Nearly 200 area students across 11 high schools will participate in a world-wide competition to celebrate science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) education and entrepreneurship, powered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Launch program.
Participants will convene on Saturday, September 16th, starting at 9:00am at CoWork Oasis located at 114 Texas Avenue.
“Locally and regionally like-minded organizations “have come together to support this initiative and showcase that we can foster entrepreneurs and compete on a global basis,” said Beto Pallares, co-founder of CoWork Oasis. Cathy Chen, co-founder of FabLab El Paso added, “We are excited to be a host, as well as showcase the capabilities and resources of the FabLab during this prestigious event.”
“The idea was brought to us by Jorge Ramos Putz, a sophomore at Cathedral High School, and when we reached out to MIT, they embraced the idea of having our region participate and form a first-time club. MIT Launch has been amazingly supportive, and we believe this will become an ongoing activity in the region,” said Pallares.
“Launch provides materials and mentorship support to high schools throughout the school year to allow students to develop entrepreneurial skills and mindset by launching startups. This is not a business plan contest. The aim is to create a real startup – to solve a real need in a differentiated way. The focus is on taking action, learning from results, and making changes to improve chances of success,” said Mariah Ramos, Launch Partnerships Manager, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship.
She adds, “Through Launch Clubs, entrepreneurship clubs are being started at high schools around the world, with teams of aspiring high school entrepreneurs becoming entrepreneurs and launching real startups. Classes are taught by Launch staff, business professionals, MIT professors, HBS professors, and successful entrepreneurs,”
This program will serve in “empowering young people to build the future.”
“The City of El Paso values our partnership with CoWork Oasis, Workforce Solutions Borderplex, FabLab El Paso, and the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. We are always looking for ways to support our Entrepreneurial community, and this is an excellent way to begin growing the pipeline,” stated Jessica Herrera, Director, City of El Paso Economic Development Department.
What are team requirements?
All team members must be enrolled in high school. Each team should include 3-5 founding members. There is no cap on how many teams can participate from an affiliated school, however, students cannot participate on multiple teams.
How long does the Launch Club program run?
The program runs from September through mid-March. There is an initial elevator pitch deliverable early in the program to allow matching of mentors, so any applications received past October 1 will be placed on a list of interest for the following year. The final pitch event will take place at MIT in April.
What do finalists receive?
Finalists are invited to a final mentorship and pitch celebration event will take place at MIT in April. Teams attending will network with like-minded peer teams, receive feedback to progress their startups, plus may receive a series of prizes that will support the development of their company.
“Expanding the collaboration and competitive capabilities of our students, particularly in the STEAM areas is fundamental in building a high-skilled labor force,” said Joseph Sapien, STEAM Project Manager, Workforce Solutions Borderplex.