In software development, networks are important ways to weave innovative technology together. Same goes for working with people to the benefit of community.
“Our team takes pride in working on projects that have a positive impact on our community,” says Digital Strategist Devin Gauthier, whose clients at Sandbox Software Solutions include hospitals, health centres, charities, foundations, municipalities and non-governmental organizations. “We’re proud that nearly 80 per cent of our customers are in the non-profit sector.”
Gauthier and his business partner, Mark George, met during in a co-op work term at the University of Guelph. For their final semester in computer sciences, they determined to start their own business. So, 18 years ago they co-founded Sandbox to offer website and intranet development, custom software, and digital strategy services.
“We take projects from concept through completion,” he explained in an interview for Business Centre Guelph Wellington, where his enterprise gained early support. As students without business experience, it was suggested by their co-op advisor to visit the business centre. “It was one of the best decisions we ever made.”
At the centre they received help to formulate a business plan and applied to the Summer Company Program. This gained them financial support of $3,000 and business advisors to assist them to succeed.
“It’s a gateway to lifelong relationships with other entrepreneurs,” said Gauthier of their contact with the business centre and collaborations built there. “The ability to talk to other business owners about business challenges and opportunities is invaluable.”
As Summer Company grads, the Sandbox founders wanted to give back, so became mentors themselves for the Summer Company and student entrepreneur programs. Gauthier has volunteered for speaking engagements, grant evaluation committees for the centre and is on the board of directors.
“We felt it was important to give back to the business centre,” said Gauthier, adding the networks and connections he has gained through events and programs are long-lasting.
“We have a passion for developing digital innovation in close collaboration with our partners,” offers the website at https://www.sandboxsoftware.ca/projects/, where they offer a peek at past projects they have supported. “Through our work we hope to amplify the good they do in their communities using our tools and technology.”
"[Summer Company] was one of the best decisions we ever made." — Devin Gauthier