Every day, at 9 a.m. sharp, I was parked in front of my computer (albeit sometimes sitting in bed) for meetings with my LaunchX cohort. LaunchX is a selective entrepreneurship program that is usually held over the span of six weeks across four different locations. This year, we were guided virtually by mentors on how to start a business. Every week, we had classes, electives, simulations, and social events. LaunchX brought together youth from all corners of the world, from the East to West coasts, from Canada to Korea.
My team consisted of four young women: Rae from Ethiopia, Linda from New York, Amanda from Minnesota, and me. We wanted to create a product that would solve a real problem for young women’s health. A common problem we found for women who are menstruating is forgetting or not knowing to change at the right time. Over the first two weeks, we had over 80 interviews via Instagram DMs, Zoom calls, Microsoft Teams meetings, and Facetimes with women, gauging their thoughts on this topic.
The first solution proposed was a “smart” attachment to your tampon that could send a notification to your phone when the humidity levels were too high. Thinking that we found the next big thing, we created a fake promotional video to see what the public thought. We got some feedback, which included not-so-encouraging things like “Tell me it’s not real” and “Is this satire?”
Unmoved by our failure, we pivoted and thought of a new solution. We virtually teamed up to make the Mina Charm, which is a necklace that connects to a phone app and vibrates at a personalized interval to remind women to change their period product. The days of losing track of time are behind us. Learn more about the Mina Charm at minamenstruation.carrd.co.
Sure, I didn’t get the summer I dreamed of, with travels to different cities and vacations to sunny beaches, but I got an experience that let me understand that failure (even when experienced virtually) will always be something to learn from.
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