Young entrepreneurs now have a new way to get their ideas off the ground.
The Sandbox by DMZ has unveiled the Sandbox Student Grant Program, a new $1 million fund that will be spread over four years and offered in three stages to young folks with great ideas. The funding will be non-dilutive and also come with mentorship and expertise from other entrepreneurs.
This is how it works: the first phase will be aimed at those who are in the early stage of building a company or an idea, and those selected will receive up to $5,000 in grants. Stage one is in partnership with the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship.
This stage looks like the Sheldon and Tracy Levy Aspiring Innovators Fellows program that was piloted at Ryerson last year. That program funded five fellows with $5,000 each and gave them access to mentors and VIPs. Those five fellows included Lucas Bruno from Gimme360; Lisa Cumming from Radio ReBoot; Lakshmi Menon from StackFarm; Dara Jarallah from Shoppinglee; and Mark Zaidi from Entropy Labs.
The second stage of the Sandbox Student Grant Program is a $10,000 grant that will be allocated if the student(s) meet their quarterly milestones. Companies that have passed the early stage can directly apply for this section and skip the first phase.
Finally, the third stage is a chance at $15,000. Startups must have completed the last set of milestones in year one and provide a plan as to what their second year will entail.
“We are excited for this collaboration and to give emerging innovators at Ryerson University the boost they need for a chance at success,” wrote Michelle Park, the projects officer at Brookfield.
The Sandbox’s selection committee will ultimately decide who will receive the grants and be eligible for each phase.
The fund was officially launched last week and three organizations were already selected to receive $5,000: HostTO, a short-term property management company; Crescendo, a bot that helps guide users through workplace conflict; and Liminal Power, a self-sustaining heating system for roads.
The Sandbox Student Grant Program is still searching for more community and corporate partners to help support the $1 million fund.
Check out the full information package here.