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The Review

‘Being a student entrepreneur just got a little easier’


As a student, finances can be the biggest barrier to getting your entrepreneurial ideas off the ground. And that’s where we’d like to help.

  • Got a great idea but don’t know how to make it happen? 
  • Want to get started on your entrepreneurial journey while in school? 
  • Willing to work hard and learn from the best? 
  • DMZ’s Sandbox Student Grant has you covered!!

The DMZ values equity over everything because everyone has unique barriers when it comes to getting their ideas off the ground. We are here to give you the tailored support to not only start a business but run a business. 

Toronto’s startup landscape is interdisciplinary. You don’t have to be in engineering or business to be a revolutionary startup founder. 

Diversity is one of Ryerson’s greatest strengths. To apply for the program, your idea doesn’t have to be tech-focused but does need to be a cutting-edge solution to a pervasive problem. 

How does it work?

    1. Fill out the Sandbox Student Grant application.
      • Your application consists of a brief description of your solution or product, the problem it solves and what makes you and your idea unique.
    2. Applications are reviewed by a committee!
      • Successful applicants receive exclusive coaching from DMZ’s Entrepreneurs in Residence team who have the insider knowledge that will take your business to the next level. You will also be paired with a pitch coach that will get you pitch ready!
    3. Pitch Night! On Thursday March 12th successful applicants will get the opportunity to pitch their solution to a panel of judges and the winners will be announced.
    4. Continued support from the DMZ!

Let’s hear from some of the past winners….


Meet founders Josh (Ryerson Media Production) and Marisa (Ryerson Masters Digital Media) who won a $10,000 Sandbox Student Grant in 2019 and are now pioneering the cinematic virtual reality industry, where VR allows users to become the main character in an out of this world storytelling experience. They have gone on to win a Canadian academy award, present their business in Berlin and managed a Hotdocs VR film Festival! Josh and Marisa said:

“The Sandbox Grant opened up so many doors for us! The biggest highlight was being able to hire developers that helped us get our product to the next level.”


Next, meet Sam (Ryerson Electrical Engineering) who saw the $1 billion lost in non-refundable flights in 2017 and decided to create a solution. 

He founded Travelot, an online platform that allows travellers to sell their non-refundable flights and hotel reservations at a discounted price. The grant allowed him to complete market research with customers, onboard 126 users with 0 marketing costs, optimize his platform and business model and launch his beta website at the end of 2019. Travelot has made huge strides and will continue to do so in 2020, as Sam has learnt to strive for “continuous improvement over delayed perfection.”

We know that passionate students who think outside the box will be the entrepreneurs we need to solve the world’s biggest problems

Are you up for the challenge?