Jacob Cohen ’24

Lit, Boston, MA

This summer, I had an amazing opportunity to learn the intricacies of what it takes to run a startup. Founded in March of 2020, Lit is a digital language-learning company that develops comprehensible, input-based language tools intended for use as supplementary material in classrooms; and as executive coordinator, I spent my time working closely with Lit founder, Mati Amin ’12.

Jacob Cohen with laptop.
Wearing my Lit t-shirt and the Lit website is up on my laptop.

The first few weeks went as I expected. Mati brought me along to meetings, including speaking with the website developers, working out a new audio contract with voice actors, and updating an investor on the status of the company. In these meetings, I noted the preparation Mati had to do beforehand in order to conduct them efficiently. But sometimes even he received unexpected questions and had to pull up other materials and formulate answers on the spot.

My first large and daunting task was writing a quarterly update for the company that was to be sent to hundreds of friends and investors in Lit. Despite only working at Lit for two weeks, Mati had full faith that I could handle the communication given the right materials and oversight. After drafting the report and working with our social media intern to codify it, Mati sent it out. With detailed growth figures, our company goals, and many other bits of news, the report was extremely well received and even attracted several new investors.

The second half of my internship was dedicated to applying to EdTech conferences, awards, and accelerators. These conferences allow the founders to share their invention directly with the educators that will use it, while also garnering Lit international credibility that we can share in our reports. The types of questions the organizers often ask include: What’s your company vision, What makes your product unique, Why is your team special, Tell us your goals for the next 6/12/18 months, and Why are you interested in our competition? Over the course of the internship, I wrote seven applications and compiled a seventeen page “dictionary” of questionnaire answers with the other interns that the company will use going forward.

I’m so grateful to have had such a rewarding summer. It’s heartwarming to see my work put to use immediately; and the lessons I learned have only made me want to run my own startup even more. I’m glad I now have the skills that are needed to run one on a daily basis. I extend my sincerest thanks to the ’68 Center for Career Exploration and our fantastic network of alumni for connecting me with the most amazing people, as well as to Mr. and Mrs. Case for supporting this priceless experience.