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 Sorenson is a founder, funder, and community builder. While attending college at the University of Michigan in 2012, he and some friends started a student-founder community. After a couple of years, the University of Michigan acquired the organization and formed it into a new department—something that had never happened before in the University of Michigan's 200-year history.

Sorensen built and ran that department for a decade, evolving it into one of the largest college entrepreneurship programs in the country—awarding $700,000 to students annually and growing to a staff of 40. Alums from the program are now building $100 million+ companies, leading social impact initiatives that affect millions, and winning prestigious awards.

In the summer of 2022, Sorensen joined the University of Oregon, seeking to build a similar program.

Over his career, Sorensen raised, along with great teams and colleagues, $25 million for college entrepreneurship programs, incubated more than 5,000 student founders, advised and funded hundreds of them, and built infrastructure that hopefully will exist in a hundred years.

Sorensen says his mission is to create supportive communities for the ones who ask, "Why not me?" encouraging them take action on their ideas.

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

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

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In the News

A new $10 million gift to the University of Oregon from the estate of Gerry and Marilyn Cameron will support faculty excellence and further innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives at the Lundquist College and Knight Campus.
The Lundquist College is celebrating gains in several rankings produced by Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review.
A significant gift is enhancing the entrepreneurship ecosystem at the Lundquist College of Business and the University of Oregon.
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.