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Utah Tech University launches Sandbox program to foster entrepreneurial spirit

As one of only four universities in the nation selected to participate in a pilot launch of the entrepreneurship program Sandbox, Utah Tech University is looking for students and prospective students interested in dedicating one year of their academic studies to launching a real tech company under the guidance of experienced mentors and industry experts.


Photo courtesy of Utah Tech.

“Sandbox is your no-risk shot at launching a valuable startup or securing a great job when you’re done, all while earning 18 college credits you’d have to take anyway,” said Aaron Davis, associate dean of Utah Tech’s College of Science, Engineering, and Technology. “We believe in fostering innovation and creativity among our students, and the partnership with Sandbox provides the perfect platform for them to explore their entrepreneurial ambitions.”


The success of Sandbox is evident in the achievements of its participants. To date, seven Sandbox companies have collectively raised over $60 million in funding, with six companies being accepted into the prestigious Y Combinator accelerator program. Even students who choose not to continue with their startups upon completion of Sandbox experience a significant advantage, landing jobs with an average salary 25 percent higher than their peers.


“Sandbox is an entirely different college experience,” Davis said. “Students will attend class just twice a week, allowing them to dedicate the majority of their time to building their startups. They will have access to our expert mentor network, backdoor job opportunities with our preferred hiring partners and the chance to pitch their startup to real investors at Demo Day.”



Unlike traditional startup incubators, Sandbox does not take any equity in exchange for its support. The program is funded by Utah Tech University and student-paid course fees. Students will also participate as part of the Global Cohort and attend virtual classes alongside students at the other universities who have implemented Sandbox.


Utah Tech’s participation in Sandbox is in line with the university’s polytechnic approach to education. This model emphasizes hands-on learning and career preparation as part of Utah Tech’s commitment to provide comprehensive educational opportunities to students and community members alike.


Founded three years ago by Chris Crittenden at Brigham Young University, Sandbox has already transformed the lives of countless students, providing them with the skills and resources needed to thrive in today’s competitive tech landscape.


“Sandbox is for anyone, but it’s not for everyone,” Crittenden said. “It all depends on how much you want it. We invite students to seize this opportunity and embark on a transformative journey towards entrepreneurship.”


While entrepreneurs participating in Sandbox do need to be university students, applying for admission at Utah Tech, an open enrollment institution, can easily be done at explore.utahtech.edu.


For more information about Sandbox and how to apply, visit www.sandbox.ing. Applications are due April 18.

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