Empowering Young Innovators - Laurie Stach - Leadership in Action - Episode # 067

Today's guest is a passionate entrepreneurship educator on a mission to empower students with innovation and problem-solving skills, equipping them to make a real impact from an early age. We're thrilled to introduce Laurie Stach, the Founder & Head of Board at LaunchX. Laurie joins our host, Mark Stiles, for an inspiring conversation about her journey with LaunchX. She shares valuable insights on the importance of quick decision-making and the significance of nurturing both her team and students as they embark on their entrepreneurial journeys. Get ready for an exhilarating episode that you absolutely can't afford to miss!

  • LaunchX is an elite high school entrepreneurship summer program where students worldwide create real companies in just one month, from concept to sales. Many go on to achieve notable success, even appearing on Shark Tank and raising substantial funds. Yet, what's most inspiring is the enduring entrepreneurial mindset they develop.
  • In services businesses, particularly in education, the adage "you're only as strong as your weakest link" holds true. Quick decision-making is key. Don't succumb to analysis paralysis; in the startup world, countless decisions must be made. Train your team to make decisions effectively.
  • Laurie’s education and career journey involved transitioning from engineering to business school, where she learned to make decisions with incomplete information. The case study method, with its lack of one right answer, initially challenged her but ultimately instilled the confidence to be an entrepreneur. 
  • The future of work is evolving rapidly, and the challenge is how the education system can adapt to prepare students for an ever-changing workforce. In 20 years, many jobs will likely look nothing like they do today. Adapting our education system to this reality is the struggle. Looking back 20 years, it's clear we couldn't have predicted the rise of new career paths like Instagram influencers.
  • LaunchX began with a casual brunch conversation between Laurie and a friend that turned into a venture. Despite a demanding job as a management consultant, she made time for it because she cared. Taking a two-month sabbatical to kickstart the project turned into full-time work as Laurie never looked back.
  • A “maker” in the university space often involves using tools like 3D printers and laser cutters to build various creative projects. However, a maker can be anyone creating arts and crafts using different mediums, from 3D printing to paper and glue for crafting bowls, or making jewelry. It's all about expressing creativity through physical items.

Quote of the Show
  • “We hope to have alignment of our perspective and decision-making for our companies.” - Laurie Stach

Shout Outs:
  • Samantha Asante - President of LaunchX

Ways to Tune In:
Empowering Young Innovators - Laurie Stach - Leadership in Action - Episode # 067
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