(Editor’s Note: This post was composed by Sara Moses,a freelance Marketing and Communications Strategist who Sara Mosesassists John Liddy at the Student Sandbox with social media and marketing duties. Sara is a graduate of Boston College, where she studied Communications. With over 10 years of marketing and communications experience, she has held positions as an account manager and account planner at companies and agencies in Boston, Vermont and Syracuse. When she isn’t scheduling witty posts on Facebook or Twitter, you can find Sara enjoying the outdoors and exploring with her husband and two young children.)


The Syracuse Student Sandbox, known more informally as “The Sandbox,” is an incubator that helps aspiring entrepreneurs push their ventures from idea to company.

Friday – June 26 is the biggest day of the season for the Sandbox, and for all of its student entrepreneurs, project teams, mentors, financial backers, and others interested in what Central New York’s young entrepreneurs have on their minds.

Student Sandbox

It’s Demo Day

That’s because Friday is “Demo Day” – the day current Sandbox teams throw out their pitches. Demo Day takes place at the Everson Museum of Art in Downtown Syracuse.

The pitches begin at 3:00 p.m. They’re followed by a reception at The Syracuse Tech Garden (just down the street) that gives all the entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, educators, economic developers and other interested parties a chance to chat and mingle. The public is also welcome to attend, and a link to the event invitation is here for your RSVP.



What’s The Sandbox Like?

As a place to meet, work, learn and grow, the Sandbox operates on the three pillars:

  • Inspiration
  • Information
  • Income

At the Sandbox, young startups and entrepreneurs can tap the minds of experienced mentors, gain the necessary tools to get a company off the ground, and develop a relationship with valuable resources to help gain seed funding.

Since its beginning in 2009, there have been significant accomplishments in the Central New York region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem over the last six years:

  • The Sandbox has been a part of educating more than 300 entrepreneurs
  • It has attracted students from around the world
  • Teams have competed on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank
  • They’ve won the CenterState CEO Business Plan Competition
  • Teams have raised more than $10 Million in investment capital
  • They’ve been acquired and helped to generate more than 100 jobs
  • Have had students from more than a dozen Universities & Colleges participate
  • Worked more than 30 students from Asian Universities and introduced them to CNY
  • Served as the model for many other public/private student accelerators

This year’s Sandbox crew includes “many teams with traction (customers), several with BIG ideas, and we have enjoyed a fantastic mix of international participation,” said Sandbox Director John Liddy, who is an adjunct instructor at the School of Information Studies. (He teaches IST 600, the Sandbox entrepreneurship immersion course.)

John Liddy via Linkedin.com

John Liddy via Linkedin.com

“The Sandbox is a unique and important part of the Central New York business community and serves as the model for many other public/private student accelerators around the country,” he added.

For more information about The Syracuse Student Sandbox, contact Liddy, entrepreneur-in- residence at the Tech Garden, at @john@thetechgarden.com, or 315.560.6622.

The Sandbox is located at 235 Harrison Street, Syracuse.