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From MOOC to bootcamp to MIT

Two students with entrepreneurial spirit found their way into the Class of 2020 through MITx.
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Jakub Chudik (third from right) poses with his ConquerX team during the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp.
Jakub Chudik (third from right) poses with his ConquerX team during the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp.
Photo: <i>MITx</i>
Jin Wu at an MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp
Jin Wu at an MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp
Photo: <i>MITx</i>

Entrepreneurs share a lot in common: Determination. Passion. Ingenuity. And in the case of two students enrolling at MIT this fall: A path shaped by MITx.

While everyone takes a different road to success, MIT's online learning platform provided two key turning points for Jakub Chudik and Jin Wu. Both excelled in entrepreneurship online courses on MITx on edX, the massive open online courses (MOOCs) offered by the Institute. More critically, both attended MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, an intensive on-campus training for learners who excelled at MITx entrepreneurship MOOCs. It is here that Jakub and Jin’s journeys to MIT truly accelerated.

An eager young mind, a student in Slovakia, a soon-to-be undergrad seeking big challenges

Jakub Chudik likes to challenge himself. Growing up in a small town near Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, he learned English at a bilingual school before attending an esteemed international baccalaureate program. Chudik then decided to pursue studies outside of the classroom and found MITx on edX — eager to expand his knowledge in everything from artificial intelligence to physics to business.

“I’ve always been interested in entrepreneurship and wanted to learn how to help my mom grow her small accounting business,” explains the 19-year-old Chudik. “When I saw the chance to combine science and startups with MITx, it was the perfect combination.”

Upon completing Entrepreneurship 101 and 102, Chudik applied and was admitted to the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. It was here that, in his words, “my life completely turned around.”

For six days in August 2015, Chudik attended all-day lectures and late-night working sessions, partnering with five other students to form a startup. “It was extremely intense,” Chudik says, recalling that he was the youngest student there. “Everyone had such a wide range of experience that I was learning with every conversation.”

By the end of the week, Chudik’s group shifted from its original idea to develop ConquerX, a game-changing approach to cancer diagnostics proposed by one of Chudik’s partners. The team earned second place in the final pitch competition, which takes place the last day of the bootcamp; they've also continued to work on the now-incorporated startup, seeking investors and pushing their idea way beyond the bootcamp.

Back in Slovakia, Chudik reflected on his experience and decided to tackle his biggest challenge yet: applying to MIT. He was accepted, and will soon be pursuing a major in mechanical engineering. While Chudik can trace his path through the opportunity of MITx on edX and the inspiration of the MIT Bootcamp, in many ways his journey is just beginning.

A life-long self-learner, a hard-working network engineer, a social entrepreneur ready for more

Jin Wu is passionate about improving the quality of life for the underprivileged. As a social entrepreneur, she is dedicated to her mission and always looks for ways to learn and do more. Yet with a burgeoning career as a network engineer keeping her busy, her time is limited. That’s what led her to MITx on edX.

A self-described self-learner, Wu was drawn to the digital learning opportunities of Entrepreneurship 101 and 102. Yet her biggest opportunity came after completing the courses: acceptance into the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. Wu attended the bootcamp in August 2015, and her life hasn’t been the same since.

“It was energizing to find like-minded individuals with vision and passion for changing the world,” says Wu. “I plugged into a wealth of entrepreneurial support and opportunities, opening up a whole new world for me.”

Wu’s experience was intense, as she gained a real taste of MIT — and a lot of insight and know-how in just six days.

The bootcamp served as a launching pad for Wu’s next learning journey: Integrated Design and Management (IDM), a new two-year Master’s program at MIT designed to enable the development of innovative leaders who will bring creativity, vision, and integrity to business and society. In other words, a program geared towards students just like Wu.

“As someone with both design and engineering backgrounds and a focus on social entrepreneurship, I was immediately drawn to the program,” she says.

At first, Wu wasn’t sure she wanted to make the leap back to school. Yet she couldn’t shake the excitement of the MIT Bootcamp experience. The energy and engagement she felt on campus echoed in her head as she debated the next step. She also realized the incredible opportunities afforded to MIT students — access to lab facilities, legal services, mentorship, and entrepreneurial support. She decided she was ready. Wu applied to the IDM program, and will take the first step on her new path this fall at MIT.

Ready to start your own learning journey? The MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp is now accepting applications.

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