Over 100 Student & Youth Entrepreneurs
Present Ideas at 2013 Catalyst Showcase
On April 24th, the Sandbox held its 2013 Catalyst Showcase at the Everett Mills in Lawrence. Over 100 student and youth entrepreneurs showcased their innovative ideas from various sectors such as food, fashion, education, and tech. The Sandbox Catalyst Program works with high schools, colleges, and community youth groups to provide connections, support, and seed grants to students and youth to try out their entrepreneurial ideas. Since the beginning of 2011, the Catalyst Program has funded over 600 student and youth entrepreneurs.
Ideas at the showcase included a hybrid power tricycle for special-needs children with poor leg/core strength, tasty homemade cupcakes, and fashionable handmade jewelry.
“I had a great time showcasing Grab a Bite, a website to help students get deals on local restaurants, at the 2013 Sandbox Catalyst Showcase,” says Aldo Beqiraj, a senior Electrical Engineering student at UMass Lowell. “I made a lot of great connections and got valuable feedback. This experience will no doubt help me take my business idea to the next level.”
After the showcase, the Catalysts had the opportunity to hear from special guest speakers including (from left to right)
- Lane Glenn – President, Northern Essex Community College
- Desh Deshpande – Co-Founder, Deshpande Foundation
- Jeffrey White – Chief Creativity Officer, Rightside Shirts
To end the evening, we had a pitch contest that featured eight dynamic Catalysts. They bravely got up on stage and gave their pitches.
These Catalysts made their pitches in front of five special guest judges (from left to right)
- Evan Schapiro – Founder & President, Meerkat Technology & MKtix.com
- Deb Gurry – Owner, Union Street Grill & Bell Tower Cafe
- Zoila Gomez – Owner, Law Office of Zoila Gomez
- Louis Soares – Assistant Vice President & Bank Manager, Eastern Bank (Lowell)
- Mary Guerrero – Owner, Cafe Azteca & El Taller
Here is a list of the winners:
3rd Place – Crazy Joes (CTI – YouthBuild Lowell)
Special thanks to our Catalysts and Partners who made this a great year. We will see you in the fall!