Timeline

[Updated: 07-27-21]

1973 – Pierre Lassonde receives an MBA degree from the University of Utah. The Canadian native goes on to launch the Franco-Nevada Mining Corporation in 1983 and achieve substantial success as an entrepreneur and gold investor.

2001 – The Pierre and Claudette McKay Lassonde New Venture Development Center forms with a $30,000 gift from Pierre Lassonde. The center brings together business, engineering, and science graduate students with university faculty inventors to develop commercialization plans.

2002 – The first companies start to launch from the Lassonde New Venture Development Center. The earliest companies were in industries including medical imaging and pharmaceuticals.

2006 – The Lassonde Family Foundation donates $13 million to create the Pierre Lassonde Entrepreneur Center. The gift expands the organization’s reach to include competitions, including the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, which is sponsored by Zions Bank.

2006 – Pierre Lassonde receives an honorary doctorate from the University of Utah.

2008 – The Pierre Lassonde Entrepreneur Center finishes renovation on what is called the “Lassonde House,” a historic building in the Fort Douglas area of the University of Utah campus. The building serves as the administrative headquarters. The original structure was built during the Civil War.

2009 – The Pierre Lassonde Entrepreneur Center continues to grow and partners with University of Utah Health to launch Bench to Bedside, a medical-device competition.

2011 – The Pierre Lassonde Entrepreneur Center and David Eccles School of Business rank among the top-25 programs in the country for entrepreneurship by the Princeton Review.

2011 – The Lassonde Center add a milestone grant program, Get Seeded, which gives university students access to small grants to grow and test their business ideas.

2012 – The first students enroll in the new Lassonde Social Entrepreneur Program. It allows graduate students to spend a year using business skills to address global issues.

2013 – The Pierre Lassonde Entrepreneur Center becomes the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. The new name reflects its growing reach and size. The institute adds related programs at the University of Utah, including Innovation Scholar, an introductory program for undergraduate students.

2014 – The Lassonde Family Foundation donates an additional $12 million to the University of Utah, bringing the total program commitments to $25 million. The new gift is used to help build an iconic new facility for student entrepreneurs.

2014 – The Department of Entrepreneurship & Strategy is formed at the David Eccles School of Business. The department works closely with the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to provide opportunities for all students to learn about entrepreneurship inside and outside the classroom.

2014 – The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute unveils plans for the Lassonde Studios, a place for students to “Live. Create. Launch.” The five-story building would have 400 unique student residences and a 20,000-square-foot student innovation space for meeting, building, and starting companies.

2014 – Groundbreaking for Lassonde Studios.

2014 – Lassonde Studios gains worldwide attention and featured in such publications as the “The New York Times,” “Fast Company” and “Bloomberg.”

2015 – ABC’s “Shark Tank” hosts an audition at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, with several teams advancing to appear on the program. Lassonde Executive Director Troy D’Ambrosio receives the Utah Governor’s Science Medal for his contributions to STEM, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

2015 – The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute continues to grow in anticipation of the new building under construction. New programs added include the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, WorkshopsHours with Experts, and Meetups.

2016 – Students start living and creating in the Lassonde Studios. Many students applied to be one of the first to live here. The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute adds numerous programs, including MakeCompany LaunchCoworkingArt Entrepreneur, and Food Entrepreneur.

2016 – Many friends and guests gather for the dedication of the Lassonde Studios. The event marks the completion of the building and a new chapter for the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute.

2017 – The Milken Institute ranks the University of Utah as the No. 1 university in the country for turning faculty inventions into businesses. The Pierre and Claudette McKay Lassonde New Venture Development Center contributed to this achievement by accelerating the commercialization of faculty inventions.

2017 – The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute has helped launch hundreds of student startup teams through its many programs and opportunities for students at the University of Utah and across the state.

2019 — The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute and David Eccles School of Business introduce a first-of-a-kind Master of Business Creation degree, the Lassonde+X program for all undergraduate students to learn the entrepreneurial mindset, and Lassonde Founders, a residential entrepreneur program.

2020Pierre Lassonde retires from Franco-Nevada, after leading the company for 35 years and growing it to a valuation of $38 billion.

2020 – The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute and David Eccles School of Business are ranked among the top-10 programs in the country for entrepreneurship by Bloomberg Businessweek, U.S. News & World Report, and the Princeton Review.

2020 – Most programs and activities moved online to help students continue entrepreneuring during the coronavirus pandemic. Students and founders at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute demonstrated their grit and determination.

2021 – The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute celebrates 20th anniversary since it was established in 2001.

To be continued …