Emerson Entrepreneurs to Watch
By Lu Ann Reeb, Director of Entrepreneurial Studies at Emerson College
Did you know that 54% of millennials say they plan to start their own business someday, and 70% of teens are thinking about being entrepreneurs? According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Boston ranks first in cities best positioned to lead the digital economy among the top 25 U.S. startup hubs, and Forbes Magazine has named Boston one of the best cities for women entrepreneurs worldwide. With the Emerson Entrepreneurial Program’s annual E3 Exposition, which gives students the chance to get a business off the ground by competing for start-up funds; Emerson Launch, which provides working space and resources for hopeful business owners; and the new Graduate Entrepreneurship Certificate Program, Emerson is the perfect place for budding entrepreneurs. Here are some Emerson entrepreneurs to watch.
Evy Chen ’11
After moving to the U.S. from China and finding the sugary, bottled iced teas unsatisfactory, Evy Chen developed EvyTea. She recently received $1 million in funding to take her unique, organic cold brew tea nationwide after launching the TeaBar in Jamaica Plain, a second TeaBar in Charlestown, and a mobile TeaBar.
Jon Allen ’14
Shirley Temple in a bottle? Yup—that’s the creation of Jon Allen, bottling up Temple Twist, the world’s first USDA-certified organic Shirley Temple. Temple Twist is sold at downtown Boston locations such as Roche Bros. and Lambert’s Marketplace, Beal’s Lobster Pier in Maine, locations throughout the Hamptons, and beyond.
James DiSabatino ‘09
Yes, it's #FRYDAY, but we're really excited because winter break is over and trucks are back on the road! Starting Monday, March 14, here's where you can find us slinging cheese: Monday: Dewey Sq. 11-230 Thursday: Harvard Science Center 11-7 Friday: Dewey Sq. 11-3 Saturday: Harvard Science Center 11-7 Sunday: Harvard Science Center 11-3 Schedule subject to change. We'll be adding more locations in the weeks to come. We can't wait to feed you!
Boston is a great place for foodies as well as entrepreneurs, such as James DiSabatino. After the success of his Roxy’s Grilled Cheese food truck business, he has begun opening brick and mortar restaurants, featured on Phantom Gourmet on CBS Boston. His latest endeavor is launching a vegan restaurant in Allston, called Whole Heart Provisions.
Lea LeBlanc ‘17
Lea LeBlanc won first place at the 2017 Emerson E3 Expo Pitch Competition for her new venture, Wunder, a fashionable undergarment for women with incontinence. Lea was accepted to MassChallenge, the world’s largest incubator in Boston, where she is working to launch her company. Lea’s inspiration came from her Japanese-American heritage and love of caring for elders.
Nick Vigue ’18
Nick Vigue, also an E3 Entrepreneur, created EnvyLife, a website featuring video and film creations, photos, apparel, and providing a social entrepreneurial connection to artists. Boston.com commended Vigue and three other students earlier this year for their work on a “stunning” timelapse video.
Alex Ilyadis ’17
After working at a tech startup, Alex Ilyadis—who is originally from New Hampshire and also a cash award winner at the E3 Expo—launched Piddle, a mobile app that helps people find public restrooms in major metropolitan cities. Alex and his partner have received even more seed money to further the application development this summer.
Kaylee Largay ’18
Keep an eye out for social entrepreneur and award winner Kaylee Largay, who is already planning some big events. Her upcoming Cambiar Festival will be a “global music, fashion, and art festival to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.”