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E3 student business expo on April 24

E3 Powell, Dobens

Danielle Powell '15 and Chris Dobens '16 have developed business ventures that will be presented during the E3 Expo on April 24. Dobens helped create the iconic “Boston Strong” T-shirts after the Boston Marathon bombings two years ago. (Photo by Tyler McAndrew '16)

Emerson students will be competing in the 10th annual Emerson Entrepreneurship Experience (E3) Exposition on Friday, April 24, when 17 student-created business ventures will be presented to local business leaders and the community.

MillerThis year’s keynote speaker is Andy Miller, serial entrepreneur and Chief Innovation Architect at Constant Contact, an email marketing company in Waltham, who will discuss the rollercoaster ride of start-up life.

The E3 Expo is scheduled from 12:30-5:00 pm in the Bordy Theater, 216 Tremont Street. It is free and open to both the Emerson community and the general public.

The Entrepreneurial Studies Program is a yearlong immersion for students crafting a new business venture. The students will present their business ideas at the E3 Expo with the top three chosen by a panel of judges to receive cash and prizes.

Chris Dobens ’16, a Marketing Communication major, who became well known for creating the iconic “Boston Strong” T-shirts following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, has teamed up with Christian Bergren-Aragon ’15, a Journalism major to create ‘Greeks That Speak.’ This project engages college students in crucial conversations about respect, consent and bystander awareness to help change the stereotypes associated with fraternities and sororities today. 

Bergen-Aragon, a member of the Phi Alpha Tau fraternity, in 2013 was instrumental in helping raise money for gender reassignment surgery of fellow fraternity brother Donnie Collins ’15—a story that received international media attention.


Christian Bergen-Aragon '15 (far right) pictured with Phi Alpha Tau brothers Jon Allen '14 and Donnie Collins '15 in 2013. (Photo by Dan O'Brien)

“The E3 program is beneficial for anyone who doesn't know how a business is operated,” said Dobens, who is from Lowell. “It’s a great opportunity to learn from each other to strive in your own personal ventures. The most rewarding part is seeing the results and watching the company come to fruition. It also is a nice opportunity for a potential job after graduation, but if not, it is overall a positive experience.”

Danielle Powell ’15, a Marketing Communication major, created Savasana, a local purveyor of raw, artisanal almond milk.

“I like the idea of being my own boss,” said Powell, of East Brunswick, New Jersey. “I get to be a creative visionary instead of following the rules set by other people. Getting to talk to other businesses about my company over the course of the year has been a lot of work, and great real world experience. This is my final takeaway from college.” 

More than 150 ventures have been created through the E3 program, leading to the launch of several successful businesses in recent years, including Temple Twist, Evy Tea and Roxy’s Grilled Cheese.

Begun by the late faculty member Karl Baehr, who was named by Fortune Magazine as one of the nation’s top professors of entrepreneurial studies, the program is now led by Lu Ann Reeb, director of business and entrepreneurship studies at Emerson. 

Other students who will present business venture ideas this year are: Jonah Lazowski ’16, Jessica Li ’16, Danny Dranoff ’15, Adrian Plotnicoff ’15, Alexia Halsey ’16, Vikki Berezovskaya ’15, Noah Mahrer ’16, Nick Stalford ’15, Eda Eda Kazancıoğlu ’16, Molly Yakas ’15, David Weiner ’16, Ilana Cohen ’15, Manisha Tolani ’16, Sara Graybill ’16 and Ashley Haskell ’15. 

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