Tech Transfer eNews Blog

U of Utah creates new graduate degree program for student entrepreneurs


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: June 5th, 2019

The University of Utah (The U) is creating a new graduate degree program to help students launch and grow their own start-ups.

The Master of Business Creation is a nine-month program that will merge the university’s Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute and graduate-level course work from the David Eccles School of Business. According to Troy D’Ambrosio, executive director of Lassonde, the end goal is to provide the tools for entrepreneurs to take their start-ups to the next level.

“It’s a unique combination of an accelerator and the relevant theory and knowledge that you find in a typical MBA program,” says D’Ambrosio. “We didn’t just repackage a traditional MBA program. We created new classes tailored for business creation.”

While Lassonde is open to all students interested in entrepreneurship, the new program is designed for those fully committed, whose businesses are past the idea phase and moving towards realization.

Taylor Randall, dean of the business school, says the program will be attractive to both undergrads looking to extend their business development in a setting of academic support, as well as those who may be five or six years out of school. The overall goal, Randall explains, is not just for students to learn the coursework, but to actually apply it to their companies.

“Really, this is perhaps a degree that takes active learning to a new level,” says Randall. “The professors and students involved in this program will be applying knowledge in real time. In fact, faculty expect what they give to students to be used the very day it’s delivered to them. The case studies for this degree are their own companies, not material found outside what they’re doing.”

Randall said that while the program would create accelerator-like access to expertise and support, the school would not be seeking any equity in the companies.

“I think [the program] transforms faculty into advisers for companies and creates a support system and ecosystem that people haven’t seen before,” Randall said. “It certainly makes the education very, very relevant.”

Source: Deseret News

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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