The award-winning Master of Business Creation (MBC) program at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business announced new leadership. Professors and experienced entrepreneurs Paul Brown and Taft Price are now co-directors of the program, while the founding director, Jack Brittain, starts transitioning to retirement while continuing to teach leadership in the MBC program, concluding a remarkable career at the University of Utah.
“The MBC program is one-of-a-kind degree and experience, and it’s been a privilege to help launch the program and work with our first two cohorts of founders,” Brittain said. “The new directors will continue to grow the program as it expands to serve entrepreneurs who cannot commit to full-time enrollment and engages founders through international partnerships in Canada, Europe and Africa.”
Brittain is retiring after joining the University of Utah in 1999 as dean of the David Eccles School of Business. During his time at the university, he also served as the vice president for technology venture development and is the inaugural holder of the Pierre Lassonde Presidential Chair in Entrepreneurship.
Brown is a professor in the Department of Entrepreneurship & Strategy at the Eccles School. He holds the James Lee Sorenson Presidential Chair. His experience outside the classroom includes being a partner of the Kirkland & Ellis law firm in Chicago, founding and co-managing Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s $300 million national venture capital fund, and serving as a managing director at Sandbox Industries. He also serves on a number of startup boards and is an advisory partner with Granite Growth Health Partners.
Brown earned dual bachelor’s degrees from the University of Utah and a law degree from the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.
“I’m really passionate about this unique program. There’s nothing like it anywhere,” said Brown of the MBC program. “We provide intense mentoring, world-class academic frameworks and teaching, and access to valuable entrepreneurial networks. Everything our students do in the program helps them advance their startup.”
Price is also a professor in the Department of Entrepreneurship & Strategy. An experienced entrepreneur, he is the co-founder of Oakley Networks, a security software company sold to Raytheon that generated more than $75 million of revenue, and the former president of TaskEasy, a dual-sided marketplace for exterior maintenance services.
Beyond his business experience, Price has a background in higher education, serving on the University of Utah Board of Trustees for six years and earning two degrees: a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Brigham Young University and an MBA from New York University.
Both Brown and Price look forward to growing the Master of Business Creation program and maintaining the momentum established by the program founders, Brittain and Troy D’Ambrosio, the executive director at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute.
“The MBC program combines the academic rigor of an accredited master’s degree with focus on the founder’s actual business,” Price said. “It’s not a traditional classroom or incubator –– our founders work at a sophisticated level on something real, not just theoretical, while applying all the foundational pillars of business and entrepreneurship to their business.”
The Eccles School announced the Master of Business Creation program in 2019. The first two classes of founders completed the program during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years. The program is managed by the Department of Entrepreneurship & Strategy and generously supported by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. Both are divisions of the Eccles School, which is ranked among the top 10 schools for entrepreneurship by Bloomberg Businessweek, U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review.
Founders in the MBC program receive mentorship and resources to launch and scale their companies. They complete the program in just nine months and all receive full scholarships that cover the costs of the program. All benefit from Eccles School courses, applied curriculum workshops, practicum labs and the intense learning-by-doing that occurs when lessons are applied to their own businesses.
The MBC program is one of the latest additions to the Eccles School, which celebrates entrepreneurship as a core value and fosters it throughout its undergraduate and graduate programs. The MBC program also was recognized by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) in the 2020 “Innovations That Inspire” member challenge.
The Eccles School created the MBC program to blend the best attributes of a business curriculum with a startup accelerator. The founders develop their startups while taking classes from leading experts and receiving extensive resources and mentorship to help them address their immediate business needs.
About the David Eccles School of Business
The Eccles School is synonymous with “doing.” The Eccles experience provides a world-class business education with a unique, entrepreneurial focus on real-world scenarios where students put what they learn into practice long before graduation. Founded in 1917 and educating more than 6,000 students annually, the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business offers nine undergraduate majors, four MBAs, eight other graduate programs, a Ph.D. in six areas and executive education curricula. The School is also home to 12 institutes, centers and initiatives that deliver academic research and support an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation. For more information, visit Eccles.Utah.edu or call 801-581-7676.
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 Entrepreneur Institute also manages Lassonde Studios, a five-story innovation space and housing facility for all students. Learn more at Lassonde.Utah.edu.