While most startup companies are lucky to work in a dirty garage, 17 student startups at the University of Utah have space this summer at the new Lassonde Studios building.
The teams are startups-in-residence in the Company Launch program provided by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, a nationally ranked division of the David Eccles School of Business. Through the program, the startups receive office space, access to prototyping tools, personalized mentorship and more. Sponsors include Zions Bank, Jones Waldo and Tanner Co.
“We provide these students with many resources to help them along the way,” said Garrett Holm, an undergraduate business student and manager of the Company Launch program. “These include prototyping equipment found in our makerspace, offices and desks, and access to a vast network of mentors and other experts with years of entrepreneurial experience. Also, our partners provide students with advice on banking and finance, law, and accounting.”
The startups-in-residence are as diverse as the students at the University of Utah. They range from an indie video-game studio to a cooking robot. (See below for the complete list and descriptions of the startups-in-residence.)
Like all programs provided by the Lassonde Institute, the Company Launch program is open to all students at the University of Utah. They apply online, and staff and student managers at the Lassonde Institute select companies based on need and merit. Startups teams also must set milestones and attend weekly mentoring sessions. Startups receive office space and other support for free, but they are expected to progress and engage with the community, and they must reapply each semester – fall, spring and summer – to remain in the program.
“Students in the Company Launch summer program are working to achieve goals by the end of the summer by breaking them down into weekly milestones,” Holm said. “Some are trying to set monthly revenue records, others are raising capital or finalizing prototypes, but the common underlying theme is that they work toward their goals one weekly milestone at a time.”
The Company Launch program is now accepting applications for office space and support for fall 2017 and spring 2018. While there is limited office space – the maximum is around 20 startups-in-residence – other companies can participate and receive benefits without office space.
Lassonde Studios is the new home for student entrepreneurs at the University of Utah. The unique building opened in August 2016. It features a 20,000-square-foot innovation space on the main floor open to all students on campus to build prototypes, test their ideas and launch companies. Above are four floors of student housing space and 400 beds.
Startups-in-Residence (Summer 2017)
Here are the startups-in-residence in the Company Launch program at Lassonde Studios for summer 2017:
- ADA Mobile Assessment Systems — Creates mobile-data collection systems for sidewalks, ramps and accessible routes to evaluate ADA Title II and III compliance.
- Andriese Entertainment, LLC — A professional production company that provides audio, lighting, MC and DJ services that will bring your events to life.
- AptiTekk — Designs and crafts beautiful software to solve the common efficiency problems that plague schools and businesses.
- BOTPOT — App-controlled robotic cooking appliances. No more fast food or meal replacements, just gourmet scheduled food.
- Blerp — Making soundbites as fun, shareable and viral as GIFs by creating the world’s largest and easily searchable soundboard.
- Cocpit-Labs — Solving all the complexity that goes into a small team, growing new technology into a sustainable company.
- Decimate Limits — Performance-based company focused on breaking life’s limitations through products and innovations.
- Grace Foundry — An indie game studio that works to embrace the social aspects of gaming by building experiences that bring people closer together.
- Hashtaggy — Uses mobile technology to connect college students to every campus activity, hangout and event that they are passionate about.
- Portal Power — Providing a simplistic, efficient form of portable and rechargeable energy.
- Project Embrace — A nonprofit organization dedicated to the reduction of global health inequalities and promotion of a healthier planet.
- Utah Maids — Takes the hassle out of scheduling a home cleaning. In 60 seconds or less, anybody can book a home cleaning entirely via a computer or phone and not worry about phone calls or paying with cash.
- Index — Simplifying the contact sharing process by creating a platform that enables you to share all of your contact information and social networks at once, with one QR code.
- Off the Frame Photography — Focused on creating an authentic and unique portrait photography session, as well as helping small businesses with product photography and social-media marketing.
- LIT Outdoors — An outdoor company creating unique products to allow hammock users to expand their camping possibilities.
- Situ — Design consultants that are striving to reduce textile waste by creating new products for soft-good companies out of their existing production-line scrap material and factory rejects.
- The Society — Connecting you with the best local bars, restaurants, pubs and nightclubs. Are you a nightlife enthusiast? Be a VIP every weekend. Are you a nightlife business? Let The Society bring more customers through your doors.
About the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute
The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute is a nationally ranked hub for student entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Utah and an interdisciplinary division of the David Eccles School of Business. The first programs were offered in 2001, through the vision and support of Pierre Lassonde, an alumnus of the Eccles School and successful mining entrepreneur. The institute now provides opportunities for thousands of students to learn about entrepreneurship and innovation. Programs include workshops, networking events, business-plan competitions, startup support, innovation programs, graduate seminars, scholarships, community outreach and more. All programs are open to students from any academic major or background. The Lassonde Institute also manages the Lassonde Studios, a new $45 million innovation space and housing facility for all students. Learn more at lassonde.utah.edu.
Here are images of Company Launch startups during the 2016-2017 academic year: