Grad Honored by Massachusetts Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Heather West MFA '13
October 07, 2010
When Morgan First ’06 graduated with a degree from Emerson in Marketing Communication she didn’t just get a job, she started a business. First created the Motion Affair Planner BOSTON, a city guide for urban adventurers —the brainchild of her work in Emerson’s Entrepreneurial Studies program. A few years later she met Tyler Balliet and started a second business, Second Glass, a marketing company that introduces young consumers to an age-old product: wine.
Andre Porter, executive director of the Massachusetts Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, was there from the beginning. “Morgan and I go way back,” he said. “She’s like a serial entrepreneur.”
In July 2010 First and Balliet were named by Inc. magazine as two of their “30 under 30: America’s Coolest Young Entrepreneurs.” On October 4, First and Balliet accepted an additional award from the Massachusetts Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
“It’s really just about connecting young people who are interested in wine with the wineries, and helping make that information accessible.”
First and Balliet founded Second Glass in 2006. The company develops strategies, plans events, and designs marketing campaigns for wineries trying to reach college students and young professionals. “It’s really just about connecting young people who are interested in wine with the wineries, and helping make that information accessible,” she said. First is also the brains behind Wine Riot, an “expo-style wine tasting extravaganza” that returns to Boston on October 22 and 23.
First got an early start, honing her skills as a member of the student-run marketing firm EmComm. “Working with EmComm at Emerson helped me get some real-world experience,” she said. “EmComm was just picking up momentum when I was there and now they’ve really made a name for themselves.” Completing the circle, First now has EmComm students working on marketing strategies for her own company.
Representatives from the Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship spoke at the event, and reporter Donna Fenn of Inc. magazine and the CBS Interactive Business Network congratulated Morgan and the other entrepreneurs. “This is a generation that truly wants to change the world,” she said.
Morgan thanked her business partners and friends for supporting Second Glass. “I never thought wine would be part of what I was doing. But I always knew that I wanted to help companies that had really cool products to reach people in a new way. I always wanted to take everyday life and make it more entertaining.”
Doug Herzog '81
Doug Herzog '81, the president of MTV Networks Entertainment Group, recalls that a fellow alumnus at CNN gave him a chance. Many big-name Emerson graduates do the same, and the network will only get stronger when Emerson opens its new LA Center. Recent Emerson graduate Khellie Braxton got the chance to meet Herzog during her internship at Comedy Central.