Mayor matches city college students with entrepreneurs

Budding entrepreneurs from Boston’s colleges and universities gathered Tuesday to hear success stories from a panel of businessmen and women as part of the mayor’s ongoing initiative to connect students with resources off campus.

The event, called Break the Bubble Young Entrepreneurs, allowed students to network with a lineup of panelists that included members who created their own companies and a writer on the topic of entrepreneurship.

Moderated by serial entrepreneur Melissa Massello, the panel focused on the different aspects of building — from building connections and relationships to one day building a business.

Panelists included Lauren Landry, writer for BostInno; Dana Lampert, co-founder of the website Wiggio; Morgan O’ Neill, co-founder of the website; Emily Benson, founder of The Fashion Truck; and Paul Hlatky, executive director of Greenhorn Connects.


The group, which answered questions and advised students for two hours, met in South Boston.

“Clearly there is a desire for engagement in this city,’’ said Chloe Ryan, director of Menino’s organization ONEin3. “Tonight’s panel specifically focuses on engaging college students with the city and connecting them with successful young entrepreneurs in the city.’’

The ONEin3 organization, launched in 2004, works to engage the one-third of Bostonians between the ages of 20-34 with the resources of the city.

Since its creation, Menino has implemented many additional campaigns and set up panels to bridge the gap between studying in Boston and working in Boston.

The panel, part of the mayor’s Break the Bubble campaign, aims to do exactly that: break the bubble that takes students away from the Hub after graduation.

“Boston has the largest proportion of young adults in the nation, and this population is a vital economic and cultural driving force in the city,’’ the mayor said in a statement.

“We want our young adult population to continue to make a home in Boston long after they graduate, and we are working hard to strengthen our ties with them through One in 3 and our Break the Bubble programs,’’ he said.


Ryan believes the initiative has been successful in breaking that bubble. She said 170 students had confirmed they would attend the event on Tuesday.

“We targeted entrepreneurship clubs and asked them the exact type of things they wanted to hear [at the panel],’’ Ryan said.

The panel, Ryan said, was unique because it focused on aspiring entrepreneurs, an important population of the city.

“There is a thriving landscape of young people in Boston,’’ she said.

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