The undergraduate academy for entrepreneurs created at the University of Southern California by Beats co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine is geared to fulfilling Steve Jobs’ vision of operating at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts, say the duo in a WSJ profile.

There’s a new kid in town, and he’s brought up on an iPad from one and a half years old. But the problem with some of the companies up north [in Silicon Valley] is that they really are culturally inept. I’ve been shocked at the different species in Northern and Southern California—we don’t even speak the same language. The kid who’s going to have an advantage in the entertainment industry today is the kid who speaks both languages: technology and liberal arts. That’s what this school is about.

Iovine said in a USC commencement speech that The Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation was there to “inspire, challenge, and satisfy the curiosity of the next wave of game-changers” … 

NordVPN

The 31 members of the inaugural class would be taught the mix of disciplines that is needed to create new visions of the future, said Iovine, describing the academy as “a dream factory.” The dean of USC’s Roski School of Art and Design, Erica Muhl, put it in more prosaic terms.

There are a lot of other programs around the country that marry business and technology, but they’re all missing that arts and cultural component. The difference with us is we start with the arts part.

Dr. Dre said that he grew up just 10 miles from the USC campus, but never had the chance to attend.

“I would have loved to go to that school,” Dre says wistfully. “But I didn’t have that opportunity.”

Apple is expected to rebrand Beats Music as an Apple service, with a rumored launch date of February. It’s believed the company is attempting to negotiate deals with record labels that would enable it to halve the cost of the service from $9.99 to $5 per month.

About the Author

Ben Lovejoy's favorite gear