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Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Spirit with Laurie Stach of LaunchX

In our modern world, acquiring a knowledge base can be done in many ways, which is why Laurie Stach believes that education should be more about the entrepreneurial mindset, including skills like grit, collaboration and adaptation.

In this episode of the building to scale podcast, Stach talks about finding purpose in her work, educating the next generation of entrepreneurs, and lessons she’s learned while running her own company. As a mechanical engineer, it was natural to want a “right answer”, but after graduating from MIT, she quickly realized that in real life there is no real right answer, a lesson she works to instill in her students.

Her company, LaunchX, is an entrepreneurial summer program that taps the potential of ambitious high school students and supports them in launching an actual startup. Students of the program have gone on to generate significant revenue, do fundraising, sell their companies, launch other companies and even appear on Shark Tank.

Stach holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, and has worked at MIT’s entrepreneurship center building their maker space and creating their Intro to Making class. She created a top EdX course in entrepreneurship and has an entrepreneurship workbook on Amazon.

The LaunchX program was previously held at top universities such as MIT, UPenn, UMich, and Northwestern University, bringing students from around the world to start their companies each summer, while during the pandemic is being run online with continued success.

Key Takeaway: As in life, in business, there are often no clear right or wrong answers. The entrepreneurs of tomorrow need to learn to gather and measure the data to guide them while realizing that over the course of time, they will face many ups and downs. Skills like perseverance, collaboration and adaptation are imperative.

Lessons Learned:

Know when to DIY, when to use tools, and when to outsource – it comes down to a calculation of the value of your time.

Have great employee onboarding and feedback processes – ensure you understand the professional goals of your employees, and do check-ins with employees at 1 month after their start, plus quarterly thereafter (direct reports).

Know the metrics that matter and what ‘enough’ is – there are always a million things to get done in a company and you’ll always get pulled in a million directions.

For More Information:

  • LaunchX Entrepreneurship Program: https://launchx.com/
  • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/launchxed/
  • Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/launchx
  • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lauriestach/