How did you get to know about LaunchX?
LaunchX is a five-week summer programme, which brings together inspiring high school entrepreneurs from all around the world. I found out about it in December of last year from a friend, and after doing some research on it, it sounded like a programme I was keen on participating in.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What sparked your interest in entrepreneurship?
I’m a student in year 11 in Dubai College. My interest in entrepreneurship has grown due to many factors. Participating in a 12-week Early MBA course a few years ago was the first time I recognised that entrepreneurship is something I would be inclined towards delving into in the future. This interest grew further as I studied economics as one of my core GCSE subjects. It drastically catalysed when I began helping my mother and aunt with their own start-up ‘Switch-ED’ in the summer of 2020. A few minutes spent just setting up their Instagram account grew into a day-to-day involvement with all aspects ranging from marketing to creative design to client communications.
What got you interested in LaunchX? Were you involved in any such camps prior to this one?
Working with Switch-ED truly allowed me to experience not only the glamorous highs but also the reality of what entrepreneurship entailed. I have always been someone who enjoys problem solving, and coupling this with my enjoyment of interacting with others meant that entrepreneurship is something that seemed attractive to me. From all the experiences I have had over the past year, I feel the opportunities a camp like LaunchX could provide are exponential. The ability to work with like-minded people with similar interests and passions sounded amazing, and the depth of learning that LaunchX could offer seemed to have magnitudes of value to me.
What according to you are the most pressing problems worrying mankind today and how do you plan to find a solution to them?
While I would not argue it to be the most pressing problem worrying mankind, I strongly feel that the disparity in education provision globally is an issue facing many, and is an issue that needs to be addressed. The supply of education does not meet the demand for accessible and affordable educators who can facilitate the growth of children on their educational journey.
What are the topics/projects you are working on for LaunchX? Share some details about them.
One of the main reasons I was so excited about joining LaunchX is that there are no prerequisites about what you intend on working on. You have the ability to work in a team throughout the process of developing a start-up, beginning from the development of the idea. However, I am keen on working on a start-up in an area related to education as it is a particular passion of mine.
How did you go about preparing your project for being chosen for this camp?
For me, there was little preparation needed for the application as I had been working on the foundation of this project for around seven months. It was more about writing summaries and showcasing the elements of the project I wanted to push forward to the LaunchX team.
What tips can you offer other students who may also want to participate in this and such camps?
One thing I learnt during my application process was that rather than talking about a wide variety of courses and hobbies you do, it is more beneficial to hone in on a particular area which you can then really relate to what the programme is looking for. For example, I chose to hone in on my karate and teaching at my dojo, and explored how that indirectly grew my skills as an entrepreneur.
What do you plan to do academically?
I aspire to pursue Medicine. I have just selected my A-Level subjects; Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Psychology. I am doing some research work and exploring different areas of medicine through job-shadowing.
What help did mentors at Hale offer you?
I worked extensively with my mentor Arienne who guided me with the interview process and helped me to research into inspiring entrepreneurs and notable previous start-ups. She helped me to refine my application, and make it as concise and cohesive as possible!
What is LaunchX?
Launch X is a five-week entrepreneurship programme for high school students where MIT and Harvard Business School alumni, business professionals, MIT professors and successful entrepreneurs will teach students the entrepreneurial skill set and mindset required to start real companies.
More than an accelerator or an incubator, it does not just tell students how to start a company, but offers insights into identifying gaps in the market and creating a real-life business.
During the course of the four-week programme, students will learn from start-up founders and industry experts what it takes to build a viable company.