Team business ideas include consulting services for independent artists; a digital platform model for television pilot production, and a 3-D printing food company


Emerson College today announced the three student teams selected for its Emerson Accelerator Program—officially marking the kick-off of the College’s newly formed extracurricular program for entrepreneurial students to launch businesses.

Open to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing any field of study, the Emerson Accelerator Program, which was announced in March 2014, received 18 student team submissions with a variety of business concepts for consideration. Each team provided written proposals and short videos, which were reviewed by the Program’s Executive Board members who are Emerson alumni and industry leaders.

To help develop their businesses, funding is divided among the teams each semester based on their plans and needs; mentors are available to give expert advice; and teams are provided with membership at WeWork—a professional work space for innovators located close to campus, in Boston’s Leather District.

The three selected student teams:

Graduate students Amy DePaola and McKenna Stephens are each pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in Media Art/Film Digital Distribution. Their digital platform business interMEDIAry could change the way pilot television shows are developed by testing pilots via web-series, which will allow show creators to collect data on targeted audiences through social media.

Maya Rafie, a junior studying Marketing Communication at Emerson, and Berklee College of Music team member Zac DelVecchio, a sophomore in Marketing and Finance, successfully presented their concept for JMZ Music Consulting, which will offer artists monthly contracts with the benefits of access to custom-designed consulting and services, from marketing to music production, while still maintaining their independence.

Tiffany Roca and Michelangelo Aragon are both seniors majoring in Marketing Communication. Their business, a 3-D printing food company, produces organic treats for healthy-food enthusiasts in the Greater Boston Area. Boston Organic Goods is also a socially responsible, non-profit organization designed to help hydroponic farmers cultivate their own organically sustainable products.

“Entrepreneurship is thriving in arts and communication,” said Emerson College President Lee Pelton, who is committed to advancing innovation on campus. “The Emerson Accelerator program taps into the entrepreneurial spirit among students and provides them an opportunity to pursue their wonderfully innovative ideas for new businesses before they graduate.” said Pelton.

With encouragement from Pelton, two entrepreneurial Emerson alumni, Jake Bailey ‘14 and Tripp Clemens ‘13, created the Emerson Accelerator program, which is supported by Emerson’s Trustees and Overseers. Marketing and Communication faculty member Stanley Miller serves as the program advisor and administrator.

Bailey, Clemens, and Miller will monitor the Emerson Accelerator teams and program during the school year. “The choice between being a starving artist or a sellout is a fallacy. In the new creative economy, art and commerce not only merge together, but actually flourish together,” said Clemens. “We’re looking forward to supporting the student teams in every way we can and helping them reach their goals,” added Miller.

About the College

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, opposite the historic Boston Common and in the heart of the city’s Theatre District, Emerson College educates individuals who will solve problems and change the world through engaged leadership in communication and the arts, a mission informed by liberal learning. The College has 3,780 undergraduates and 670 graduate students from across the United States and 50 countries. Supported by state-of-the-art facilities and a renowned faculty, students participate in more than 90 student organizations and performance groups. Emerson is known for its experiential learning programs in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, the Netherlands, London, China, and the Czech Republic as well as its new Global Portals, with the first opening last fall in Paris. The College has an active network of 51,000 alumni who hold leadership positions in communication and the arts. For more information, visit