Sandbox - FAQs
What is unique about Buffalo Student Sandbox?
For a select group of talented student entrepreneurs, we are turning the summer internship on its head. In place of an ordinary internship, students selected will receive weekly stipends and compete for additional cash awards as they launch a business. In addition, you’ll have access to mentors, investors, business, and social events. The program will end with a Pitch & Demo Day involving stakeholders from across WNY.
Who can apply?
Buffalo Student Sandbox is accepting applications from teams led by current undergrad or graduate students and ’14 - ‘16 grads. It is required that your CEO meet these criteria.
What if I’m from WNY but attend school elsewhere?
If you’re planning to be in town this summer, please apply!
What if I’m an international student at a school in WNY?
If you’re planning to be in town this summer, please apply! Procedures surrounding tax withholdings for international students will be slightly different, but the program will otherwise be the same.
What type of companies are you looking for?
We are looking for scalable, disruptive student-run ventures, from any industry. Applicant companies should be well-rounded with great teams, strong, thoughtful ideas, and the ability to execute. 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 disruptive potential.
Is Buffalo Student Sandbox only for software companies?
No, we encourage student-based startups of all kinds to apply.
When and where would I be working?
Buffalo Student Sandbox will operate out of the dig coworking space on Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. We’ll also visit several other entrepreneurial spots around WNY. The program runs June 6 - August 5, 2016.
Will this be like a normal internship or class?
No. Please do not apply if you are looking for a passive experience. Buffalo Student Sandbox will be both fun and stressful. Your evaluation will be the success you achieve. You will be pushed to work harder, stretch your comfort zone, and build a market-facing, customer-driven company.
Tell me about the money?
Up to three team members will receive $300 stipends for each week in the program. At several milestones during the program, teams will compete for additional resources based upon the quality of their work and progress. Prizes (amounts TBD) will also be available at the end of the summer.
Is the money taxable?
Will Buffalo Student Sandbox be taking an ownership stake in my company?
No. Your team retains full ownership of the venture.
What other resources will you provide to my venture?
In addition to the stipend and potential for cash prizes, you will be immersed in mentoring and gain significant access to entrepreneurial movers and shakers from across WNY and beyond. Expect to meet mentors, successful entrepreneurs, design, marketing, accounting, and legal professionals, strategic partners, and investors. All teams will complete a special version of UB’s Startup CEL and participate in milestone challenges and social events throughout the summer.
How do I apply and what are the deadlines?
Applications are available at http://www.wnyinnovationhotspot.com/sandboxapplication. The applications should be completed by your company CEO on behalf of the team (one application for the whole team). After March 1, applications will be considered on a rolling basis, and the final deadline is May 1, 2016. Please apply early as we receive many more applications than we are able to accept.
Does our company need to be legally formed at the time of application?
No, we do require that successful applicants will have completed formation before the program begins.
Can I have more than three team members?
Yes, but we can only compensate three per team.
Can I apply as a one person team?
Our experience shows that teams are far more successful in starting businesses than individuals. We are only accepting applications from teams with members who complement one another and are experienced in working as a 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 require that Buffalo Student Sandbox be your primary commitment. We don’t babysit, but do expect you to be present and/or working on your venture during normal working hours. Any part time employment or summer classes must be after hours and not interfere with your Sandbox commitment. 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.