LaunchX: the launching pad to success for Harshita Arora and Michael Matias
LaunchX empowers young people to build a better future, for themselves and for the world. Their programs teach them to think like entrepreneurs?, and to become entrepreneurs.
"Our goal is to cultivate the next generation of entrepreneurs by giving high school students both robust entrepreneurship training and a real opportunity to try their hands at starting a business," says Laurie Stach, Founder and President of LaunchX.
The LaunchX philosophy is to teach you how to build your own start-up - and benefit society - immediately. Their programs have been a successful launching pad for many young entrepreneurs, and their students have created hundreds of successful startups.
Harshita Arora, a 2017 LaunchX alumna, created a Crypto Price Tracker app, and is in the process of developing another tech startup. Arora's app - a portfolio management and price tracking application for cryptocurrencies - was ranked #2 in the finance category on the App Store before it was acquired by Redwood City Ventures.
She is also the co-founder of AtoB, a technology company building payments infrastructure for the transportation industry. Her group has raised more than $100 million in venture capital from investors such as General Catalyst, Bloomberg Beta, Y Combinator, Climate Capital and others.
Harshita says her LaunchX experience was pivotal to her success.
"The program was excellent. I learnt a lot, met lots of smart people, and gained more insights into the startup world. And the important highlight: I published a mobile app called 'Universeaty' with my team."
Universeaty is a mobile app which helps college students plan their group meals, letting users create posts with a specified title, time and location, or to join other available meals in a specific area.
"The LaunchX community is pretty supportive of your future start-ups as well, [such as] getting my upcoming app more exposure pre-launch. The LaunchX Alumni network can benefit you too," says Arora.
Michael Matias is another former LaunchX student making a big splash.
Matias has been a Forbes '30 Under 30' and Forbes '18 Under 18' honoree, a TEDx speaker, and a Birthright Excel alumnus. He is currently an investor at J-Ventures and is the author of Age is Only an Int: Lessons I Learned as a Young Entrepreneur.
Matias is also the founder of Hacking Generation Y, a series of prestigious hackathons that introduced entrepreneurial engagement to thousands of high school students in multiple countries and founder of the 20 Minute Leaders podcast.
"LaunchX was one of the most monumental experiences I have had as a young entrepreneur," says Matias. "It would be a disservice if I tried to articulate everything I learnt and experienced in the summer program; however, it clearly paved the way for me to embark on an extremely curious and entrepreneurial journey."
Matias says the startup he founded at LaunchX, AnyMeal, was one of his greatest experiences, and he often reflects on it as he invests in early-stage companies.
Arora and Matias are just two of the success stories from the LaunchX entrepreneurship program, which has assisted thousands of teenagers from around the world to start and grow their businesses.
Stach says LaunchX will continue to empower students to 'prototype' their own careers, and make the changes they want to see in the world.
"Starting a company -- experiencing the time demands, changing market pressures, team dynamics and inevitable difficulties -- is the single best thing young people can do to set themselves up for future success," she says.
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