Profile picture of Jeff Sorensen

Jeff Sorensen

Director, Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship

Affiliations: Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship
Phone: 541-346-7586
Office: Lillis 345A



Jeff Sorensen is the director of the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Oregon's Lundquist College of Business.

Sorensen came to UO after a decade of leading innovation and entrepreneurship programs at the University of Michigan. He cofounded optiMize—a social innovation community and cohort-based incubator—as a UM student in 2012.

What began as a student organization became a new university unit designed to help students start projects that make a positive impact in the world, making Sorensen the youngest director-level administrator at the university.

As founding director, Sorensen played a key role in building all systems and programs, raising major gifts and grants totaling $750k annually, managing a 45-person staff, and establishing a substantial endowment for the unit.

At the end of Sorensen's tenure with UM, optiMize was one of the largest and most diverse student-led social impact incubators at any school in the US, incubating more than 500 projects from more than 1400 students annually and awarding $600k a year in donor funds to UM students, as well as those at community colleges across Michigan.

optiMize has become a national model of how universities can build inclusive innovation programs for students from all disciplines and backgrounds. In addition to its flagship incubator program, optiMize now offers a range of in-person, hybrid, and fully online cohort-based co-curricular programs. It also offers credit-bearing courses for the campuswide entrepreneurship minor, as well as some of UM's largest outreach programs for community college students who aspire to transfer to a four-year school.

Sorensen hopes to help make the University of Oregon a national model for student innovation and scientific impact.

Degree History:
  • BA, University of Michigan, 2012
  • Graduate Coursework, Ross School of Business, 2013–2014
Previous Positions:
  • Founding Director for Social Innovation, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, University of Michigan, 2015–2022
  • Cofounder, optiMize, 2012–present
  • Instructor, University of California, Los Angeles, 2017–2018
Professional Leadership:
  • Member, University of Michigan Innovation and Entrepreneurship Roundtable, 2017–2022
  • Member, Ann Arbor Learning Community School Board, 2016–2019
  • Member, United Way of Washtenaw County Campaign Cabinet, 2015
Honors and Awards:
  • Forbes 30 Under 30, 2017
  • Crain's 20 in Their 20s, 2017
  • University of Michigan Student of the Year, 2014

Back to Top


  • "All Ages, All Majors: Student Motivation for Social Innovation: A Conversation with UNLV President Keith Whitfield," Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers, 2022

Back to Top

In the News

A new initiative on campus is reimagining how we encourage, support, and fund student-led innovation and entrepreneurship ventures and projects.
Entrepreneurship expert Jeff Sorensen shares tips for giving your big idea pop.
The UO has earned a spot as a top graduate school for entrepreneurship studies in the 2023 Princeton Review and Entrepreneur rankings.
The Lundquist College is pleased to welcome two outstanding professionals to lead two of our signature centers.