Beyond the Sandbox With Twilio and Syracuse University

We are continuously impressed with the innovative programs and entrepreneurial young minds breaking out of universities. From weekend hackathons for good to fresh companies launched on a bus, this new breed of battle-tested students are a group to watch in the startup world. That’s why we are proud to announce a partnership with the Syracuse University Student Sandbox Incubator and Syracuse IDEA program.

Founded in 2009, the Student Sandbox is a twelve week program designed to give student entrepreneurs the chance to accelerate their startup by providing them with access to funding, workspace, a team of mentors, and many other handy resources. Like most student incubators, the Sandbox is educational and does not retain any equity in its companies.

Witnessing the continued growth and success of this program, Syracuse University is now increasing their efforts to further cultivate entrepreneurship on campus. The University recently announced a partnership with The Tech Garden, a VC incubator in Central New York, to establish the Raymond von Dran Innovation and Disruptive Entrepreneurship Accelerator (IDEA) accelerator.

Similar to the University of Texas at Austin’s 1SemesterStartup, the IDEA program takes a hybrid approach to teaching entrepreneurship by supplementing courses with external resources. The IDEA program connects students from any discipline and provides each team with access to the Sandbox, free or discounted technical tools, and, most importantly, support from mentors in the local startup community. Courses and an IDS (IT, Design, and Startups) minor cover taking an idea to an actionable launch plan to discussing legal issues facing startups.

To get an inside perspective of what these programs mean to students, we talked to the Program Manager for the Student Sandbox and Co-Founder at Student IDEA Connect Board, Elizabeth Ruscitto.

“With the IDEA program, we help students start businesses. By providing an experiential learning environment, students can graduate with a real world understanding of what it takes to build a successful enterprise, while they create their own company.”

We join a list of other great partners and mentors supporting these thinkers of tomorrow, giving each team  Twilio credit and mentorship time. We’re excited to be involved with this group and support all of the teams involved.

If you have questions or want to learn more about this and other Twilio EDU initiatives, make sure you follow Jack Aboutboul, one of our developer evangelists who leads our EDU initiative.