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Student entrepreneurs at Bentley University

Innovation Inc.

Student Ventures Take Off at Bentley

Molly Mastantuono and Kristen Walsh 

Bentley is a tried-and-true launching pad for student businesses. Some had ventures in mind before arriving on campus; for others, inspiration came later. Either way, one thing is clear: Being around likeminded innovators — and having courses on planning and financing a business — were just what they needed to turn a dream into reality. Here are just a few examples. 

Jefe Clothing co-founders Leonardo Paul ’20 (right) and Joshua Elysee ’21

Jefe Clothing An apparel company offering bold, vibrant and elevating designs

Founders Marketing majors Leonardo Paul ’20 (right) and Joshua Elysee ’21

Launched September 2018

Passion for Fashion Paul and Elysee attended the same charter school in Cambridge, Mass., where they bonded over a mutual dislike for the sameness of the required uniform. In fourth grade, Elysee paired a tie with his polo shirt. On monthly dress-down days, Paul would coordinate outfits inspired by his favorite musicians. At Bentley they discovered a shared dream to launch a clothing line.

What’s in a Name? The Spanish word jefe (pronounced hefay) translates as “boss” but has a deeper meaning. “A boss is someone who simply gives directions, whereas a jefe is more a leader who guides people in the direction they should be going and encourages them to continue growing,” says Elysee. “We want our company philosophy and our fashion to help inspire people to reach their full potential.”

Entrepreneurship is a concentration for Management majors

People Cold Brew co-founder Aman Ailani ’20

People Cold Brew A company selling canned cold-brew coffee

Founder Aman Ailani ’20, a Management major with a concentration in Entrepreneurship

Launched January 2020

Born for Business As a child in Dubai, Ailani sold dates harvested from palm trees in his backyard. In sixth grade, he persuaded a friend — and talented artist — to join him in creating comic books, which

they sold to classmates for 25 cents apiece.

Due Diligence Ailani’s 30-page business plan outlines everything from product design and production to distribution and marketing. Grab-and-go drinks as a category grew by 54% last year, he points out, and industry sales are projected to hit $1 billion by 2022. “Coffee is something millions of people consume every day, whether the economy is lean or booming.”

Students can pursue a minor in Entrepreneurial Studies

Dreams Overdue founder Rina Rabinovich ’21

Dreams Overdue A company that runs immersive trips for young people to Colombia, Guatemala and Costa Rica

Founder Rina Rabinovich ’21, a Management major with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and minors in Chinese and Information Design and Corporate Communication

Launched October 2018

Global Inspiration Before starting at Bentley, Rabinovich opted for a gap year of experiential learning. She set off from Vietnam on a 14-month backpacking trip to 28 countries. It deepened her appreciation for other cultures — and inspired her resolve to start a travel-focused business. 

Journey to Self-Discovery To deliver similarly life-changing trips for other young people, Dreams Overdue takes care of all the details, from accommodations to meals to activities. The latter includes pursuits like zip-lining along with language lessons and meditation. “I provide an environment that allows for self-reflection,” Rabinovich explains, helping travelers “grow into the best versions of themselves.”

Legally Ours, founded by Sneha Durairaj ’22, won $10K from T-Mobile