In December 2010, the Merrimack Valley Sandbox (MVS) launched with the mission of boosting the economic and social well-being of greater Lowell and Lawrence by advancing entrepreneurship and innovation.
Connecting and Convening
In order to strengthen the ecosystem, the Sandbox regularly holds events to connect individuals and organizations from both communities. These events give participants an arena to share ideas, develop new relationships and bridge communities.
Spreading the Entrepreneurial Mindset
The Sandbox is spreading the entrepreneurial mindset to youth in both communities. Through Campus Catalyst, the Sandbox awards college students Catalyst grants to experiment with their entrepreneurial idea. Through Community Catalyst, the Sandbox trains community- based organizations in entrepreneurship so that they can teach this curriculum to teenagers. This program also awards students with Catalyst grants to experiment with their idea.
Developing Socially Responsible Leadership
The Sandbox has developed the Sandbox Leadership Institute, a ten month-program that brings together leaders from various sectors to strengthen their socially responsible leadership to enhance their organizations and ultimately their communities.
Facilitating Business Creation
The Sandbox is working with area businesspeople and community leaders to build a comprehensive program to encourage entrepreneurs to move from ideas to actual businesses. Using broad-based marketing along with the help of community partners, the Sandbox will be looking to attract a broad cross-section of entrepreneurs. Mentors, expert speakers, and frequent gatherings will help the entrepreneurs accelerate their knowledge and give their ideas a better chance of success.