Editor’s Note: We invited writer and U humanities student Bailey Shelden to report about how entrepreneurship needs diverse students from arts, English and beyond. Below is what she discovered.
What do a new residence building, entrepreneurship, and the humanities have in common? The answer may surprise you.
It is hard to miss all the construction projects going on between the U’s Tanner Irish Building and the old Hyper complex. Ten-story cranes are busy at work, freight elevators shuttle new supplies to the top floors, and behind the scenes, staff at the Lassonde Institute are busy screening applications from students eager to move in next fall.
All across campus people are talking about the new Lassonde Studios — but the staff are especially interested in attracting one group that you might not expect: students in the humanities.
Business Needs Diverse Students
While most students think of engineers, MBAs or computer experts when they think of startups, the role of the humanities in the world of entrepreneurship is now more important than ever. Even Steve Jobs said technology alone isn’t enough. Looks matter, and a product’s appearance matters, almost as much as its function. An engineer can come up with new inventions, but it takes an artist to make the product visually appealing. And a room full of MBAs can come up with a million dollar idea — but they need a writer to present it (and probably a creative marketing team to ensure the product reaches consumers!).
That’s why students from writing, English, communication, art, languages and more are needed to join the Lassonde Insitute.
Living and Learning at the New Lassonde
The Lassonde Studios seeks to redefine what a student living-and-learning space can be. Housing 400 students on the top floors, the first floor will be left for something special. On the first level, “The Garage,” a 20,000 square foot work space, will be filled with everything students need to create the next groundbreaking prototype. The space will also serve to bring students together from all disciplines and all parts of campus. Writers will meet engineers and marketing students, along with business majors and chemists to create the best start-ups possible.
Taking an idea from concept to reality often requires people of different backgrounds coming together. The Lassonde Institute offers students the opportunity to network through team meet ups, workshops, mentoring hours, and more.
Programs like Get Seeded allow student inventors to work with groups of writers and creative types to craft proposals that can win investors and clients. Entrepreneurs create the perfect pitch and compete for a chance to win thousands in investment capital. And other programs, such as Games4Health, challenge student teams to create new apps or games. Grand prizes reach into the thousands with big name sponsors looking to find the next innovative health app.
We’re Keeping a Spot Just for You
Whatever your creative field of study — art, English, communication or design — there is a place for you at the new Lassonde Entrepreneurial Institute. Each student brings something valuable to their team — and your imagination may be just what we need to launch the next student success story.