Buffalo Student Sandbox

Spend your semester in startup mode.

Student Sandbox logo.

Attention student-run ventures: Apply for the opportunity to work on your startup! Buffalo Student Sandbox invites you to spend the semester—fall, spring, or summer— with us immersed in your idea, working alongside seasoned mentors, experienced entrepreneurs and big thinkers.

If accepted, you’ll work with a venture coach and attend eight weeks of facilitated learning sessions based on an entrepreneurial curriculum. At the end of the semester, you will pitch your idea for the chance to win additional resources.

Accepted teams will also have access to the Blackstone LaunchPad at UB. There, you’ll meet other people who are motivated to launch their idea, and, where appropriate, make connections with experienced entrepreneurs who can help you along the way. 

The Student Sandbox is sponsored by Blackstone LaunchPad, UB’s Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships office and the WNY Incubator Network.

Apply now!

Visit our online application to apply. Applications now being accepted for Fall 2018. 

Schedule & Location

Tuesdays, October 2nd to December 4th, 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Blackstone LaunchPad, 220 Student Union, North Campus


What is unique about Buffalo Student Sandbox?

For a select group of talented student entrepreneurs, we are turning the idea of  a typical class on its head. In place of an ordinary class, participants will compete for resources as they launch a business. Along the way, we’ll connect you to mentors and other stakeholders from across WNY. The program will end with a Pitch Day, where you’ll compete for additional resources.

Who can apply?

Buffalo Student Sandbox is accepting applications from teams led by current undergrad or graduate students. 

What if I’m from Western New York but attend school elsewhere?

If you’re planning to be in town during the fall or spring, please apply!

What if I’m an international student at a school in Western New York?

International students are eligible to participate in this program. If you’re planning to be during the fall or spring, please apply!  

What type of companies are you looking for?

We are looking for scalable, student-run ventures from any industry. Applicant companies should be well-rounded with great teams; strong, thoughtful ideas; and the ability to execute them. Applicants will be selected based upon their overall commercial and/or disruptive potential. Triple bottom line and social ventures will also be considered, but must be able to demonstrate sustainability, and again, must demonstrate significant potential. 

Is Buffalo Student Sandbox only for software companies?

No. We encourage all student-based startups to apply. 

When and where would I be working?

The program is a workshop that runs over eight weeks on Tuesdays from 4:00-6:00pm in 220 Student Union, UB North Campus.

Will this be like a normal internship or class?

No. Buffalo Student Sandbox will be both fun and demanding. You will be pushed to work harder, stretch the limits of your comfort zone and build a market-facing, customer-driven company. Your evaluation will be the success you achieve. If you are looking for a passive experience, this is not the program for you.

Tell me about the money?

Teams that attend all classes and meet all requirements have a chance to compete for additional resources at the end of the semester.

Is the money taxable?

Monetary resources will be subject to taxes. 

Will Buffalo Student Sandbox be taking an ownership stake in my company?

No. Your team retains full ownership of the venture.

How do I apply and what are the deadlines?

Please visit our online application to apply. The applications should be completed by your company CEO on behalf of the team; just one application for the whole team is needed.

The application deadline is September 28, 2018.

Does our company need to be legally formed at the time of application?

No, we do not require that applicants will have completed formation before the program begins.

How many team members can I have?

As many as you wish. Usually, a team of 3 to 5 people is adequate.

Can I apply as a one-person team?

Our experience shows that teams are far more successful in starting businesses than individuals, but you may apply as a one-person team.

What if I’m a part of two companies?

Please apply with only one team.

Can I have another summer job or take classes?

We don’t babysit, but we do require you to be present for all classes and to be committed and working on your venture consistently over the eight weeks of the program. You are expected to manage yourself and budget your time to keep your venture’s development moving forward.

Are there any prerequisites?

No. Students of all majors and concentrations, from all schools, are encouraged to apply. Whether or not you’ve participated in Panasci, eLab, Student2Biz, Startup Weekend or any other program, we encourage you to apply.