every year Diane teaches thousands how to find their voice and use it to advance their careers and find success in their lives. McGraw-Hill published her books in 9 languages – which is amazing since she only speaks English.

Student comments:

  • I’ve watched quite a number of pitches before Launch, but I didn’t think closely to how it is crafted in a systematic but unique way. I learned about great ways to put oneself out there, and effectively deliver the core message behind one’s startup. The lessons taught in this elective also will help me when pitching during LaunchX, and after.
  • It was especially helpful as we are crafting our pitches now and I learned a lot about the importance of storytelling which we could include in our pitch.

Gerry recently served as an Executive-in-Residence (EIR) for a medical device program jointly run by Spectrum Health Innovation and others. Recently, he was the CEO of Civionics, a University of Michigan Industrial Internet-of-Things (IIoT) startup that was acquired; and an EIR at TechTown Detroit, where he helped entrepreneurs transition their ideas into sustainable businesses. Gerry earned his PhD from Carnegie Mellon, where he worked on ground-breaking mobile robotics projects; and recently passed the USPTO patent bar exam.

Students had this to say about the session:

  • I learned about different ways to start prototyping a design. I learned about different types of models, how to develop them, and significance of MVP. Moreover, I learned about how to actually start prototyping because there are different types and ways to prototype.
  • The most valuable thing I learned in this session was how were the steps needed to be taken to build a minimum viable product, with all sorts of modeling tools that might help us do that, from physical objects to digital software.
  • Working with a tech startup, this session provided valuable advice when it came to how to work through iterations and operations of a tech prototype.
  • I thought the session had a lot of informative content and I enjoyed the class exercise in designing an app idea with example card screens.

Philip Greenwald is the associate director of technology at Harvard Innovation Labs. Before founding the Lab’s Technology Development department, he lead technology programming and advised student and alumni entrepreneurs on software development and building new technologies.

In addition to teaching, Phil has worked with aspiring CEOs and young professionals from Boston to Korea to bring minimum viable products (MVPs) to realization, secure business funding, and get accepted into accelerators such as Y Combinator and MassChallenge. He has officially advised approximately 60 startups that have in aggregate raised over $100 Million. Prior to teaching, Phil was the chief software architect on several large-scale web and mobile applications and the Founder of the Code Undercover coding school. Phil continues to take on a small number of clients for whom he oversees large-scale and tough tech development tasks, primarily in the fields of AI, AR/VR, and mobile app development.

Students had this to say about Philip’s session:

  • He’s seriously the best teacher I’ve ever had in my entire life I never imagined that a virtual class would be the best thing I’ve experienced so far I’m so thankful for having this opportunity and for sure I’ve learned far more than just coding and nerdy stuff. He was so patient with 35 students, each had their own problems and difficulties but he was committed and he helped every single one, he put in his time and patience and just went through it all. Instead of 8 hours per day we worked for 12 and more per day which is something not much people would sacrifice for others, he inspired me to change for the better. I’m so grateful, I don’t think I made him know how much I enjoyed this weekend, but he deserves tons of credit for it and I hope one day I could meet him which is pretty close to impossible, but I really hope thank you for giving me this opportunity.
  • BEST CLASS I HAVE EVER TAKEN! I learned so much about Ruby on Rails, the different syntax, and a lot about the back end of programming!
  • Phil is an incredible instructor! What a treat to learn from him this weekend. I gained lots of valuable insight into how coding works because I came into this workshop with little experience with coding.
  • This was an amazing experience. Mr. Greenwald as a fantastic teacher. He was patient with all questions and happily shared his knowledge about deeper concepts that weren’t part of the course. He spent hours and hours making sure that everyone was on the same page and that everyone’s code would work. I learned a ton from this session and every second was worth it!

Before starting her own business as a speaker, consultant, and career coach, Diane’s career spanned the globe. She was a tour leader on all seven continents and in over 60 countries, a non-profit fund-raiser, and a business guru helping top companies maximize their talent, time, and money.

Drawing from these experiences, Diane’s talks and one-on-one coaching services teach people how to find common ground with others in order to form beneficial relationships for mutual benefit.

As an internationally published author, educator, and consultant, every year Diane teaches thousands how to find their voice and use it to advance their careers and find success in their lives. McGraw-Hill published her books in 9 languages – which is amazing since she only speaks English.

Student comments:

  • I’ve watched quite a number of pitches before Launch, but I didn’t think closely to how it is crafted in a systematic but unique way. I learned about great ways to put oneself out there, and effectively deliver the core message behind one’s startup. The lessons taught in this elective also will help me when pitching during LaunchX, and after.
  • It was especially helpful as we are crafting our pitches now and I learned a lot about the importance of storytelling which we could include in our pitch.

Our High School Entrepreneurs

One of the things that makes LaunchX amazing is the community of young entrepreneurs coming together during this entrepreneurship summer program to build cool things and make an impact. Some of these young entrepreneurs have shared insights and their startup stories here.