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Student Entrepreneurs Attend Grinspoon Conference

MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017 - 7:07 AM All News , Arts and Sciences , Business , Engineering
  • S. Hossein Cheraghi, Dean College of Engineering, Evan Choquette '17, Logan Carlson '17, Ryan Noon '18, Professor Mary Schoonmaker, Mike Belinski '17, Chris Urciuoli '17, President Anthony S. Caprio

  • Rebecca Abramson, a sophomore majoring in Electrical Engineering, had a booth for her business “Sparks to Sparkles” which provides educational programming in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.

  • Josue Petion, a third year law student, and Sebastien Percy, a senior majoring in business management, were showcasing their company Napollo Music. Their product offers a way for up-and-coming music artists to share their songs with other people online.

  • Logan Carlson, Evan Choquette, Chris Urciuoli, and Mike Belinski, all 2017 graduates of Western New England University, had a table representing their company AnyCafe, which produces a travel mug that brews coffee.

  • Professor Mary Schoonmaker, President Anthony S. Caprio, and Logan Carlson '17

More than 400 students from 14 local colleges and universities, including 20 students from Western New England University, convened at the MassMutual Center recently for the 12th annual Grinspoon, Garvey and Young Entrepreneurship Conference. The event included discussion panels, presentations, and workshops focused on the concepts of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Students began their day by participating in the world’s largest Idea Jam, with nearly 400 students pitching their ideas for new products and services. The students then received advice from successful entrepreneurs, participated in a mock “Shark Tank” exercise, and learned tips on how to effectively pitch their own ideas to business mentors and investors. View more photo.

The event also included time for student exhibitors to showcase their start-up companies. Three of the exhibitors were from Western New England University. Rebecca Abramson, a sophomore majoring in Electrical Engineering, had a booth for her business “Sparks to Sparkles” which provides educational programming in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. Josue Petion, a third year law student, and Sebastien Percy, a senior majoring in business management, were showcasing their company Napollo Music. Their product offers a way for up-and-coming music artists to share their songs with other people online. Finally, alumni Logan Carlson, Mike Belinski, Chris Urciuoli, and Evan Choquette, all 2017 graduates of Western New England University, had a table representing their company AnyCafé, which produces a travel mug that brews coffee.

The conference concluded with keynote speaker Logan Carlson, co-founder and CEO of AnyCafé. Carlson’s speech centered on his experience in creating a start-up business. He discussed how his idea launched into the beginning phases of a business after participating in Western New England University’s 3 Day Startup program. Carlson thanked many people who have helped him along the way, including Assistant Professor of Marketing Mary Schoonmaker, and various faculty and staff members from the University. Thanks to the perseverance of AnyCafé, the company plans to have their products on the shelves of 4,000 stores by the spring of 2018.

Carlson’s personal story can be seen on a TEDx presentation at, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpXcHVhPbLQ

Participating colleges in the Grinspoon Conference included American International College, Amherst College, Bay Path University, Elms College, Greenfield Community College, Hampshire College, Holyoke Community College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Springfield College, Springfield Technical Community College, UMass Amherst, Western New England University, and Westfield State University.