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Community of entrepreneurs, innovators and creators will live in the new $45 million Lassonde Studios starting fall 2016; $3 million in scholarships available.

By Melinda Rogers

Calling the next generation of thinkers, creators and entrepreneurs.

You know who you are: You’re that guy spending late nights in your garage tinkering with your latest electronics idea because you know that if great inventors made breakthroughs by taking chances, you can do it to. You’re that woman who sees the world a bit differently —the one your teachers have pegged part dreamer, part prodigy. You might not realize it, but you’re one of the future entrepreneurs of the world, and there’s a new home waiting for you to take the next step.

Introducing Lassonde Studios at the University of Utah, a place where you can live with fellow future game-changers of the world who can push you to think more, to be more, to do more. Lassonde Studios, opening in the fall of 2016, is a place for young visionaries to make the first move into becoming a new class of entrepreneurs.

The 160,000-square-foot building will have a 20,000-square-foot garage on the main floor of the residence hall, complete with 3-D printers, laser-cutters, prototyping tools and company launch space. Above will be four floors of housing, with students allowed to choose between “pods,” lofts and traditional rooms. The open floor plan means student entrepreneurs have access to bouncing ideas off each other at all hours of the day —and an environment that caters to fostering innovation while also completing a traditional education.

This week, Lassonde Studios launched a nationwide search for the “400 best student entrepreneurs,” who will become the first group to live in the state-of-the-art $45 million facility in August 2016. Students are invited to apply to become part of the “Lassonde 400” — a designation that comes with the chance to receive part of up to $3 million in scholarships available to live at the school.

“We are investing in the student experience to make the University of Utah the place to be for aspiring entrepreneurs and to develop skills needed in today’s marketplace,” said Troy D’Ambrosio, executive director of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. “We already have a top-ranked entrepreneurship program, and our new facility will provide an even more unique, immersive experience. We invite students everywhere to grow with us.”

Students can apply online to be a part of the “Lassonde 400.” Applications should be submitted by fall 2015 for students who wish to be a part of the inaugural group moving in to the building in 2016. To apply, students must submit a video, essay or other creative work explaining why they are one of the world’s “400 best student entrepreneurs.”

Students who apply for the 2016-17 school year will be also be eligible for various scholarships, which will be up to $3 million based on merit and need.

The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute began in 2001 through the vision and support of Pierre Lassonde, an alumnus of the University of Utah and successful mining entrepreneur. He has donated $25 million to support the Lassonde Institute and help build the Lassonde Studios.

“We started with a dream to bring together students from all disciplines and backgrounds to live, learn and work together at solving real-life problems,” Lassonde said. “This is the future of education, and we are doing it now.”

“The educational experience at Lassonde is unique to higher education institutions,” said Taylor Randall, dean of the David Eccles School of Business.

“Our vision is to become the best place in the country for student entrepreneurs,” said Randall. “We already have a thriving innovation community, and our new building will bring everything together in one place. It will be the place where students from all majors and backgrounds come together to live and create.”

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Melinda Rogers is a communication specialist at University Marketing and Communications. If you have an interesting story idea, email her at