Ignition Program

The Spark Zone’s Sandbox Ignition Program offers post-secondary students a 10-week program that gives you access to training, mentorship, resources, ecosystem connections; and honorariums to support personal and business development.

What to expect

Participants are trained in essential transferrable skills such as goal setting, design thinking, networking, pitching and more, ensuring they will understand the value of those complementary soft skills as they develop an entrepreneurial mindset. 

Training and Mentorship
Students will receive access to training sessions that cover a range of essential transferable skills. These skills include goal setting, design thinking, networking, pitching and more. The program aims to equip students with a well-rounded skill set that goes beyond academic knowledge, fostering an entrepreneurial mindset.
Students will have the opportunity to connect with mentors, industry leaders and fellow students from different educational institutions.
Coaching and Consulting
The Ignition Program provides a support system through coaching and consulting sessions. Participants can meet with experts to receive guidance, assistance and accountability for achieving their personal goals or transforming their ideas into reality.
The program offers access to a range of professional and entrepreneurial resources. This access can be crucial for participants as they navigate their entrepreneurial journey, providing them with the tools and knowledge needed to succeed.


Sept. 25, 5:30–6:30 p.m. ADT How to Start a Business
Sept. 28, 11 a.m.–noon ADT How to Pitch  
Oct. 2, 5:30–6:30 p.m. ADT Igniting Indigenous Startups
Oct. 6, 11 a.m.–noon ADT Entrepreneurship through Indigenous art
Oct. 13, 11 a.m.–noon ADT Personal Branding
Oct. 16, 5:30–6:30 p.m. ADT Navigating Gender Bias in Tech Start-Ups
Oct. 20, 11a.m.–noon ADT How to Network and Find Coaches
Oct. 23, 5:30–6:30 p.m. ADT Registering your Business, Taxes and Liabilities
Oct. 27, 11 a.m.–noon ADT Immigration Pathways
Oct. 30, 5:30–6:30 p.m. ADT Financial Entrepreneurship and Literacy
Nov. 3, 11 a.m.–noon ADT Financial Management: Debt and Credit
Nov. 14, 5:30–6:30 p.m. AST Entrepreneurial Mindset & Resilience
Nov. 17, 11 a.m.–noon AST Exploring the Start-up Ecosystem in Atlantic Canada
Nov. 20, 5:30–6:30 p.m. AST Career Development Strategies
Nov. 24, 11 a.m.–noon AST Problem and Passion Identification
Nov. 27, 5:30–6:30 p.m. AST Customer Discovery
Dec 1, 11 a.m.-noon AST Selling Your Business: What to do before, during and after the sale



From our students

“I used to be so scared about networking, but the Ignition Program allowed me to try it in a safe environment. I specifically enjoyed joining the Woman in Business event. Indeed, seeing women achieved and being successful in business with the help of others was highly encouraging. I have implemented everything that I learned in the training section, and I got first place in Challenge Nova Scotia Competition out of 60 teams”.  

—Elif Pitrilli, NSCC

“Throughout the program, I made valuable connections, got market insights and blueprints and so much more that will help me in becoming a business owner. Before the Ignition Program, I never thought about the concept of social enterprise and was looking for a way to build a business that aligns with my life purpose. But now I have greater clarity and a better plan. I strongly believe that every student should leverage this wonderful opportunity.” 

—Suhnandany Goswami, MSVU

“The Ignition program was an incredible program. I enjoyed all 10-weeks of listening and learning
from established local entrepreneurs and experts. As someone who knew absolutely nothing about
entrepreneurship, the ignition program was just what I needed. It gave me all the skills, insights,
and resources I needed to start my journey. I made meaningful and valuable connections with other
goal-driven students and developed sincere relationships with mentors and coaches.”

Tashauna Reid, College Life Academy 


The Sparkzone brings the best of local and international entrepreneurs who have years of experience navigating the entrepreneurial world and remain passionate about sharing it with students:  

nevell provo

Saeed El Darahali BSc’02 MBA’04


Leah Skerry

Keisha Turner BA’12

Starberry Drink Co. / Akwekon Enterprises Inc.

Sehmat Suri

Evan VanderMeer

Indigenous Entrepreneurship Coordinator / MycoNutrients

Dianna Rievaj

Highlander Law Group

Stephanie Holmes-Winton 


Ossama Nasrallah

Andreas Robinson

Social Impact Entrepreneur / Infinitus Academy Inc.

Tia Upshaw

BWIE / Femme Noir Business Consulting

Shubhra Singh MTEI’23


Dr. Darren Burke

Future Foods

Ossama Nasrallah

Bisola Ogamba

Ventrure for Canada

Ossama Nasrallah

Jennifer Montgomery

Blue Door Group / 40 Cups of Coffee

Ossama Nasrallah

Stephanie Clark

Blue Door Group / 40 Cups of Coffee

Mel Holmes


Ossama Nasrallah

Sahil Ahuja



The Sparkzone brings the best of local and international entrepreneurs who have years of experience navigating the entrepreneurial world and remain passionate about sharing it with students:  

nevell provo

Nevell Provo

R&B Kitchen/Smooth Meal Prep 

Leah Skerry

Leah Skerry


Sehmat Suri

Sehmat Suri

Media Relations

Tiffani Young

Natural Butter Bar

Sunil Sarwal 

The Small Monsters

Ossama Nasrallah

Ossama Nasrallah

The Harbour Watercraft and Adventure Tours

Micah Brown

BATLX/ Halifax Harbour Hawks

Jason Buchanan

Premiere Van Lines

Sponsored by 

Partner Institutions

The Spark Zone brings together students and community members to create, develop and ultimately launch business ideas and social innovations.  Partners at Saint Mary’s UniversityNSCAD UniversityMount Saint Vincent UniversityNova Scotia Community CollegeUniversity of King’s College and the Atlantic School of Theology provide opportunities for people to connect and then nurture those connections as ideas become reality.

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