Lassonde Studios at the University of Utah offers a program to students that not many other universities have: the Get seeded program.
This program helps encourage those who have some type of business idea to try their product or service with funds from the U. There are two types of scholarships that students can apply for: the micro-grant and the regular scholarship. The micro-grant supports funding of up to $500 and the regular grant allows funding between $501 and $1,500 for business ideas.
Students can apply for this grant any number of times, and this program is non-exclusive, allowing any U student with an idea to apply for funding.
Anne Bastien, Director of Programs at Lassonde Institute of EntrepreneursHe said that once a student’s application is reviewed and approved, they then pitch their idea in front of an audience for a grant.
“They’re invited to a pitch selection meeting,” Bastien said. “It is a virtual meeting where each applicant can present their milestone that they hope to achieve and then from there they will be selected to receive the micro-grant or will be selected to participate in a live presentation event for the $1,500 grant.”
According to Troy D’Ambrosio, executive director of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, the Get Seedsed program encourages students to learn how to be entrepreneurs and run businesses by giving them the help they need to get started.
“Get Seedsed is really this micro-grant fund that is designed to help drive momentum and get momentum going in a positive direction,” said D’Ambrosio. “It is not a competition. It’s more about creating a milestone that helps you learn something about your idea. [and] about your business.”
D’Ambrosio said that Lassonde Studios also offers many resources to those who are involved and want to get involved in the Get Seedsed program that are designed to guide and offer advice to student entrepreneurs.
“We have the prototyping facility at Lassonde studios, we have workshops, we have expert hours where any student can talk to a lawyer, a prototyping specialist and a marketing specialist,” D’Ambrosio said. They are available to everyone [in] company launch program.
Carson Young, a fourth-year finance student at U, is the founder and CEO of Foam, a company with a 24-hour delivery service that will pick up, wash and drop off your clothes for $10 a week. Young said Get Seedsed helped him buy the materials he needed to run his business.
“We got our first Get Seedsed grant and asked for foam bags,” Young said. “We asked for $1,500 worth from a supplier in China directly from the grant.”
According to Young, his experience with Get Seedsed and having to present his ideas prepared him for a career in the business world after college.
“That ability to stand up, present an idea and then wait for feedback teaches you a lot in any walk of life, specifically with business, like whether you’re going to present something to an investor or your boss,” Young said.
The next application for the Get Seedsed program is due Nov. 1 and there are many opportunities throughout the school year for students to apply for a grant, Bastien said.
“All applications are online and open all the time with the exception of December and August, so we only have 10 a year,” Bastien said. “Students can continue at any time and open an application and get started.”
Young said people tend to think it’s more complicated, but those applying to Get Seedsed don’t need much to get started.
“All you need is an idea,” Young said. “There are children who win and literally have sketches on a piece of paper. It doesn’t matter as long as you have a good idea.”
For students who are thinking about applying for the Get Seedsed grant or just have an idea, Young encourages them to get started on their idea, especially while they’re at the U and have the opportunity to use the Get Seedsed program.
“Starting out in college is not easy,” Young said. “I get it, but Get Seedsed helps you get started here because it eases the financial burden of getting started. We wouldn’t have known if we hadn’t tried.”