The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the University of Utah announced today a $12 million gift from Pierre Lassonde, bringing his total contribution to $25 million. The new donation will be used for a transformative building for student entrepreneurs. Estimated to cost $45 million, the 148,000-square-feet facility will unite 412 residences with 20,000-square-foot “garage” space for students to gather, build prototypes and launch companies. Officials expect the building to catapult the university’s reputation for entrepreneurship education.

The facility will be called the Lassonde Studios: Live. Create. Launch. Groundbreaking is scheduled for fall 2014, with students moving in fall 2016.

“This building is the materialization of Pierre Lassonde’s visionary approach to student innovation and entrepreneurism,” said David Pershing, president of the university. “His enormous generosity and this unique building will make the University of Utah the best place in the country to be a student entrepreneur. The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute has a distinctive mission to provide hands-on learning experiences that allow students to test their ideas and succeed on their own terms. This building will make those opportunities available to many more students. We believe it is the first of its kind anywhere.”

The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, a division of the David Eccles School of Business, has pioneered a new way of teaching