Entrepreneur Program Blog / Sandbox Entrepreneur Wins $100K at Global Competition


On a night when the Boston Red Sox won the 2013 World Series, there was another victory for our region! Lawrence-based entrepreneur Brenna Schneider, the Founder of 99Degrees Custom, was one of the grand prize winners at the 2013 MassChallenge Awards. Out of 128 finalists who took part in this four month accelerator program that helps early-stage entrepreneurs from around the world, Brenna and only four others each won $100,000 in cash prizes for their businesses.

To support Brenna, we brought over 15 Sandbox staff, entrepreneurs, and mentors to cheer her on at the awards ceremony (pictured above).

Last November, Brenna approached the Sandbox with her idea of starting 99Degrees Custom, a build-to-order apparel manufacturing company for the me-commerce market that empowers the workforce in Lawrence and Lowell. She was accepted into our 2013 Winter Accelerator Program and was our top winner.

“I applied to the Sandbox with an idea,” says Brenna Schneider. “The Sandbox helped me turn that idea into a ready-to-launch business in months. It accelerated 99Degrees Custom and its support, mentorship, and community helped me advance my vision and model in ways I never could have on my own. Without question, the Sandbox helped me make the most of MassChallenge. When I walked into Mass Challenge on day one, I knew what resources I needed, what questions I needed to answer, and what strategic work I needed to do. That head start enabled me to make significant traction during MassChallenge, traction that helped us win $100k last night and has prepared us for significant growth in 2014.”

“The Merrimack Valley Sandbox community is thrilled with Brenna’s incredible success in winning $100,000 at MassChallenge,” says David Parker, the Executive Director of the Merrimack Valley Sandbox. “Everyone involved with the Sandbox is committed to helping entrepreneurs before, during, and after they participate in our Accelerator – and we look forward to working with Brenna as she takes 99 Degrees Custom to even greater heights.”

Click here to read more about 99Degrees Custom!