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A Guide to LaunchX: Is This the Right Summer Program for You?

5 minute read

Entrepreneurship in high school may seem like an ambitious addition to current students' lives. But with the right academic programs, young entrepreneurs can learn more about their passions and watch their business ideas come to life. 

LaunchX is a transformative journey for high school students with entrepreneurial ambitions. Geared towards cultivating real-world success through entrepreneurship, LaunchX allows students globally to form teams to tackle real business challenges. This immersive entrepreneurial program offered both online and on-site, is designed to instill the skills and mindset needed to launch and run successful companies.

Do your own research with Polygence this summer!

Polygence pairs you with an expert mentor in your area of passion. Together, you work to create a high quality research project that is uniquely your own.

Online Summer Innovation Program 

The Online Summer Innovation Program propels students into the heart of entrepreneurship by helping them solve real business problems. Collaborating with peers worldwide, participants use their critical thinking skills, develop and deploy solutions, gaining hands-on experience that goes beyond theoretical learning. It's not about waiting for the future; it's about creating it through actionable innovation.

Joining LaunchX means joining a global community of like-minded high schoolers founded on entrepreneurial spirit. The unique teaming formula pairs you with other Launchies, ensuring diverse skill sets, from leadership to market research, come together for team success. This collaborative environment fosters connections and friendships that extend beyond the program.

Tuition Costs and Financial Awards

LaunchX offers various programs with corresponding tuition costs:

  • Online Innovation Summer Program: $4,750

  • Online Entrepreneurship Summer Program: $6,500

  • Ann Arbor Entrepreneurship Summer Program: $9,970

  • Bay Area Entrepreneurship Summer Program: $9,970

International participants have an additional $150 fee. Tuition covers on-site entrepreneurship program expenses, including airport shuttle, housing, and meals. However, it does not include travel costs to and from the program. LaunchX also provides financial awards to eligible candidates, including an equitable algorithm for international students. Application fee waivers and additional financial aid options ensure that financial constraints don't hinder anyone's LaunchX experience.

(Note: the prices listed are as of the writing of this article in November 2023. This is subject to change, so please consult the LaunchX cost-aid website for the most up-to-date information.)

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1. Showcasing Your Activities

LaunchX values passion and unique perspectives. The activities section allows you to highlight up to five activities, emphasizing quality over quantity. Whether it's traditional business knowledge, multimedia experience, or any unique skill set, focus on what's meaningful to you. Be concise in your descriptions, showcasing dedication, and persistence.

2. The Video Pitch

Your 30 to 60-second video pitch is pivotal. Prompts "What will be your impact?" and "Why are you the one to do it?" give you the opportunity to put your entrepreneurship skills to the test. This is your chance to showcase self-awareness, personability, and passion. 

3. Entrepreneurial Pledge

The final step in your application journey involves an entrepreneurial pledge, underscoring expectations for continued collaboration, growth, and perseverance.

4. Innovator Portfolio, Photo Submission, and Inviting a Recommender

While this category is listed as optional, we highly recommend that you take advantage of it. The innovator portfolio and photo submission allow you creative expression beyond the typical application elements, giving a glimpse into your personality or character. The recommender can vouch for you, essentially backing up your awesome personality and the claims that you make in your portfolio. Whether you enlist a successful entrepreneur or a beloved teacher, you can set yourself apart by having a mentor attest to your entrepreneurial spirit. These sections provide a holistic view beyond your resume.

Is LaunchX Right for You?

LaunchX is ideal for students seeking hands-on entrepreneurial experience and mentorship to make these ideas come to life. This program stands out for its execution-based approach, where students don't just create business plans but actual businesses. LaunchX provides a global platform for high school students, offering top-notch facilities, experienced mentors, and a community of young entrepreneurs. This program focuses on guiding students through the entrepreneurial process, utilizing innovative course materials, sessions from top speakers, and feedback from successful mentors. 

LaunchX alumni have achieved notable success, including recognition in the form of 30 Under 30, Thiel Fellowships, and multi-million dollar investments in their startups. Graduates have launched startups, secured funding, and made notable contributions to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Beyond the program, LaunchX commits to ongoing support, fostering a community that extends beyond the summer.

So, if you're passionate, dedicated, and ready to create an impact, LaunchX might be your gateway to turning entrepreneurial dreams into reality. As you embark on this application journey, remember that LaunchX isn't just a program; it's a community where your entrepreneurial journey begins! 

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What if You Don’t Have a Business Idea?

Not everyone starts with a business idea, and that's perfectly okay. For students who are more inclined towards research and aiming for a stellar university experience, Polygence is an excellent alternative. Polygence provides a platform for students to engage in impactful research projects, allowing them to explore their academic interests deeply. It's a unique opportunity to work with top-notch mentors, delve into meaningful research, and make a genuine impact. So, if the entrepreneurial path isn't your immediate calling, Polygence offers a compelling avenue to hone your research skills, contribute to meaningful projects, and pave the way for a successful academic journey.

If you’re looking for another place to start, check out our full list of economics summer programs for high school students or the top business programs for high school students!