Marketing Communication major Jackie Cahill ’24 took the top prize in this year’s E3 Expo, winning $5,000 for her venture, Jackie’s Dance Studio, which promises to bring the “energy and excitement” of Los Angeles dance training to Boston.
The Expo, held Friday, April 28, is the culmination of the yearlong Emerson’s Entrepreneurial Experience (E3) program, in which students from any major develop their ideas for a business, product, service, or nonprofit.
“My experience in E3 has been surreal,” Cahill said. “It felt like I finally had the opportunity to make my dreams, hard work, and ideas come to life. E3 has changed my perspective on being an entrepreneur, and now I truly understand the meaning, dedication, and work that goes into the full experience.
“My entrepreneurial spirit feels stronger after E3 and no matter where life takes me, if it’s being a business owner or working for someone else, I will have all of the E3 materials and knowledge in my tool box, for the future and beyond,” she said.
The top three prizes are selected by a panel of judges. This year’s slate included three alums: MIT lecturer and social justice strategist Malia Lazu ‘99, founder/director of The Lazu Group (The Urban Labs); Stephen Francis ’05, co-founder/COO of Street FC, an app for finding soccer pick-up games; and former E3 winner Evy Chen ’10, founder/CEO of EvyTea, a pioneer in cold brewed tea. Joining the alums on the panel was entrepreneur and angel investor John Pepper.
Second place, with a $3,000 prize, went to Publishing major Marisa Negron ’23 for graphic novel publishing house Siren Song Interactive. Josh O’Brien ’23, a Theatre major, took third place and $2,000 for Velvet Sheep, the next wave of entertainment experiences.
Three other awards also were presented:
Creative Writing major Indigo Pinedo ’23 won the Scholarship Award ($1,500), based on academic performance throughout the year. Pinedo’s venture is Indigo Bakery & Greenspace, a sustainable brick-and-mortar bakery and community gathering spot.
The School of the Arts Pioneer Award ($500), chosen by E3 Director Lu Ann Reeb and School of the Arts Dean Rob Sabal, went to VMA major Anthony Manupelli ’24, who came up with The Lighthouse, the ‘WeWork’ for creative freelancers.
And Nalany Guerrier ’24, an Independent Studies major, was awarded a $500 Entrepreneurship prize by her peers in the program. Guerrier created Expozé, a studio that curates visual content, providing emerging artists with exposure and connections.
A Special Appreciation Award went to Theatre major Juanma Suárez Teissonnier ’23 for his work over the past two years as E3 assistant. Reeb also thanked Engagement lab Grants and Finance Director Anne Cahill for her work managing the E3 budget.