About Me

Calix Huang - Headshot

Hey, I’m Calix! I’m a 16 y/o software engineer with a passion for startups and consumer tech, launching new projects and ventures on Launch Tech LLC. Currently a Lead Product Manager at Fiveable, a fellow at On Deck (ODC1), and working on a stealth venture 🤫

I've had 2 of my companies acquired, been featured on TechCrunch and Morning Brew, and have built many other consumer startups from scratch. I got my first SWE internship when I was 14, as well as a variety of other engineering positions and contract work.

My Journey

  • My Start in CS

    Sep 2018

    Developed an interest in ethical hacking and penetration testing and learned everything from online courses.

  • Started Programming

    Dec 2018

    Started learning Python on a recommendation from an instructor. Learned the basics in 5 days, and moved from there.

  • Transfer into DS/ML/AI

    Feb 2019

    After learning programming and making small projects, I decided to use my Python skills to niche myself in data science, ML, and AI.

  • First Hackathon!

    Jun 2019

    Attended my first hackathon because my friend was organizing it, and fell in love with it almost instantly.

  • Shift into Web Development

    Jun 2019

    After learning about web development through my online ML/AI instructor, I pivoted my skill set into full-stack development.

  • First Initiative!

    Jul 2019

    I started HackSpace - a team of HS developers helping nonprofits with development work when they didn't have the funds to outsource it.

  • First Hackathon Victory!

    Nov 2019

    I attended and won 1st place and "Best Website" at Atoms&Bits by building Ano.js, an open-source web animation library.

  • First Internship!

    Nov 2019

    After over ~100 applications and 3 rejected interviews, I landed my first internship as a SWE intern at Apollo DAE.

  • Launch Tech LLC is born!

    May 2020

    After building and releasing 10+ projects, I was encouraged to start my own holding company. After some pivots, Launch Tech LLC was born, which was later rebranded to Ortexo.

  • Joined first fellowship - Urspace Labs 2020

    Jun 2020

    After applying and being accepted to LaunchX, Leangap, and other programs, I joined my first Urspace Labs 2020, a product-centric fellowship.

  • Co-founded 1Academy

    Aug 2020

    Networked and met Michael Ye, who then became my co-founder at 1Academy, an e-learning platform with all content being crowdsourced from YouTube.

  • Ortexo Acquired by NovaCrypt

    Sep 2020

    After 5 months of working on Ortexo, we closed a paid asset acquisition deal with NovaCrypt on September 25, 2020.

  • Started building Hours

    Oct 2020

    Starting off as a fun project, I revamped an idea called Hours that I had a while back. Fast-forward to today, the progress is still going strong!

Accomplishments

Underwent 6-figure acquisition between Hours & Fiveable

Accepted into On Deck Catalyst

Started my first ever company and got it acquired

Won my first hackathon 1 year after starting to code

Landed 2 internships in the last 2 months of 2019

Joined a huge intercollegiate nonprofit organization as a normal developer and was promoted to a director

Scaled Hours to 20k users in 6 months.

Had my work featured in Techcrunch, Business Insider, Yahoo News, and Morning Brew.

Self-taught myself programming and learned the basics through building projects

Able to attend hackathons as a workshop leader and a judge

Landed 4 internships within the first 3 months of 2020

Accepted into a collegiate/graduate level fellowship based on product design/development

Generated 1m+ views from $50 of influencer marketing.

Was offered a partnership by Discord Study, the largest Discord study server with 130k+ members and turned it down

Placed 2nd with my team at CCIC (California Cyber Innovation Challenge), a state-wide cybersecurity competition

Was invited into an early-stage startup as a UI/UX developer

Accepted into LaunchX, Leangap, and Bluestamp Engineering with an average acceptance rate of around 10-15%

Got to talk with amazing investors/entrepreneurs like Darrell Silver and Nisha Dua.

Took on my very first professional contract project

Attended 15+ hackathons

Co-founded my first lean tech startup in educational technology

Was offered executive positions in nonprofit organizations and companies and turned them down

Failures

Rejected from YC S21 batch without an interview.

Rejected from multiple officer positions I applied and interviewed for

Started 1Academy with my co-founder, and ended up failing to meet product-market fit, causing us to discontinue the idea.

Failed to place Top 10 in the AWS Summit Deepracing competition 2019 (placed #19)

Failed to distribute my projects and grow a userbase

Applied to 170+ internships, got rejected/ghosted by ~150, and got rejected by 6 after the first round

Rejected from MLH Fellowship and CodeDay Labs

Failed to complete a take-home exercise from an internship employer and was rejected as a candidate

Worked really hard to get an IT internship and failed

Had to drop out of Google Code-in 2019 LAHacks Virtual 2020

Had to quit 3 internships due to time commitments and burnout

Founded, maintained, and ultimately failed my first attempt at a high-school run nonprofit

Faced loneliness throughout the year due to lack of social interaction and social skills

Failed at organizing my first online event

Recruited people into Launch Tech that later stabbed me in the back

Founded my first team within a nonprofit and failed to lead it

Struggled with interval burnout from intense work

Had a short-term identity crisis