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Sandbox Centre for Shared Entrepreneurship & Innovation

The City of Barrie became a Founding Partner of the Sandbox in 2016. In April 2019, the Sandbox opened its doors as a regional business hub.

What is the Sandbox

The Sandbox is Ontario’s first private sector-led innovation hub, with a core focus of connecting established organizations and scaling businesses in Central Ontario with professional development, peer support, and growth opportunities. The Sandbox is also home to the Small Business Centre of Barrie, Orillia & Simcoe County and Innovators Alliance CEO group, and is located above the downtown Barrie Transit Terminal.


The Sandbox’s core mandate is to catalyze organizational growth and build regional economic resiliency by developing the foundation for innovation skillsets, mindsets, processes, and partnerships. As a centralized hub for business programs and services, the Sandbox is a platform for established businesses, aspiring innovators, and independent entrepreneurs to share expertise, energy, and opportunities in a united collision space.

How it started

The Sandbox Centre for Shared Entrepreneurship & Innovation was launched in 2016 by 12 founding partner organizations, including City of Barrie and Busch Group of Companies, and 5 community partners. The partners shared a vision of making business guidance and support freely available to all sectors and sizes of organizations, through formalized services and informal knowledge sharing.

Today, the Sandbox owes its financial sustainability to 20 corporate sponsors, and 82 voting members and community partners. Together these organizations form the foundation for a grassroots community of practice and expertise.

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