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Startup Sandbox Weekend

October 30–November 1, 2020

A weekend of consulting on your business or nonprofit idea!

Startup Sandbox is an idea-testing weekend. Over three days, students will work in teams to validate and formulate a problem they've identified, viability of a solution, and get advice on next steps. Students bring passion and ideas, CEL provides workshops, tools, and real-world entrepreneurs who will help you focus your ideas and identify your next steps. Teams will ultimately pitch their idea at the end of the weekend to a panel of judges for the chance to win up to $500 in seed money towards your venture.



This is a weekend to do something practical about the stuff you talk about wanting to do:

  • That problem you've always wanted to do something about
  • That product that you have dreamed of making
  • That service you see needed
  • That business or non-profit you want to launch

You can either:

  • Bring your own idea and work by yourself
  • Bring your own idea and teammates
  • Be inspired by others' ideas and join a team


  • First place wins $500
  • Second place wins $300
  • Third place wins $200


Registration is easy - all we need is your basic contact information and a general description of the idea you want to work on. Walk-ins are welcome, but your registration in advance helps us know how many people to expect. Register here!

  • Free registration
  • Open to all years, all majors who want to work together to make things happen
  • Sign up as an individual, as a team, or as a free agent (looking to join someone else's team)
  • You do not need a defined problem or solution to participate
  • Prior entrepreneurial, business or nonprofit experience is not required
  • Commitment to launching your idea after the weekend ends is optional

Weekend Roadmap


The full, detailed schedule will be presented at the Opening Kick-Off on Friday. Here's an overview of what this fast-paced weekend has in store:

Friday, October 30, 2020

  • 7 p.m. // Kick-Off (Open to all of campus—walk-ins welcome!)
  • 7:30 p.m. // Open Mic for 60-Second Idea Sharing (share your idea or listen to others)
  • 8:30 p.m. // Team Up & Get to Work! (coffee and cookies provided for sustenance)

Saturday, November 1, 2020

  • 10 a.m.–5 p.m. // Team Work
    • Businesses & Nonprofits 101
    • Defining your Problem & Solution
    • Meet with Expert, Real-World Mentors
  • We supply you with free food for fuel!

Sunday, November 2, 2020

  • 1–4:30 p.m. // Team Work
    • Idea Refinement
    • Practice for Pitch
  • 6:30–7:30 p.m. // Final Pitches
    • Open to all of campus!
    • Each team will present to a panel of outside judges who will be judging on three basic criteria: size of problem, impact of solution, and sustainability of impact.
  • 7:30–8 p.m. // Awards Announced


  • DeWayne Davenport '98, DavCard Group

  • Michael Wheeler, Wheeler Design Group

  • Steven Byler '02, GrowthLab Financial Services

  • Paul Parisi, SaviorLabs

  • Jay Batson, Sigma Prime Ventures