GettyDr. DreDr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine are two of LA’s biggest movie and business stars. They’ve turned artists like Lady Gaga and 50 Cent into celebrities and made clunky headphones popular by starting a business, Beats.
Now they want to help Los Angeles have an even bigger business presence.
The pair is giving University of Southern California $70 million to start an entrepreneurship program. The degree will teach students about marketing, design and product development, and it will include liberal arts courses. There’s a portion of the curriculum called “The Garage” that will encourage students to create working prototypes and pitch classmates. The goal is to find students who are working on the next big things in tech.
“If the next start-up that becomes Facebook happens to be one of our kids, that’s what we are looking for,” Iovine told The New York Times’ Jenna Wortham.
Dr. Dre seemed to agree. Wortham describes the pair’s interaction:
“The rapper nodded often, ate chocolate chip cookies with evident pleasure, and chimed in occasionally.”
While Dre told Wortham he never imagined starting an entrepreneurship program when he was younger, he’s excited about helping kids change the world.
“I feel like this [endowment is] the biggest, most exciting and probably the most important thing that I’ve done in my career,” he said.