By Eitan Feiger, Staff Writer
// As humans, it is our nature to create and transform the world around us; to plant the seeds of change. Entrepreneurs promote their unconventional ideas to affect change, even if it means sacrificing their careers.
This September, the Acalanes-funded E-Club is uniting with Launch X in the hope of growing their entrepreneurial business.
Founded by Laurie Stach in 2012 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Launch X program offers teenagers a hands-on entrepreneurial experience.
Acalanes senior and aspiring entrepreneur, Riley Noon, founder of E-Club, and current president of Launch X, was disappointed when he joined a few entrepreneur clubs his freshman and sophomore year that lacked basic entrepreneurial training. With no business classes held at Acalanes, Noon set out to make E-Club, where he and his members sold Acalanes Apparel with roaring success, raising over $3,000 worth of merchandise.
This year, he made the executive decision to partner with Launch X. Now, Acalanes Launch X is one of 500 entrepreneurship program branches for high school students worldwide.
Noon holds monthly scheduled webinars in which Launch X presidents from around the world join together online to learn about leadership skills from a Launch X representative speaker. From there, Noon uses the material at the meetings and shepherds the information to the Acalanes club members. This year, Noon anticipates around 30 members to join the club.
But Noon warns that his club is not targeted for the average high schooler. Prospective club members should feel passionately towards the start-up, as well as express dedication.
“It’s a big time commitment and a big energy commitment,” Noon said. “But it’s something I’m really passionate about and something I’m hoping that the members will be passionate about too.”
Launch X Public Relations Manager, Marco Caipo, is involved in promoting the club’s name in the community, his intention being further student enrollment. Once that is done, his job is to make sure that the members are happy and productive.
Caipo admits their mode of advertising needs improvement.
“We advertise using social media, announcements, loop mail (soon), and word of mouth primarily,” Caipo said. “But we need to up our game.”
The Acalanes Launch X club will compete in the Launch X School of Clubs program against other clubs worldwide once the club is in session. In the competition, members of the club are split into groups and are assigned to create their own startup business based on this year’s theme, Connected Materials.
Once they brainstorm business ideas, invent prototypes, have done market research and financing, the Acalanes Launch X members compete in the regional competitions and present their ideas to a panel of judges. If and when they advance, their next stop is the globalist competition, held on the MIT campus against top competitors in an effort to win college grants.
Noon advises budding entrepreneurs to get over the fear of failing and persevere.
“Your success is built upon yourself,” Noon said. “Every time you fail, you just got to look at that as another learning opportunity, and you’re one step closer to getting that success that you so desperately want.”
To sign up for the club reminders including events and meetings, sign up by texting @eclube to 81010.