Written by Michelle Park from the Brookfield Institute

We are excited to announce a new partnership that will bring the Sheldon and Tracy Levy Aspiring Innovators Fellows program to a whole new level. In collaboration with Sandbox by DMZ and Zone Learning at Ryerson University, we are proud to contribute to the launch of the new Sandbox Student Grant Program.
Sandbox by DMZ is building a new three-stage fund to support entrepreneurs, with a commitment of $1 million over four years. The first stage is squarely aimed at young people with great ideas who are in the early stages of building an idea or a company. This level will look and feel a lot like the Sheldon and Tracy Levy Aspiring Innovators Fellows Program we piloted last year. We had a very successful year with last year’s five Levy Fellow entrepreneurs. Learn more about their journeys: Lucas Bruno from Gimme360; Lisa Cumming from Radio ReBoot; Lakshmi Menon from StackFarm; Dara Jarallah from Shoppinglee; and Mark Zaidi from Entropy Labs.
The second phase is a $10,000 grant if the start-ups meet their quarterly milestones. More established and mature companies have an opportunity to directly apply for this stage.
Finally, phase three is a chance at $15,000! In order to be eligible start-ups must have completed the last set of milestones set for them in year one, and provide a comprehensive business development plan for year two.
Ultimately, it will be up to the Sandbox’s selection committee on which companies are successfully admitted into Stages one, two or three.

We are excited for this collaboration and to give emerging innovators at Ryerson University the boost they need for a chance at success.

On Thursday, March 8th, we officially launched the fund at the Ted Rogers Management Conference. Five teams of bright, young entrepreneurs pitched their ideas, with the top three winners receiving $5,000 each to kickstart their businesses.

Congratulations to the following organizations:


HostTO is a short-term property management company inspired by the growing industry of the sharing economy. We act on behalf of the homeowners when using booking platforms such as Airbnb. HostTO strives to save time for homeowners by managing their property, so that they may allocate theirs to more personal matters.


Crescendo makes it easy for high-growth startups to establish and grow an inclusive company culture. Our bot references relevant company policies and diversity legislation to help guide users through the uncertainty of workplace conflict. It removes the burden of minor incidents from HR, while sending severe issues directly to company leadership alongside an action plan to resolve the problem.

Liminal Power Inc .

Liminal Power Inc. is designing a self-sustaining heating system for regular and porous asphalt roads in cities that experience sub-zero temperatures, allowing cities to save money on road maintenance and generate revenue by producing clean energy in the warmer months.

A huge thank you goes out to our judges for the pitch competition, Natasha Campagna, Andrea Romero, and Mark Hazelden.