The two Delta Chi, snowboarding and wakeboarding-loving fraternity members are known to many on campus for the various events they put together and promote.
Now, they are taking their skills to the next level with the creation of their new company Kruüe (pronounced “crew”), which they are leaving CMU to establish after this school year.
“I came up with the idea nine months ago, and then I told Thomas right away,” said Lazzaro, a Hope junior. “Thomas thought it was a great idea. Then, together we built on it and then when we thought the idea was ready enough, we presented the idea to Zach (Sampson, owner of Hottest College Parties) who is now the Kruüe CEO and owner. He had the right people and right connections to launch the company.”
Lazzaro is also the Red Bull student brand manager, event manager at Wayside Central and manager of Ron Sulewski, known as “DJ Pigpen.” He said the idea for Kruüe came from the fact that he wanted college students to have experiences similar to his.
“Out of all the events and experiences, I’ve learned a lot,” he said. “I wanted to be able to do something that helped college students get jobs after college and helped increase business for local businesses. I got some ideas from Groupon and LinkedIn. I want to help college students get jobs in something they actually want to do.”
Lazzaro said the new company will help plan, execute and promote various events through networking with local businesses and on college campuses. Recently, the duo has been traveling all over the Midwest to interview candidates to establish Kruüe at various schools.
Many of these are students who were promoters for Dayglow at their respective schools and therefore are connected to Sampson, who runs 40 percent of Dayglow parties worldwide.
Lazzaro and Lorentzen met at Lazzaro’s first event at Wayside Central, a New Year’s Eve party in 2010. Lazzaro said he was impressed at how fast the Clio junior was able to sell tickets for a party when so few students were in town.
“‘I was like, ‘Who is this kid?’” Lazzaro said. “Most of the kids I knew were Greek and all these people were non-Greek, so I talked to him and I was like, ‘Hey, you ever think about doing promotions?’ Thomas said, ‘Who me?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah dude, you just sold 60-something tickets in like three hours.’”
Soon after meeting, they both decided to switch their majors to marketing. Lazzaro originally majored in personal financial planning and Lorentzen in bio-medical, pre-physical therapy.
“He balances me out, because I try to make everyone happy,” Lazzaro said. “I’ll promise people things and Thomas will be like ‘You’re an idiot, you can’t do that.’ He brings me back down to reality and makes sure we follow through with everything.”
Lorentzen agreed that the two make an effective team.
“Anthony and I work well,” he said. “He’s the hype, the face and he has the ideas. I’m the one that brings him down to reality once we actually start booking things.”
In order to dedicate all of their time to the launch of Kruüe, the two have decided not to return to CMU and are potentially moving to Chicago in January.
“I still can’t believe it’s all happening,” Lorentzen said. “With Kruüe, I thought it’d be like a mile, but it’s a sprint. It’s been amazing.”
Both agreed that Jon Hunter, owner of Wayside Central, O’Kellys, the Cabin and Hunter’s Ale House, has had a big influence on them as a mentor.
“We wouldn’t be anywhere without him,” Lorentzen said. “He’s taught us so much.”
“Jon Hunter really taught me everything,” Lazzaro said. “He’s really given me so much advice. I am definitely really lucky to have known him.”
Hunter said he is excited for the duo and their new venture.
“Meeting Thomas and Anthony was great,” Hunter said. “I think they’re going to go and never look back. They’re the type of people who are always looking for the next challenge, and they’ve always done a great job. They’ll be missed, but I’m sure they’ll come back and visit.”
He said the two are applying their Wayside experiences to Kruüe.
“I think Kruüe will be successful,” Hunter said. “A lot of the philosophies they’re going to use are what we’ve used during our most successful events here.”
Both said the support of their friends and family was something they couldn’t live without.
“I just want to say this is such a great opportunity, and everything that has happened and all the good that has happened comes from the community,” Lorentzen said. “We have so many friends here, and everyone is supportive. This isn’t something we did on our own.”
Lazzaro said he hopes to keep close ties with his good friends.
“My favorite thing to do when I have free time is going and catching up with all my friends,” he said. “I’m just really lucky to meet the people I’ve met at CMU.”