Sandbox Discover Program

We are offering post-secondary students in any degree program, recent alumni, and non-students alike a guided approach to innovation at the earliest stages through the Sandbox Discover program. The skills and insights gained through the program are transferrable across disciplines and will allow you to bring an innovation mindset to everything from academic group projects, current/future workplaces or potential startups!

Structured as a series of six (6) extra-curricular workshops, we will focus on understanding why you need to fall in love with the problem, not the solution; to understand people before pitching an idea; to build confidence in your creativity, and what it means to be innovative with different people. The program will wrap up with a final design challenge that will allow you to bring all the pieces together.

At this stage, our mantra is:

  • Fall in love with a problem not the idea – the more attached you are to your idea the less open you will be to seeing it grow, change and improve.
  • The best way to find a great idea is to have many ideas. This is best achieved by immersing yourself in the problem domain and letting people be your guide.
  • Form the right team. Problem solving as a group of one is not nearly as impactful as exploring problems and generating ideas as part of team. Different expertise and worldview yields creative tensions that push ideas to another level.

We would like to provide you with an opportunity to be part of our sandbox experience and learn how these principles of early innovation can be applied to your benefit.


You are free to attend any or all workshops but to get the most out of this program, we would love to see you at every one! There are also several other important reasons to attend as many as possible:

  • You must actively participate in at least 5 out of 6 workshops in order to participate in the final design challenge
  • If you complete 5 of 6 workshops and the design challenge, you will earn a printed Sandbox Discover program Certificate of Participation. This is a great addition to your résumé!
  • The Sandbox Discover program certificate can also be used to gain official Dalhousie acknowledgement on your co-curricular record.


Any post-secondary student enrolled at least part-time in any post-secondary degree or diploma program, recent alumni, and non-students are eligible to register. No prior experience in innovation or startups is required.

Please submit the following form to register for the Sandbox Discover program. Space is limited and seating for each workshop will be prioritized in the following order:

  • Those who register in advance and who are aiming to earn the certificate (i.e. participate in at least 5 of the 6 workshops and the design challenge)
  • Those who register in advance and who are NOT aiming to earn the certificate (i.e. < 5 workshops and/or who will not participate in the design challenge)
  • Those who have not pre-registered and who show up at the door

For those who have prior innovation/startup experience, our Lab Residency program might be a better fit.

If you have additional questions before registering, please contact us.