Packer Launch X: An Exciting New Club
Packer’s new entrepreneurial club, Packer Launch X, sparks a vast amount of interest among the student body. Launch X is an organization that encourages students to gain skills for innovative thinking and ultimately found real startups. Their programs include online learning, summer programs, and school clubs. The students in Packer Launch X club will work tirelessly throughout the year on a product to eventually pitch to investors for the chance of real funding. This begs the question: Is the Next Steve Jobs among us? This year, Jojo Aboaf (‘18), Taiki Chung (‘18), and Henry Burns (‘18) bring Launch X to Packer.
Through Packer Launch X, students will learn about marketing, finance, business, and how to pitch an idea. If their pitch sparks interest, the Packer Launch X team will present it to venture capitalists and entrepreneurs at MIT. If this is successful, Packer will get funding to create their project.
The club leaders found out about Launch X through applying to the summer program. Although none of them ended up going, they were told they were great applicants and should bring Launch X to Packer– and they did just that.
Additionally, club leader Jojo feels at a lot of other schools, there is more variety in terms of applying math to the real world. Packer Launch X leaders want to create something accessible to the student body that would accomplish this while simultaneously sparking creativity. One of the leaders of the club, Jojo thinks “[Launch X] makes us more versatile people, and it develops a lot of skills we don’t have or are underdeveloped.”
Although creating a groundbreaking new club that differs from many of the current Packer clubs lead to a vast amount of interest, Packer Launch X was not ready for such a large club, and had to decline many of the applicants. Launch X is designed to accommodate teams of 3-5 people to pitch ideas, and this year Packer was not ready to create more than one team. One of the two people accepted, Leo Portnoy (‘20), said, “a lot of people forgot that you had to actually write an application. They wanted to apply but they forgot. So… there was a lot of excitement about the club.” Out of the 13 people that applied, only two were accepted.
“We are not really equipped to help multiple teams with what they are doing. We are going to have one team this year, but hopefully, it grows in the future to have more teams,” said Jojo.
When considering applicants, they wanted to have a diverse team but simultaneously focused on age and what the applicant could offer. The Launch X leaders also had to find someone who exemplified the qualities they were looking for in an underclassman who can lead this club in the future. In the applicant pool they only had one girl whom they did not accept, and in later years, Packer Launch X hopes to spark more interest among female students.
Other than obviously being successful in their business pitch, the club leaders would like Launch X to continue to grow.
“We kind of want this to become a big thing at Packer, like the staple clubs such as Model Congress; they have around 32 members they take to a conference. We hope that we can have 4 or 5 teams, and have this be a big part of Packer,” said Jojo.