President’s Message: Student Innovation @ the U 2020

The University of Utah is recognized as a top 10 school for entrepreneurship. This is due in no small part to what is happening at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. Thousands of students have had the opportunity to explore their wildest ideas thanks to the support they have received through the institute and at Lassonde Studios — our much acclaimed living-learning student residence and entrepreneur facility.

As you will see from the stories in this report, our students are creative thinkers and doers. With help from Lassonde and many other departments across campus, they are inventing the next big things and finding ways to make existing products and processes better, quicker, and more efficient. Our students are looking at everything from medicine to video games and all aspects of life in between — including how to generate income from private parking spaces! Every student is encouraged to bring an entrepreneurial mindset to learning and ideas for how to add value and make an impact on the world upon graduation.

Our focus on entrepreneurship reflects values incorporated in the U’s foundation: student success, knowledge generation, and community engagement. We want our students to pursue their passions, to consider all the “what-ifs,” and to embrace the determination and grit it takes to be inventive. This focus also supports significant institutional goals of increasing our impact through collaboration and innovation as One U and serving our state as the University for Utah.

Please read on to discover ways our students are reimagining our world. I think you will be as impressed as I am.

Ruth Watkins, president, University of Utah

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