Preparing their pitch



Launch X club helps students pursue their interests in entrepreneurships.

Among the many business-focused clubs on campus, LaunchX is alone in guiding students to create their own businesses and present ideas for feedback.

The club is a branch of the LaunchX organization, which offers summer programs at various universities, such as MIT and University of Pennsylvania. LaunchX, which was founded in 2012, has the motto “To empower young people to build the future.”

The Diamond Bar High School club gives pointers on creating a business and simulates what being an entrepreneur in the real world is like. Members are also presented with real-life business challenges.

“[Students] are guided through the different aspects of starting a company and develop them over the school year. Towards the end, they pitch their progress and idea to a panel of entrepreneurs and then receive feedback on how to further develop as a business,” said junior Assistant Human Resources Michael Cheng via Facebook.

During Regional Demo Day in March, members present startups that they have been working on for the judges. Teams attending Demo Day can also hear guest speakers, network with other LaunchX club members and possibly be selected by the judges to participate in Global Demo Day, held in April at MIT, according to the LaunchX website.

“My primary goal for LaunchX is for members to build on his or her interest in entrepreneurship. MIT LaunchX provides amazing training which will enable members to grow and create transferable skills they can use in the future,” said Sabrina Ruiz-Emmons, the advisor of the club.

However, as it has only been a year since it was started, Diamond Bar High School LaunchX has yet to garner the school’s interest.

“Last year, [it was hard to create businesses] because it was our first year and it was a trial period,” senior club President Brian Sun said. “This year, we’re going to try to get those real businesses started and we’re trying to get solid groups who work well together to pursue that goal.”

In addition to guidance, LaunchX club members have access to an online curriculum and lessons from the main LaunchX organization at MIT, which further educates club members about businesses. According to junior vice president Sherissa Cheng, the president and vice president also go through online sessions and relay information back to the members.

According to Sun, one goal of the club is to create a stable and lasting organization at DBHS and become more involved with the LaunchX organization.

“We’re still trying to establish a foothold in the LaunchX community and the Diamond Bar community…and to set the stage for future years,” Sun said. “We’re trying to set a solid foundation that has a solid plan of action for every month [and] every meeting that future years could follow.”

Beach MATE Regionals, second in the 2017 MATE California Regionals and qualified to compete in the 2017 MATE Internationals. This year, they are aiming to go to state.   

“We want to try to go to state this time because we went to state last time, but we didn’t win because we had some programming difficulties last minute. So now we’re just trying to stabilize our design and work,” Hydromechs’ CFO Chang said.

Because the next competition Hydromechs will participate in will be next year, the team members are designing their robot, building it and waiting for the robot’s mission–the task set by the competition judges–to be released. The underwater robotics team is also currently working on fundraising and trying to qualify for  nonprofit status.

“We’re just trying to recruit people at this point because we want to expand the team a little bit more,” Hsueh said.