Lowell Entrepreneurs Share $30K Prize Pool a Sandbox Summer Accelerator Awards

Submitted by Lianna Kushi
Edited by Soben Pin
Translated by Sokha Lim

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Erin Freeborn, Founder of Juvenile Court Restorative Justice Diversion
From Left to Right: David Parker (Executive Director of the Merrimack Valley Sandbox), Will Andronico (Partner at MFA Accounting) Jaishree Deshpande(co-founder of the Deshpande Foundation), Erin, Steve Kaufer (Co-Founder & CEO of TripAdvisor.com), Desh Deshpande (co-founder of the Deshpande Foundation)

September 10th — The Sandbox Summer Accelerator 2013 Awards Ceremony was held at the Everett Mills in Lawrence to celebrate the conclusion of the program and award a $30K Prize Pool to the top winners. Over 120 people from around the region came to cheer on these entrepreneurs. Of the sixteen entrepreneurs two are Cambodian Americans from Lowell, Sam Hy, founder of The Medallion Movement and Chhavy Sinuon, founder of Style This Shindig. While they did not win prize money, they said the experience was invaluable, Sam said, “Going into the program I had no idea it would make me this more sure of what I’m doing for my business. I have become more confident and stronger.”

Sam Hy of the Medallion Movement

Sam Hy of the Medallion Movement

For the last eleven weeks, sixteen early-stage entrepreneurs took part in the 2013 Sandbox Summer Accelerator Program. These entrepreneurs were able to move their businesses and non-profits forward through workshops, mentors, working space, and funding. For many, the Sandbox Accelerator had major impacts on their business. “Three months ago, Little Leaders was just an idea,” says Leslie Rivera of Lawrence. “Because of the Sandbox, this is now a business!” For Greg Page of Lowell, the program has increased business for the Merrimack Analysis Group. “Being a part of the Sandbox Accelerator has led to a threefold increase in our client base. There’s no doubt this opportunity has taken my business to the next level.”

Out of 16 Finalists here are the top winners in the Sandbox Summer Accelerator program:

Awarded Winners:

  • Juvenile Court Restorative Justice Diversion (JCRJD) – Erin Freeborn $8,000
  • mino by ParaWare, LLC – Aaron Burke, Russ Queen $6,000
  • Little Leaders – Leslie Rivera $5,000
  • i4class LLC – Ronald Ayotte $5,000
  • Ubersimple – Brad Durbin $5,000
  • Merrimack Analysis Group – Greg Page $3,000
  • CollegePower Inc – Lucky Henry  $3,000
  • Lowell Naturalization and Citizenship Services – Marcia Strauss – Access to Sandbox Space for 6 months
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Chhavy Sinuon of Style This Shindig

  • Jumply – Amaka Okoronkwo
  • HPT Engineering – Derek Dempsey, AnthonyCapone, Justin Patel
  • Lady Dye Yarn – Diane Ivey
  • MHM Studios Printmaking – Markus Haala
  • Principium Prep – Amsi Morales
  • Robotic Feeding Arm –  Philip Colangelo
  • Style This Shindig – Chhavy Sinuon*
  • The Medallion Movement- Sam Hy*

The Sandbox Accelerator takes place twice a year and is open to entrepreneurs with any business or non-profit idea. The deadline for the Winter Accelerator is October 31st, 2012. For more information, please visit: MVSandbox.org