Launch X plans to create multiple student-run small companies to enroll in spring competitions

October 10, 2018 — by Selena Liu

When junior Brian Zhu joined the original Launch X club as a freshman, he enjoyed forming company models and expanding his knowledge about business and entrepreneurship. However, little did Zhu know that he would be given the opportunity to re-found the club two years later.

The Launch X club is a chapter of the nation-wide Launch X high school entrepreneurship program, which aims to have members work in groups to create their own company models and participate in annual spring competitions.

Zhu, now club president, recreated the club after it was discontinued last school year after many of its previous officers graduated in 2017.

Zhu, who wants to major in business in college, said he wanted to supplement his own interests in business by giving members a first-hand experience in forming their own businesses with collaboration from volunteer entrepreneur mentors who have had experience in the business industry or have formed their own companies.

“While many other clubs can tell you how to start a business, whether through a textbook or other means, Launch X provides an actual mentor, which can help you through the process of actually starting a company,” Zhu said.

After a year, teams will advertise their company model and a year-long development to a panel of certified investors in the spring Launch X competition.

Teams who do especially well in the spring competition will be chosen for a national Launch X competition in June at MIT. There they will have the opportunity to win up to $10,000 in investments to put their company model into action.

During Launch X meetings every Thursday in room 406, Zhu plans to give members time to work on their companies and teach lessons on how to start and maintain them. However, Zhu emphasized that members will receive the most benefit out of participating in Launch X by working on their company outside of club meetings.

“Most of the work will be done outside of the full group meetings, within the small ‘companies’ in order to build the companies and meet with mentors,” Zhu said. “Consequently, members will learn every skill they need in the real world. They will learn how to generate profits, outreach to other people, build a company and become better public speakers.”

Launch X’s treasurer, junior Jingyu Kang, anticipates Launch X groups showcasing a variety of company models in the spring.

“We expect to create businesses in diverse areas like computer science, gaming or anything that can possibly become a business,” Kang said.

Likewise, Zhu looks forward to an exciting first year of Launch X, especially after seeing the large number of people who signed up to be new members at Club Fair on Sept. 26. So far, Launch X has already had two meetings, where they introduced members to the club and competition.

Largely because it was held on Thursday, Sept. 27, the second day of Club Fair, turnout for the first meeting was unsatisfactory, Zhu said. However, Zhu and Kang were happy that they were able to properly relay information to the 32 members who showed up during the second meeting, but noted that even more people signed up during Club Fair.

Zhu even hopes that the increased demonstration of interest in Launch X will help the high school recognize many students’ interests in business and entrepreneurship, resulting in the opening of more classes specialized toward students with these interests.

“I think Launch X will help SHS become more accomodating of business classes,” Zhu said. “I hope that this club allows the school to provide more support and help its prospective business students.”

 

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