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U of U launches master’s program designed specifically for entrepreneurs

The University of Utah is taking its business school to the next level with a new master’s degree designed specifically for entrepreneurs.

The David Eccles School of Business at the U announced on Wednesday that it’s taking it nationally ranked program for entrepreneurship to new heights with the launch of the Master of Business Creation – a degree designed for serious entrepreneurs and the first of its kind, according to the official press release.

Provided in partnership with the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, the MBC combines “the best of a graduate business-degree program taught by leading scholars with a rigorous startup accelerator” by providing students with the knowledge, mentorship and support they need to launch a company and a create their own jobs, according to the press release.

“The Master of Business Creation is unlike any other business master’s degree,” stated Taylor Randall, dean of the David Eccles School of Business. “It will teach founders what they need to know to start and grow a successful company, and they will learn these lessons while applying them in real time to their companies. MBC students can customize the program to meet their needs. No two companies are alike; we created a program that accommodates this diversity.”

During the nine-month program, MBC students will get access to extensive resources, including significant scholarships, over $500,000 in grants, mentoring, prototyping tools, office space and more. According to the press release, students will be able to graduate with the knowledge and skills they’ll need to create and scale a new business.

According to the press release, the Eccles School talked with entrepreneurs in its existing programs to help develop the MBC degree. Students then requested a degree that would focus on their idea that allows them to focus on making their endeavors successful.

“This degree program is very relevant and immediately useful for a working entrepreneur,” stated Todd Zenger, presidential professor and chair of the Department of Entrepreneurship & Strategy at the Eccles School. “The Master of Business Creation degree was co-designed by serial entrepreneurs and leading educators to provide you with the tools, training and network access required to create and build a business, rather than merely administer one.

He added:

Our aim is to assist entrepreneurs in what matters most to them – rapidly growing their startup and realizing its potential. We are just as focused on that goal as our students.

The Eccles School school also looked at the leading business accelerators that have been growing in popularity across the country that provided space and support to startups. Like these accelerators, the MBC program has a competitive application process and offers financial support and a cohort structure that allows students to learn together.

“We created a graduate degree inspired by leading accelerators like Y Combinator,” stated Troy D’Ambrosio, executive director of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, an assistant dean at the Eccles School and a serial entrepreneur. “We wanted to create something similar, but with the unmatched resources and expertise of a top research university. Launching a company on campus has many advantages.”

However, unlike some accelerators, the MBC program doesn’t take an equity interest in the participant’s company because the students remain in complete control of their ownership. Additionally, the program offers access to uncommon resources because it’s a leading university with broad community support and has resources that include access to experts in countless fields of study, entrepreneurship scholars, business-plan competition prizes, specialized tools and equipment, and a thriving student community, according to the press release.

D’Ambrosio added:

We want the program to enrich the participant’s startups, not be a drag on them. Everything we do is to support these founders. When a startup is just getting going, the last thing you want to do is to lose value and spend valuable time negotiating ownership. Founders should be focused on growing the company and putting capital into the business.

Many of the resources for MBC students are provided by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, an interdisciplinary program that provides opportunities to all students at the U. Most are provided at Lassonde Studios, a five-story building that has received international attention for its unique design and unwavering mission to support student innovators, according to the press release.

According to the press release, “Applicants must be full-time entrepreneurs who want to create, launch and scale a new business, who want more than the 9-to-5 job, who have the drive to overcome the impossible, who want to build their knowledge while doing, and who are willing to put in the hours to make it happen.” The MBC program also requires a developed startup idea and “a willingness to work full-time to bring it to life.”

“The Master of Business Creation is not for people who want to just think about entrepreneurship,” D’Ambrosio stated.

He also added:

At the Eccles School, entrepreneurship is a verb. The best way to learn is by doing it. If you have a great idea and are willing to do what it takes to develop it, this is for you. Come and entrepreneur with us.

To learn more about the MBC and apply to the program, visit eccles.utah.edu/mbc.

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