StartMIT, a boot camp on entrepreneurship, gives students an intimate look into what it takes to build a company.

If you daydream about founding a startup, know this: CEOs are made, not born. Theodora Koullias ’13 — founder of the tech-fashion company Jon Luu — explained on Jan. 17 to a group of students and postdocs what it’s really like. “You learn on the job all the time.”

Koullias candidly shared her experience as part of StartMIT, a course packed with practical instruction and mentorship, designed to give aspiring entrepreneurs a boost up the founder learning curve. Held Jan. 9-23 during MIT’s Independent Activities Period, StartMIT gave participants a chance to form teams and develop their ideas into venture capital-worthy pitches. Students learn about the smorgasbord of ingredients that go into making a startup: creating a value proposition, staking a claim to intellectual property, working with the press, networking, creating culture, and, of course, raising money.

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