New business club MIT Launch begins meetings for student entrepreneurs


Lilia Qian

Club secretary Sachin Jain and president Sidharth Rampally introduce their club, MIT Launch. The club had its first meeting on Oct. 28 in the Optics Lab.

Lilia Qian, Staff Writer

Student entrepreneurs have created a club for fellow students interested in business. MIT Launch is a new club dedicated to supporting students in their business pursuits. The club helps teams of students enter their business plans into the MIT Launch competition. On Oct. 28, MIT Launch had its first official club meeting. The club meets every Friday B block in the Optics Lab, and members participate in activities and lessons to build build their business ideas into functioning businesses.

“TJ is obviously a really good school for STEM, but we also want to bring a business culture here to TJ,” club president Sidharth Rampally said. “There are a few business clubs, but they’re not exposing the real world solutions and skills you’re going to gain from starting a business from an idea to the actual product.”

Students in the club work together in a team to build their business models throughout the course of the year. Every week, the club provides lectures and activities for students to engage in to work on skills necessary in running a business. Prior to the opening of the club, club leaders Sidharth Rampally, Vishal Reddy, Sachin Jain, and Lilian Wang prepared lesson plans for each meeting, each designed to prepare teams to put their businesses in real-world application.

“Every week we’re going to have a concept [to teach]. We’re going to have a lesson as well as different activities to reinforce the skills,” Rampally said. “Business can be really risky so we want to make sure students can not only have fun while starting a business, but if they actually want to start a business they have the proper skills to do so.”

Throughout the year, the teams will prepare their business models according to a deadline set by the MIT Launch competition. Each team will prepare their business as an entry into the competition, with the end goal being to reach the final pitch event at MIT where students will pitch their ideas to potential investors.

“I’m hoping that after this year students will continue to pursue their businesses and basically the ultimate goal is to get as many people to the pitch event in MIT. There’s going to be MIT alumni who are also working on business ideas who could possibly give them advice. [Another option teams can pursue is] competing for scholarships,” Rampally said.

The new club has already sparked interest within the Jefferson community, with the slots of its first meeting being completely filled up on Ion. Students are beginning to form business teams, with high hopes for a successful business.

“I think it’s really interesting that students want to run a real business. I think it’s good practice. If they were selected by MIT Launch, it [would be] a good experience,” staff sponsor Xuan Luo said. “It [teaches about] a successful business model.  If they can [create a] real marketing business, that’s great. I want to support them.”