About Us / Our Team
- Sandbox to Make Big Announcement
Hear our BIG announcement at our September 9th Accelerator Awards event!
- Crowdfunding Tips
Are you looking to launch an Indiegogo or Kickstarter campaign? Read these great tips!
- New Hires to Scale Up Mentor Programs
See which individuals will be helping the Sandbox take our mentor programs to the next level!
- The Basics of SEO
Looking to optimize your website. Read tips from TripAdvisor's Head of SEO!
- Fire + Ice Founder Visits the Sandbox
Jim Miller Talks about the successes &
- Sandbox Featured in Forbes
Take a look at this great article in Forbes on how the Sandbox is promoting entrepreneurship for all!
- Steve Grossman Stop by the Sandbox
Read more about the gubernatorial candidate's visit with our entrepreneurs!
- Sandbox Receives Major News Coverage
Recently, the Sandbox has been featured in NPR, the Boston Globe, and other major outlets. Read more!
- Sandbox Featured in the Boston Globe
Our very own David Parker sits down with the Globe to talk about the Sandbox Accelerator and more!
- Sandbox Director Speaks at TEDxLowell
Watch this great video of our very own David Parker talking about Redefining Entrepreneurship!
- Sandbox Entrepreneur Chosen as MassChallenge Finalist
See which one of our top entrepreneurs was chosen for the annual $1M global accelerator competition!
- Accelerator Finalists Announced
See which ventures will be taking part in the 2014 Sandbox Summer Accelerator!
- Sandbox Summit Pass Now Only $25
Purchase your tickets for our biggest event of the year!
- Semi-Finalists Announced for Summer Accelerator
See which ventures made it to our semi-finalist round!
- Sandbox Entrepreneur Named Top 50 Thought Leader
See which one of our entrepreneurs was named by Boston Magazine as a top 50 thought leader!
- Student Entrepreneur Showcase
On Tuesday, see Lowell and Lawrence's top student entrepreneurs showcase their ventures!
- Sandbox Director to Speak at TEDxLowell
On April 27th, the Sandbox Executive Director will be speaking at the first ever TEDxLowell!
- Mass Innovation Nights is Coming to Lowell
On April 9th, see ten products launch at the Sandbox Space!
- Sandbox Mentioned on WGBH Radio
Listen to this great story on how the Sandbox can be a model for other cities across the nation!
- Sandbox Featured in Xconomy
Read this great story on how the Sandbox is promoting a new type of innovation!
- Remembering Christina Hamilton
Last Week, the Sandbox lost one of our entrepreneurs. Read more on how you can help honor her memory.
- Governor Patrick Visits the Sandbox
The Sandbox recently was awarded a $150K grant by Governor Patrick. Read more!
- Sandbox Featured in the Boston Globe
Read about the impact that the Sandbox has had on Lowell & Lawrence in this great piece!
- Dates Announced for Sandbox Summit 2014
See when we will be holding our biggest event of next year!
Executive Director, Deshpande Foundation
As Executive Director at the Deshpande Foundation, Raj develops overall strategy, and channels the Foundation’s efforts to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. Raj works closely with the Merrimack Valley Sandbox by leading the team and driving the overall strategy. Previously as Principal at Ambient Engines, Raj Melville provided marketing and strategy consulting to emerging social entrepreneurs. He founded the annual Forum for Social Entrepreneurs, organized and moderated numerous panels and workshops on social entrepreneurship, and currently mentors several startups focused on addressing key social issues. Raj has over 25 years of product management, marketing and consulting experience including managing overall product strategy and features as Vice President, Product Management for nTAG Interactive, a spin off from the MIT Media Lab. As V.P. Product Management and Marketing, and later V.P Client Services, at mobile software vendor Vaultus, another MIT spinoff, (now part of Antenna Software) he provided marketing, product management and client services direction. Prior to that he was Sr. Director, Product Management at Be Free Inc. (now Valueclick), a market leading affiliate marketing ad server and e-commerce solution. Earlier he managed the launch of two high-end Internet server products at Electronic Book Technologies (later acquired by Inso). His early career included working at Microsoft Corp., Digital Equipment Corporation, and Booz Allen & Hamilton.
He is an active member of TiE Boston and the India Society of Worcester and co-founded the TIE Social Entrepreneurship Group. He has been a mentor and judge for several entrepreneurial competitions such as MassChallenge, MIT 100K, and the MIT IDEAS competition. Raj has a Doctor of Science in engineering from MIT focusing on optimizing the operation of computerized manufacturing systems; a Master’s from MIT’s Sloan School; and a Bachelor’s from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
Executive Director, Merrimack Valley Sandbox
As the Executive Director for the Merrimack Valley Sandbox, David is working with a broad cross-section of community members to identify entrepreneurs, encourage them to propose their ideas, and then help them improve their chances of success. David has built a strong volunteer organization drawing from non-profit agencies and business and government organizations throughout the Merrimack Valley.
David spent his last 15 years working on six entrepreneurial ventures, in some cases as part of the initial team and in others as the founder or co-founder. Three of his companies achieved significant success: Viaweb was sold to Yahoo, Direct Hit was acquired by Ask Jeeves, and TripAdvisor continues today as a standalone public company (NASDAQ: TRIP) and was also acquired by Barry Diller’s Interactive Corp in 2005. Other companies at which he played a lead role include SoundBite Communications, a public company (NASDAQ: SDBT); Delphi Internet which exists as Delphi Forums; and DigitalAdvisor.
Prior to working on Internet ventures, David worked in the publishing industry for a variety of magazine and newspaper companies. David has an MBA with honors from Harvard Business School and a B.A. with honors from Harvard College. He lives in Lexington, MA, with his wife, Janet Tiampo, and his son, Noah. David’s daughter Anna is a student at Middlebury College in Vermont.
Program Manager, Student Projects
Janin has been with the Merrimack Valley Sandbox since 2011. She works closely with student and youth to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into a reality. Prior to joining MVS, Janin worked as the Multicultural Specialist at Middlesex Community College. At the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Janin worked in the Office of Student Activities and Multicultural Affairs as a Program Coordinator where she coordinated events while working closely with students, faculty/staff and the Lowell community. Born in the Dominican Republic, Janin grew up in the city of Lawrence and lived in Lowell for seven years. She has been actively engaged in both cities through many local organizations. Janin obtained her Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology, Bachelor’s of Arts in Criminal Justice and Master’s of Arts in Criminal Justice from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Program Manager, Sandbox Entrepreneur Program
Lianna has been with the Merrimack Valley Sandbox since April 2011 working initially to develop the Catalyst programs that engage high school and college students in the Merrimack Valley to try out entrepreneurial ideas. Lianna is passionate about entrepreneurship, the arts, and community development. In Lowell she worked at local non-profits, the Revolving Museum and the Cultural Organization of Lowell and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Angkor Dance Troupe.
Prior to moving to Lowell Lianna worked for the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. Where she supported scholars and practitioners from Japan, managed program publications and organized forums, seminars and events for the larger community. Lianna received her B.A. from Smith College and her M.A. in Economic and Social Development of Regions from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Senior Marketing Manager
Emil joined the Merrimack Valley Sandbox in July 2011. Emil creates and implements the Sandbox’s marketing and press strategy. He also documents the work of the Sandbox through photography and video. Between 2009-11, Emil was the Media Fellow for the Deshpande Foundation in Hubli, India. He developed both commercials and short documentaries for the Foundation and its NGO partners including the AME Foundation, Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, and the Sikshana Foundation. Between 2006-07, he was a Fellow at the Coro Foundation in Los Angeles, CA. His work placements included SEIU United Long Term Care Workers, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Re-election Campaign, the Orange County Business Council and the City of Los Angeles. In 2006., Emil graduated with honors from the University of California, Irvine with a B.A in International Studies, and a minor in Management.
Mentorship Program Manager
Eduardo joined the Merrimack Valley Sandbox in July 2014 to create and manage a Mentorship Program to support Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs. He assesses the needs of the participants and finds mentors that will guide and motivate aspiring entrepreneurs.
Eduardo is the founder and CEO of Hispanic Market Solution, a Methuen based company that specializes in helping companies Understand, Reach and Service (“URS” methodology) the US Hispanic market. Eduardo is a bilingual/bicultural entrepreneur with proven marketing, advertising, PR and business development experience. Increasing awareness about the opportunity of the Hispanic market and providing strategic marketing direction, generating new business, creating “out of the box” solutions, crafting compelling campaigns, and connecting brands are his core strengths.
Eduardo received his AA degree with Honors in Liberal Arts from Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill, MA, where he was named one of the 40 “most successful graduates” at the college’s 40 year anniversary. He graduated Cum Laude in Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and studied at Northeastern University’s Graduate School of Business (Boston). In 2001, he became certified as an Exports Promotions Consultant in the European Union through a collaborative program sponsored by CORPEI, the organization in charge of promoting exports and investments in Ecuador, CBI in Amsterdam and the World Bank. Eduardo is a ’04 alumnus from the Emerging Leaders Program, a Greater Boston’s premiere executive development program sponsored by the Center for Collaborative Leadership at UMass Boston.
Mentorship Program Manager
Trish joined the Merrimack Valley Sandbox in July 2014 to recruit and manage mentors for the Sandbox Accelerator Program. She most recently was the Executive Director of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge. She worked closely with the Forum’s Board and 100+ volunteers to provide quality programs and services that allow science- and technology-based entrepreneurs to learn from other entrepreneurs, connect with resources, and grow their companies. Her 25 years experience in non-profit management and administration encompass educational, government, and social service organizations in the greater Boston area, and has included fund-raising, program development and management, marketing, events planning, volunteer management, strategy, and general administration. She knows how to organize companies, teams, and individuals so that their goals advance. She is a mentor for the MIT Venture Mentoring Service, BU Kindle Program, and the Merrimack Valley Sandbox. She has been a judge for the MIT $100K Development/Emerging Markets track and the MIT-Portugal BGI Competition. She was named a 2008 All-Star by Mass High Tech and served as the co-chair of Mass High Tech’s and BBJ’s Women to Watch Advisory Committee. Other organizations she has worked for include the Mass. Government Land Bank, the Cambridge YWCA, and the Future of the Automobile Program I at MIT. Her philosophy is “Never settle into your comfort zone – you stop learning and you stop taking risks. And where’s the joy in that?” She holds both an M.B.A. and a B.A. from Simmons College.