An athletic apparel company for Quidditch players, a high-tech DJ service, and a mobile technology business took top prizes at Emerson’s Seventh Annual E3 Expo held April 21.
The E3 Expo is the capstone event for the Emerson Experience in Entrepreneurship (E3) program at the College. Taught by Marketing Communication Executive-in-Residence Karl Baehr, E3 is a yearlong, immersive experience in studying entrepreneurship in which students not only learn about, but also take the necessary steps for, creating a new business. The Expo highlights the work students complete during the program and includes a business plan competition for nearly $20,000 in cash and prizes.
More than 120 new business ventures have been created in E3 and more than 30 percent of the student participants launch their businesses. “That’s an amazing statistic when you consider that the average national business launch rate of entrepreneurial studies programs is only four to five percent according to The Princeton Review,” said Baehr.
This year, 13 student-created companies were showcased at the Expo. The business plan competition winners were:
- First place: Matt Lowe ’13, Nadav Swarttz ’13, and Eric Wahl ’13 for their plan for Quiyk Athletic Apparel. They won $5,000 cash, $2,000 in services from New Leaf Legal, and $2,000 in services from Leary & Company Public Relations.
- Second place: Nora Jordan ’12 for her plan for DJour Entertainment, a high-class, high-tech DJ service. She won $3,000 cash, plus $2,000 in services from New Leaf Legal.
- Third place: Hiroki Murakami ’12 for Port.ly Labs, a QR Code applications business. He won $2,000 in cash and $2,000 in services from New Leaf Legal.
The Expo, which was streamed live on the web, also featured videos produced by several of the student businesses, musical performances, a book reading and signing, and a keynote address by Paul Santinelli ’91, partner in North Bridge Venture Partners in San Francisco.
During his address, Santinelli complimented the students on the thoroughness with which they had crafted their businesses; the quality of their presentations; and the effort put into their unique exhibits, which included free portraits, food, and various door prize drawings. “I see hundreds of ventures every year,” Santinelli said. “I say this honestly, those guys across the river [a reference to business schools in Cambridge] have nothing on you. You guys nailed this.”
Many former E3 students attended the Expo, including Derrick Cheung, founder of Green Street Vault; Evy Chen, founder of Tea Cuvee; Mike Giles, who started Blacknight Studios; Katherine Connors, who started NEKA Communications; and James DiSabatino, founder of Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese. DiSabatino also served as a judge for the business plan competition.