Department of Marketing Communication
From Ideas to Market
Throughout the year, the Entrepreneurial Studies minor guides the students to formulate their own ideas, build around them and then figure out the strategy necessary to bring them to market over the course of two semesters. The program culminates with an annual capstone event called E3 Expo that highlights the comprehensive work students complete during the program and the chance to get a business off the ground by competing for start-up funds.
More than 150 businesses have been designed through Emerson’s Entrepreneurial Studies Program since its founding eight years ago, which has about a 30 percent success rate. According to the Princeton Review, this rate is 25 percent higher than the majority of similar programs at colleges nationwide. Success stories that have emerged from the Entrepreneurship program include Temple Twist, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, and Evy Tea to name a few.
E3 Expo Winner Profiles
Philanthro Parties (First Prize)
Party planning has created a booming industry. When Alaina Belanger (‘16) noticed that the annual spending in party planning far exceeded charity, she began to develop a way to channel that incredible spending power into ways to support philanthropy. Her solution, Philanthro Parties, is a service that connects celebrations with community engagement by planning parties for socially-minded individuals and families in the Boston area. Belanger, who ran the 2016 Boston Marathon to support Fallen Heroes, brings her passion for philanthropy to her entrepreneurship.
Party Parcel (Second Prize)
The industry for at-home parties creates a need for disposable dishware and table settings. Combining this need with the rising trend of box delivery services, Marni Musmon (‘16) created Party Parcel, a high-end “party in a box” sold online for people who enjoy a flair for creative inspiration in party planning. Musmon’s vision is to compete with her customers’ existing glassware collections, packaging an attractive, affordable, and convenient product.
Trngle (Third Prize)
Connecting freelancers to projects is a challenge met with many imperfect solutions. When Harry Holmes (‘16) examined this challenge, he devised a way to create a social, fast-paced means of connecting these potential collaborators. Trngle is an online community connecting freelancers with creative projects on the fly. Users can create profiles and respond to calls for work in open projects. Holmes brings his social flair and enthusiastic partners to this venture.
HerLaunch (First Prize)
While ideas can happen anywhere, not everyone has the access to the resources and support needed to get these ideas off the ground. For women, this can be particularly difficult. When Manisha Tolani (’16) learned that women face more challenges than men as entrepreneurs, get less exposure for their ideas, and have less access to capital, Tolani was inspired to create a venture that helps young women entrepreneurs. Lending her entrepreneurial flair to become a part of the solution to this problem, Tolani has conceptualized HerLaunch, to provide inspiration, positive exposure and resources in the Boston area through the HerLaunch blog, events, and positive PR for young women. Hailing from Turks and Caicos, Tolani has brought her talents to a variety of companies globally and in Boston, and is committed to the mission of HerLaunch and supporting the ventures of others. She is currently pushing ahead with her plan in the Emerson Launch program.
Greeks That Speak (Second Prize)
In promoting awareness of sexual assault and the importance of consent, Emerson’s fraternity and sorority members are aware of their role as influencers of campus life. To open important conversations about race campus-wide, Chris Dobens (’16) and Christian Bergen-Aragon (’15) created Greeks That Speak. As one of the students who created the “Boston Strong” t-shirt campaign, Dobens’ partnership with Bergen-Aragon, who in 2013 campaigned to get a spot on the Today Show, is a dynamic blend for an important cause.
Meet A Dog (Third Prize)
Apps and technology connecting pet-owners to pets, parks, and sitters have become increasingly popular. In order to help pet ‘parents’ arrange play dates for their pets, Danny Dranoff (’15) conceptualized Meet A Dog through his work for the E3 Expo. Meet A Dog allows pet parents to meet one another, working as a powerful social tool to solve problems that for their pets with a pledge to repair dog care for everyone. Meet A Dog is now based in San Francisco in a second development phase.
Creme de Liqueur (First Prize)
The fusion of alcohol and dessert has long been celebrated. Seeking to bring this fusion to more affordable and convenient consumer experiences, Elizabeth Nash (’14) conceptualized Creme de Liqueur, a line of alcohol-infused ice cream. Nash is responsible for every aspect of the business, from development to production. Since conceptualizing Creme de Liqueur, Nash has taken her talents in writing and entrepreneurship and her passion for food to her position at Simmer Magazine, a fellow E3 Expo winner of the same year.
Stede Threads (Second Prize)
Sustainable fashion is an increasingly important industry. To bring recycled, repurposed, and reimagined design to the Boston skateboarding scene, Sam Fishman (’14) created Stede Threads. Repurposing recycled skate decks into unique brand labels for headwear, Stede has been a market success since its introduction at the E3 Expo. As founder, Fishman oversees the marketing and brand operations, and has shared his marketing talents to other firms.
Simmer (Third Prize)
College students are not typically the consumer of gourmet foods. Nisreen Galloway (’14) wanted to change that, particularly the way students cook for themselves and get information about food and recipes. In order to reach this market, Galloway created Simmer Magazine. An online food publication since 2012, Galloway used her work for the E3 Expo to further develop this venture. Besides Simmer, she has taken her interest in publishing, food, and design to Urban Jungle Play, The Catered Affair, and others.
Temple Twist (First Prize)
Like Jon Allen (’14), many of us have fond childhood memories of sipping our first Shirley Temple. Seeking to bring this experience into a more grown-up market, Allen conceptualized “Classic Red,” a twist on the classic made with organic ginger ale and grenadine. Since the E3 Expo, “Classic Red,” now Temple Twist, has been an enormous success, making it to the shelves of a variety of markets, pop-up shops, and even the hands of Jay Leno, reaching the hands of consumers across Boston, Cape Cod, the Hamptons, and Maine.
Real Investments (Second Prize)
The student housing market is often one of the most difficult to navigate. All too familiar with these challenges, Tana Bramley (’13) conceptualized a more straightforward real estate company to help students find affordable, quality housing. Since laying the foundation for this venture, Real Investments, Bramley has taken her many skills to Boston Realty Advisors.
FUME (Third Prize)
Connecting young artists to potential buyers had long been important to Siri Winter (’14). Taking her experience and passion for journalism to her commitment to helping artists get discovered, Winter advanced her original and self-directed online publication, FUME, through her work for the E3 Expo. Winter’s FUME ran for a fruitful 3 years after 2011, and since the Expo, she has gone on to take her journalistic flair to New York City, Stockholm, and beyond..
In the wake of Harry Potter book and movie popularity, the fictitious wizarding world’s sport of Quidditch became adapted for competitive “muggle” play, particularly in teams on college campuses. To bolster along this support for the new sport and to improve the experience for its athletes, Matt Lowe, Nadav Swarttz, and Eric Wahl (’13) conceptualized and launched Quiyk Athletic Apparel, committed to creating affordable, quality athletic wear to improve the experience for all participants. Although Quiyk closed its own doors in 2014 after an impressive and involved two-year run, the Quiyk brand continues to sell its trademark Snitch Shorts to Peterson’s BroomSticks, a full-scale Quidditch gear retailer.
DJour Entertainment (Second Prize)
The DJ industry is one that is often more typically seen as male. Founded by Nora Jordan (’12), DJour Entertainment is a music entertainment group that seeks to “bring femininity and style to the DJ industry,” according to its mission. The group caters to weddings and other local events in the Boston area and, since creating the company, Jordan has also spun for events such as The Movement, and in-store at Lululemon Athletica, Athleta, and many others.
Port.ly Labs (Third Prize)
QR codes have changed the way businesses promote their products and services. To bolster this innovation, Hiroki Murakami (’12) developed the model for the business he called Port.ly Labs. Since conceptualizing this QR coding business, Murakami has gone on to write plays, code, and professionally for The Huffington Post, Mullen, Edelman Digital, and others.
Green Street Vault (First Prize)
For consumers of urban fashion outside city limits, finding in-store access to exclusive and in-demand apparel presents a challenge. Created by Derrick Cheung (’12), Green Street Vault is a pop-up purveyor of exclusive urban fashion, servicing the outer reaches of Boston during its impressive two-year run. Partnering with Howard Travis of Brooklyn Industries, X-Squared, and North Face, Cheung created and managed this full-scale men’s fashion retailer out of both a box truck and a pop-up gallery. Since Green Street Vault and the E3 Expo, Cheung has taken his entrepreneurial flair to Sony, Kyoto, Karmaloop, and others.
In My Day (Second Prize)
Personal stories are often lost throughout the years, and those histories become inaccessible. Begun by storyteller Cassandra Baptista (’11), In My Day preserves the experiences of older adults through print, digital, and video formats, creating a multimedia package of memories for her clients. Created in 2011 through the E3 Expo, Baptista continues to manage her venture, service her local clients, and tell and preserve their stories and personal histories in meaningful, enduring ways.
Pole Star Fitness (tied for Third Prize)
Beyond formal instruction, dance as fitness is a popular and appealing form of exercise. The idea of fusing these practices with the techniques of pole dancing prompted Julia Kurz (’11) to conceptualize Pole Star Fitness. Bringing her dance background to the management and instruction of this company, Kurz provided this experience to local customers throughout the duration of the studio. Since Pole Star Fitness, Kurz has gone on to take her instruction and business skills to education management for a variety of professional clients.
NEKA Communications (tied for Third Prize)
Within the fitness industry, professional running has a unique set of considerations for business and promotion. Created by Katherine Connors (’11), NEKA Communications was conceptualized as a consulting group to provide personalized marketing and public relations services to clients in the running industry. Driven by her passion for running and innovation, Connors created NEKA through her work for the E3 Expo. Since NEKA, she has gone on to bring her many talents and passions to digital marketing in a variety of form.