A new building for the next generation of entrepreneurs is coming to the University of Utah. The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute announced today a 12 million dollar gift from Pierre Lassonde. Mr. Lassonde, a French Canadian mining entrepreneur with an MBA from the U, says his donation will be used to create a new facility where students will live, create, and launch new enterprises.
“The idea was to create essentially a center, a new building that would be the epitome of entrepreneurship in America, something that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the US or anywhere else on the planet for that matter,” Lassonde says.
The 45 million dollar building will merge student workshop space with more than 4oo residences. It will be located next to the existing Entrepreneur Institute, also built with major support from Lassonde. He says the new building is designed to attract talented students, and to build on the university’s reputation as an incubator for entrepreneurship.
“This is really going to make a big difference for the University of Utah, and down the road for the state itself, because I think what we’re going to create and what we’re hoping to create is literally hundreds if not thousands of new companies, and essentially fill the valley with that kind of potential,” Lassonde says.
Lassonde’s gift brings his total contributions to the U up to 25 million dollars. The groundbreaking for the new Lassonde Studios is scheduled for fall this year, with students moving in by 2016.