Business Beginnings 

Anthony Lazzara graduated from Ball State University in 2013 with a degree in entrepreneurship. That program challenged him to turn his small business dream into a concrete plan that later became reality. His budding dream has come to fruition as Anthony’s Chophouse and 3UP Rooftop Lounge, a very successful restaurant and lounge in Carmel, Indiana, that opened its doors in 2018. 

Time as a Student

The Entrepreneurship Program at Ball State University was founded in the early 1980s and is one of the most rigorous entrepreneurship programs in the country. This program’s curriculum has been refined and honed over the years to bring the best education possible to students like Anthony. During his time as a BSU student, Anthony was required to develop a new venture project in which he had to create a detailed plan for his future business. This plan included everything from researching their field, developing and experimenting with prototypes, studying possible consumers, and learning how to manage all aspects of the business. Once his thesis was complete, Anthony and his classmates had to pitch their ideas to outside evaluators. The kicker was that this program had a pass/fail grading system that mimicked the reality of real life, an aspect with which Anthony credits much of his success to. His coursework required him to get out into the community and build his professional network as well as interview business owners and other professionals To learn about how to be successful in the world outside Ball State’s campus. One of his favorite professors, Rob Mattews, said that Tony was highly motivated and knew he wanted to start an upscale restaurant from the beginning. His dedication and hard work to his dreams helped him become the owner of a now thriving business. 

“We are very proud of Tony’s accomplishments and his pursuit of his own entrepreneurial dream. There is a great deal of satisfaction and fulfillment out of cheering our graduates on and watching them fulfill their purpose in life.” – Rob Matthews, Executive Directior of the Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute 

Outside the Classroom

During his time at Ball State, Anthony also competed on Ball State’s NCAA tournament qualifying golf team. This experience in athletics taught him the importance of time management. Starting a business means juggling so many things at once, a sort of organized chaos, so having experience with managing different things of equal importance was a formative experience for Anthony. Additionally, pursuing athletics at a collegiate level required countless hours working on the smallest details of every aspect of his sport. Rob Matthews also stated that “Many of our students have been successful athletes. They possess high comfortability with taking and incorporating feedback into their craft.” Anthony found that his experiences at Ball State, whether in the classroom or on the green, gave him the tools he needed to dive into the professional world and accomplish his goals. 

Advice for Future Students

Starting a business is no small feat, it takes time, commitment, and passion. However, advice on how to be successful in business or entrepreneurship is not just for those looking to follow in Anthony’s footsteps. Anthony’s advice can be applied universally to a majority of professions. His first piece of advice to all college students is, “Learn how to evaluate situations, both in business and in life. This is extremely important. Ask yourself, is this risky? Is it not? Is this helping me accomplish my goals? Does this person have my best interest at heart? Anything like that.” This speaks to the life lessons Anthony learned at Ball State and is a good outlook to hold in any walk of life. His second piece of advice speaks to finding your purpose in your work. He believes strongly that working for a purpose is much more valuable than working for a paycheck. Additionally, by finding people that understand their purpose, Anthony Lazzara has been able to create a culture of caring and true passion within his business. 

“If you want to be the best you can be, surround yourself with people smarter than you and take pride in what you do” – Anthony Lazzara


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