IX-pect that the Student Sandbox will be a Fantastic Opportunity

The following entry is from Matt Cuciti of Interactive X.  Matt and teammates Rohan Shah, Harrison Shih, and Mark Nemmer are working to combine e-textbooks with interactive elements like graphing calculators and 3d modeling.  Interactive X earned a spot in the Sandbox through their success in programs like Student2Biz, eLab, and the UB Pitch Competition.  


If I had the chance to give three pieces of advice to someone just starting the student sandbox next year it would be these:

  1. Don’t try to use the NW corner building exit. The outside door is alarmed, but the door leading to the stairwell locks behind you. There is no escape.
  2. If you do get trapped in the stairwell, simply call for a member of your team. Do not scream, cry or bang on the door in futile misery.
  3. Look around you. The sandbox is full of people ready and willing to help you. Anyone here could be the person that gives you the advice you truly need, or indeed, the guy that finally lets you out of the stairwell.

I guess it’s appropriate that a huge room full of Entrepreneurs would be so open to creative dispersion. Then again, I suppose that was the vision of the architects that designed this huge open space. 

Nevertheless, the space serves well as a conduit for the free exchange of ideas. If you had asked me before the Sandbox Program begun about the kind of people I wanted to meet here, I would have told you that I wanted to meet smart, motivated people with lots of connections in my industry and advice to give. While I certainly got that, it is the sheer creative energy of the Sandbox that thrills me. If ideas cannot exist in a vacuum, then the sandbox is basically a giant pressure chamber. Or perhaps a better analogy would be, an accelerator.

It really does capture the quiet excitement of working on building the next-big-thing. Once you clear out a space for you and your team, you can really get to work. For us, this involves a lot of coding, phone calls and research. Making interactive textbooks is time-consuming, and it would be extremely difficult to do without the help of the Sandbox Program.

Without this program, it would also be a struggle for us to get access to the many busy professors, faculty and staff members that we need to meet often to get feedback and gage interest on a regular basis. The tremendous support and interest we’ve garnered would not have been possible without the help of the individuals working here. For this support and all the other help we’ve been given, we are truly grateful.

InteractiveX will be open for business soon, and we have the Student Sandbox Program to thank for that. As students, we believe that high technology will make a profound difference in the way we judge the value of our texts. As Entrepreneurs, we believe that with the right projects we can bring prosperity to the Western New York region. As individuals we believe that a door leading to nowhere should be unlocked from both sides. Thanks for reading!

Check out Interactive X online and follow them on twitter.