The power of E3 will set you free

Emerson College is usually associated with aspiring filmmakers, actors, and journalists — not businessmen. There are, however, a number of ambitious people who seek to develop a business of their very own — they’re Emerson’s entrepreneurs.

Emerson Experience in Entrepreneurship, also known as E3 is a program developed by Karl Baehr and Emerson staff members. It provides to-be tycoons with an opportunity to expand their money-making talents and was brought in as a minor in 2004.  Baehr has started more than seven businesses of his own, like Knowledge Based Evolution, according to his web site KarlBaehr.com, and has worked as a consultant for other entrepreneurs for over 30 years.

“I’ve made mistakes, I’ve learned by doing it, and I’m still an active entrepreneur,” said Baehr. “I knew that this program had to be real, and not just an exercise where you turn in a term paper at the end.”

E3 is a two-semester immersion in the process of developing a business while learning about entrepreneurship, said Baehr. Students from any major can take this class from September to May and develop their own company with the help of Baehr  and guest experts who specialize in different areas.

“These experts come in and teach different aspects of the curriculum like finance, for example, in a fluid fashion,” said Baehr. “They’ll come in and teach you what you need to know in the beginning, and then come back a month later and see what needs to happen.”

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There are numerous Emerson alumni who have succeeded in their entrepreneurial endeavors. Morgan First, a class of 2006 graduate, was featured in Inc. magazine’s “Thirty Under Thirty: America’s Coolest Young Entrepreneurs” for her business, The Second Glass (secondglass.com), a virtual guide to everything wine in July 2010.

“You’ve heard teachers say that, eventually, the ‘lights go on’,” said Baehr. “In E3, when the ‘lights go on’ they go into business, and they’re off. That’s what makes an entrepreneur.”