The University of Utah announced a major new program today to support all alumni interested in entrepreneurship.
Lassonde for Life is open to all alumni of the university, from every department and major, who want to start or grow a business. It is provided by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, a top-10 ranked division of the David Eccles School of Business, in partnership with the university’s Office of Alumni Relations, and the PIVOT Center, a university office dedicated to innovation and economic development.
“This is a first-of-a-kind program to support all of our graduates who have a business idea or imagine starting one sometime in the future,” said Troy D’Ambrosio, executive director of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute and an assistant dean at the Eccles School. “We want to help them all become entrepreneurs and follow their dreams, while also helping each other through workshops, mentoring, and other resources.”
University of Utah alumni can participate in the program for free and from anywhere in the world. The program will be offered mostly online to make it as accessible as possible. Alumni can get involved at any time. The program is expected to keep alumni engaged and attract new students to the university who want more than a degree. (Register for the program here.)
To be successful, entrepreneurs must always be learning and growing. Lassonde for Life attempts to help them by being a resource to them for life. They can participate for as long as they want, and the more people that sign up, the better the program becomes by providing a better network of alumni interested in entrepreneurship.
The Lassonde for Life program will begin with a series of workshops during the 2022-23 academic year. Each workshop will be hosted by an alumni expert who will share their expertise on topics such as market research, legal issues for startups, sales channels, prototyping, and more.
Members of the Lassonde for Life program receive many benefits and opportunities. In addition to regular workshops, they get access to helpful content, mentors, networking opportunities, regular updates, and more. The program takes advantage of the University of Utah’s new alumni networking platform, the Forever Utah Alumni Network, where alumni can stay connected to campus and each other.
“We are excited to offer Lassonde for Life to our estimated 300,000 alumni across the world,” said Kris Bosman, the chief alumni relations officer for the University of Utah. “We know many of our alumni have business ideas, and this is their chance to launch them. We hope to help them find success through this program; Lassonde for Life will give them the support and encouragement they need.”
Lassonde for Life is expected to further the University of Utah’s long history of entrepreneurship and innovation. All across campus, many faculty, staff, and students are creating products, inventing new technologies, and launching companies. Now, alumni can be more engaged than ever and help grow this tradition.
The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute adds Lassonde to Life to a wide range of programs it already provides. Since its foundation in 2001, the institute has grown to be one of the most respected entrepreneur programs in the country. The institute empowers thousands of student entrepreneurs every year who launch hundreds of student startup teams.
Other opportunities at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute include Lassonde Studios, business plan competitions, grants, startup support, makerspace, many academic opportunities through the Department of Entrepreneurship & Strategy, and more. One of the newest academic opportunities is the Master of Business Creation, a program that helps founders grow their businesses and is now available online.
Learn more about Lassonde for Life and register for the program at lassonde.utah.edu/life.
Lassonde for Life Workshops 2022-23
[Subject to change]
Here are upcoming Lassonde for Life Workshops. All events will be virtual and accessible from anywhere. Register for each event and learn more at lassonde.utah.edu/calendar:
- Introducing Lassonde for Life – Sept. 7, 2022, 12-1 p.m. (MT) – online – Join us at this kick-off event to learn more about Lassonde for Life, a new program for all alumni of the University of Utah. The program will provide entrepreneur support and resources to launch or grow a new business and connect alumni entrepreneurs with each other. Attend this event to learn more and join the community.
- Identify a Problem & Opportunity – Oct. 5, 2022, 12-1 p.m. (MT) – online – Before you start a business, you need to make sure that you have identified a problem that customers want to be solved and a sustainable business opportunity. You will want to address these questions before going too far. We’ll be joined by an expert in our community to illustrate the topic and lead a discussion.
- Business & Marketing Research – Nov. 2, 2022, 12-1 p.m. (MT) – online – You can learn a lot about the potential of your idea by doing business and marketing research. There are many methods and sources for this work. We’ll help you navigate these topics and get started. We’ll be joined by an expert in our community to illustrate the topic and lead a discussion.
- Propose a Product or Service – Dec. 7, 2022, 12-1 p.m. (MT) – online – Every business needs a product or service, but how do you know it’s the right one? This workshop will help you navigate this topic and advance from identifying a market opportunity to choosing the right product or service to provide. They key is offering a solution to your customer’s problem. We’ll help you explore these topics and get started. We’ll be joined by an expert in our community to illustrate the topic and lead a discussion.
- Explore the Competitive Landscape – Jan. 4, 2023, 12-1 p.m. (MT) – online – The competitive landscape is all the companies or organizations that provide a different solution to your customer’s problem. You will want to know as much as you can about them to make sure you are positioning your product or service well. Attend this workshop to learn more. We’ll be joined by an expert in our community to illustrate the topic and lead a discussion.
- Price vs. Cost – Feb. 1, 2023, 12-1 p.m. (MT) – online – Don’t confuse price with cost. Price is what you charge people to buy your product or service, while cost is what it takes you to produce it. You’ll want to master both of these topics to grow your business and be as profitable as possible. Get started by attending this workshop. We’ll be joined by an expert in our community to illustrate the topic and lead a discussion.
- Propose a Value Created – March 1, 2023, 12-1 p.m. (MT) – online – When starting a business, it helps to think about what sort of value you are providing. The more value you can offer, the more customers will want and need your product or service. Learn how to think about value creation and apply it to your product or business. We’ll be joined by an expert in our community to illustrate the topic and lead a discussion.
- Financial Models & Single Unit Economics – April 5, 2023, 12-1 p.m. (MT) – online – A financial model illustrates how your business makes money and becomes profitable. It is one of the most important parts of your business plan. Another important part is single unit economics, which involves analyzing all the costs of producing a single widget or service. Learn more about these topics at this workshop. We’ll be joined by an expert in our community to illustrate the topic and lead a discussion.
- Identify a Customer Profile – May 3, 2023, 12-1 p.m. (MT) – online – The more you know your customer, the more successful your business will be. While it’s often impossible to know every one of your customers, you can build one or more customer profiles to consider every time you make a business decision. This workshop will help you get started. We’ll be joined by an expert in our community to illustrate the topic and lead a discussion.
- Sales Channels – June 7, 2022, 12-1 p.m. (MT) – online – How you sell your product is not always as simple as it seems. You need to weigh all of your options and pick the right one for your business. Do you sell in a store? Do you sell from your website directly to consumers? Do you sell on Amazon? Do you license your product? Start to get answers to these questions by attending this workshop. We’ll be joined by an expert in our community to illustrate the topic and lead a discussion.
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 Lassonde Studios, a five-story innovation space and housing facility for all students. Learn more at lassonde.utah.edu.