Pitch Your Idea, Fund Your Dream


The possibilities are endless.

A compost company. A donation-based yoga studio. A food truck. A running accessory. A web app.

The Merrimack Valley Sandbox has two upcoming pitch contests that could make that non-profit or business idea with which you have been toying a reality.

The “Social Impact Pitch Contest” will take place on Tuesday August 13. The deadline to apply is July 30.

Ideas pitched in this contest are those that will create a non-profit or business aimed at changing the community, the region or the world such as a compost company, donation-based yoga studio or a web platform to connect donors and non-profits.

The “All Ideas Pitch Contest,” which as the name suggest is open to all ideas, will take place on October 3. The deadline to submit an application is September 19.

The contests offer thousands of dollars in cash prizes and networking opportunities with investors. Participating in the pitch contests also increases an entrepreneur’s chance of being part of the Sandbox Winter Accelerator, a 12-week course jam-packed with workshops and mentor opportunities.

For more information and to access an application for either contest visit: http://merrimackvalleysandbox.org/entrepreneur-program/events/pitch-contests/

The Merrimack Valley Sandbox, born in December 2010, is an initiative funded by the Deshpande Foundation that supports entrepreneurship, leadership and innovation as catalysts for sustainable change. It works in partnership with the Merrimack Valley Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UMass Lowell.

A wide variety of ideas have found funding through Sandbox pitch contests including:

** Videographer Startup Boost: A partnership between Lowell Telecommunications Corp. and the Merrimack Valley Small Business Center spearheaded by LTC Executive Director Jessica Moore-Wilson to train people with a passion for videography to start their own businesses.  

** Operation Canine:  Trisha Blanchet’s project to pair dogs in need of homes up with veterans who need companionship.

** Rebel Women: A web-based project proposed by Pauline Benninga aimed at providing networking, mentoring and training to women interested in starting businesses.

** KEO Homemade Ice Cream: Keo Rattana’s business that makes vegan ice cream that is non-dairy, and is gluten and lactose-free.

** FOB Lifestyle and Apparel: Sopheak Sam and Ricky Orng’s urban clothing company.


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