The entrepreneur program at the U may be young, but a new housing studio might bring nationwide recognition.
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Last week, applications opened for the first 400 spots in the $45 million Lassonde Studios, said Troy D’Ambrosio, executive director of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. It will be a mixture of living and creative spaces for students to produce and launch their business ideas.
“There is nothing else like it … in any campus in the world,” D’Ambrosio said. “We have an unparalleled amount of resources available already — with the new building we are going to take it to the next level.”
Although currently still under construction, the building has gained national attention and several universities have come to get ideas for their own entrepreneur spaces.
Austin Lundskog, a junior in accounting, knows several people who want to live in the studios.
“It’s cutting edge,” he said. “You are right there with a lot of like-minded students looking to start a business or make a product. It’s fun to be in that community and have those resources.”
Lundskog is excited to see the building up and running with skill development workshops, 3D printers, art studios and metal shops. Students from any discipline are eligible to apply and approximately 50 students have already submitted applications.
“When people think of entrepreneurship they think of the school of business, but it’s a lot bigger than that,” D’Ambrosio said. “A business student can say, ‘I have this idea,’ and an art student can help them do draw-ups and help them design it.”
D’Ambrosio said he is most excited to see what students can create when pulled from all over campus and brought together.
“It elevates everybody … to put all that creative energy in one spot and see what happens,” he said.
Lassonde Institute is located on the east side of the Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building. The first floor will be a “creative garage space” for events like innovation and business plan competitions as well as guest speakers. There will be four floors of different housing options including traditional single and doubles but also modular pods that can house 20 students in suites with moveable bedrooms and living spaces.
The building was made possible due to a $12 million donation from Pierre Lassonde, a U alumnus, D’Ambrosio said. Residents will also help cover the cost, but concrete numbers are not yet available.
Barb Remsburg, director of Housing and Residential Education, said students who wish to live in the new complex must fill out an application on the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute website and send in a video, blog or essay saying why they should be accepted.