Campus News

Buffalo Student Sandbox pays students to grow their startups

Students at Blackstone LaunchPad.

Students gather at Blackstone LaunchPad at UB, the university’s new hands-on learning initiative that promotes entrepreneurship. Photo: Douglas Levere.


Published June 22, 2016

It’s the entrepreneurial-minded college student’s dream summer job: getting paid to build a business.

That’s the premise of Buffalo Student Sandbox, a business development program that pairs student-led companies with expert resources at UB and in Western New York.

The eight-week program, which began June 6, is in its second year of operation. It pays participants $300 a week in exchange for attending classes, seminars and other events designed to help them navigate the dynamic environment of creating a successful business.

The companies are:

  • Memory Fox: Developing a cloud-based application to capture and preserve a family’s oral history.
  • Virtual Surgery Simulation: Building virtual reality surgical training simulators.
  • Triploma: Creating all-inclusive sightseeing and adventure trips for college students.
  • Women Engineers Pakistan: Developing a platform to promote technical advancement of women in Pakistan.

The teams work independently on their ventures, but also must complete an eight-session course developed by the School of Management’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. Teams also compete for additional resources to help grow their respective businesses.

At the program’s conclusion, teams will demonstrate their products to judges who will award cash prizes.

Sandbox is led by Blackstone LaunchPad at UB, the university’s new hands-on learning initiative that works to introduce entrepreneurship to the university’s students, faculty and staff. UB is one of five institutes of higher learning in New York chosen for the initiative, which is funded by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Initiative.

Sandbox is funded by Western New York Incubator Network, a collection of nine incubators managed by UB’s Office of Economic Development.