The DMZ wants to raise $1 million over four years for The Sandbox Student Grant, which aims to support student-led startup ideas with non-dilutive seed funding and mentorship.
The plan is for Ryerson students and recent alumni to receive up to $30,000 for their ideas, which will be given in stages of $5,000, $10,000, and $15,000 upon completion of set milestones. During each stage, students will be connected to a mentor to develop their business plan, find product-market fit, create marketing strategies, and establish a customer acquisition plan.
“Our economy is changing; we need to provide students with the opportunities to become innovators and change agents,” says Abdullah Snobar, executive director of the DMZ at Ryerson. “The Sandbox Student Grant Program will place particular attention on developing the skills of talented students and connecting them with the resources and networks they need to build their bright ideas into businesses and solutions.”
Grant recipients will have access to the DMZ’s Sandbox, an ideation space launched last year that provides free programming to help students and individuals of all ages in the GTA better understand entrepreneurship. The program will also connect students and recent alum to the rest of the zone network depending on the vertical of their business idea.
To raise the $1 million, the DMZ will pitch the program to corporate and community partners. So far, a contribution has been made by the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship.
Applications to the Sandbox Student Grant program are open here.