Laurie Stach believes education should be more about building an entrepreneurial mindset, and developing skills such as initiative, problem solving, resilience, collaboration, and adaptation.
A properly taught entrepreneurial mindset enables you to take initiative and solve problems plus minimize the impact of inevitable setbacks and rejections. Laurie Stach is passionate about engendering this mindset in her students, and helping them create something real and tangible.
Stach is a visionary who provides direction and strategically organizes the steps required to achieve these ambitions. She exemplifies the hard work needed to get things done. As an inclusive and welcoming role model, Stach inspires her team and her students to strive for high standards.
Mariya Utkina, the Operations Manager at LaunchX, says this about Stach’s leadership: “Laurie does not just try to achieve the achievable; she expects more from herself and others. She leads us to achieve the impossible by showing us how to get there, and she brings us along on what turns out to be an unbelievable ride.”
An entrepreneurial passion
One of Stach’s guiding principles is that success should foster a genuine attitude to serve others. The LaunchX entrepreneurship education cultivates the essential skills and mindset required to achieve great things for both personal success and societal service in the high school students who complete the programs.
Stach holds a mechanical engineering degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She built up the maker space in MIT’s entrepreneurship center, and established and taught MIT’s ‘Intro to Making’ class. She created a highly regarded EdX course in entrepreneurship, and has an entrepreneurship workbook on Amazon. Stach was also the Program Manager of High School Education at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, and Commander of MIT’s ProtoWorks maker space.
Stach was recently named in the ‘top 20 most inspiring women leaders in 2021’, honoring specialists who have made significant contributions in transforming their various fields.
She has also given three TEDx talks, been a speaker at important world conferences, and provided instruction to the high school entrepreneurship educators in Puerto Rico, where she was lauded by the Department of Education.
The creation of LaunchX
“You will do great things someday,” is a message high-achieving school students often hear from adults, especially when they display creativity, passion and drive. It was that last word — someday — that stuck with Laurie Stach. Why not now, she thought.
As she began her professional life, Stach found the real world differed markedly from what she had been taught at school. Education had taught her there was always one correct answer to every question, when the reality was there were no simple answers to complex questions. She quickly discovered you also had to be resourceful, adaptable, innovative and resilient.
“I remember being asked to take the initiative on projects, to analyze the complex, real-world environment and make decisions,” explains Stach.
She realized entrepreneurship education could bridge this gap and founded LaunchX, a set of programs designed to build the real skills and mindset high school students would need, not just in their futures, but to achieve great things now.
LaunchX is recognized worldwide as a thought leader in the entrepreneurial education space. Propelled by instruction in the design thinking process, students create businesses backed by market research, prototype iterations and user testing.
“Building a business from scratch is the ideal way to develop the resourcefulness, versatility, and innovation needed to succeed in the real world,” says Stach.