SALT LAKE CITY--()--The Foundry is an innovative business incubator and entrepreneur-training program created by the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business to foster economic development in Utah while giving students hands-on experience launching startup companies. It has been thriving since its formation in 2010.
“It’s incredibly gratifying to see that businesses like JPMorgan Chase recognize the work of our student entrepreneurs, and want to join them in creating a vibrant economy in Utah”
The business community has taken notice, and long-time business school supporter JPMorgan Chase recently continued its partnership with The Foundry through a $40,000 contribution. The gift will help the program continue sparking economic activity in Utah, in particular the further development of the Granary District of Salt Lake City, where The Foundry makes its home, into an entrepreneurial hub in Utah’s capital city.
This is just the latest effort by JPMorgan Chase to support the David Eccles School of Business. In the past, the company has contributed to the school’s tax clinic, scholarship program and several events hosted by the school. In 2012, JPMorgan Chase contributed $35,000 to The Foundry to help increase the program’s outreach to low- and moderate-income students and community members.
“It’s incredibly gratifying to see that businesses like JPMorgan Chase recognize the work of our student entrepreneurs, and want to join them in creating a vibrant economy in Utah,” said Taylor Randall, dean of the David Eccles School of Business. “There is no greater force for economic progress than the development of savvy, civic-minded entrepreneurs, and The Foundry has created many great successes in contributing to Utah’s economy in its first three years.”
The Foundry has been a success from its 2010 launch, attracting aspiring entrepreneurs from inside the David Eccles School of Business and from other Utah universities hoping to take advantage of all The Foundry has to offer, including business training, office space and access to The Foundry’s business partners who provide a wide array of services and knowledge like organizational strategy, financing and marketing expertise.
Since its beginning, 213 entrepreneurs have gone through The Foundry’s program, 50 companies have filed articles of incorporation, and 35 companies remain in operation. The program employs a peer-driven coaching model, with Foundry members coaching one another through the business-building process, with educators and professionals filling in any knowledge gaps for the students involved. And even if some students don’t start a new company at the end of their stint in The Foundry, they often find themselves getting interest from companies recognizing their participation in the unique program, earning internships and full-time jobs as a result.
This gift from JPMorgan Chase will help The Foundry in developing relationships with small businesses and residents of Salt Lake City’s Granary District. By partnering with non-profits and government agencies, The Foundry will be able to offer spaces in the area for new startups begun through The Foundry, and lend business expertise to the diverse business community helping restore life to the neighborhood that began as a railroad-reliant region of Salt Lake City before interstate highways forced the railroad to move west in the Salt Lake Valley, leaving the Granary District as an attractive but underused area in need of revitalization.
The Foundry, using the gift from JPMorgan Chase, will be able to promote that revitalization while offering its students hands-on experiences unrivaled in higher education in Utah.
About the David Eccles School of Business
Founded in 1917 in Salt Lake City, the David Eccles School of Business has programs in entrepreneurship, technology innovation and venture capital management. Emphasizing interdisciplinary education and experiential learning, it launched the country’s largest student-run venture capital fund with $18.3 million, and is home to the Pierre Lassonde Entrepreneur Center and the Sorenson Center for Discovery and Innovation. Approximately 3,500 students are enrolled in its undergraduate, graduate and executive degree programs as well as joint MBA programs in architecture, law and health administration. For more information, visit www.business.utah.edu.