The Hub Sandbox


A Wood Centre and CESI Entrepreneurship Program.

  • Tackle food waste and decrease food insecurity in Guelph-Wellington,
  • Get hands-on experience validating and launching a business idea,
  • Learn principles of entrepreneurship, small business administration and community engagement,
  • Access up to $5,000 funding to support you and the social enterprise (up to $2,000 available per student).



The Hub Sandbox is a chance for University of Guelph students to get hands-on entrepreneurship experience and make a positive impact in the Guelph-Wellington community. The Hub Sandbox brings together community engagement and social entrepreneurship best practices to address community-identified needs and represents a one of a kind opportunity to work with an established change maker. This year we are proud to be teaming-up with The SEED Community Food Project to tackle food waste and improve food security in our region.



How can we create compelling food offerings using rescued food? People often think that picked over, unselected, overripe and spotty produce can only be given to food banks to feed hungry people. The SEED and its partners see things differently. They believe rescued food is an opportunity to: 

  • Turn unappealing ingredients into appetizing meals and products,
  • Support youth facing barriers to employment by involving them in meaningful work,
  • Create a place where everyone – whether they are food insecure or not – can enjoy the food on offer.



The SEED Community Food Project is launching a new social enterprise called the Upcycle Kitchen. The Upcycle Kitchen is envisioned as a multi-purpose kitchen and micro-processing facility based in Guelph. Rescued food that is not suited to redistribution through hunger alleviation programs will be transformed into inventive meals that will be sold in a front-of-house café and/or through small-scale catering services. Processing activities will convert surplus food into products like chutneys, canned fruits, dehydrated vegetables, soup and dip mixes, and soaps. 



  • Two students will form the “Upcycle Kitchen Team” with a staff member from the SEED.
  • The Upcycle Kitchen team will participate in the Hub Entrepreneurship program, with additional weekly mentorship in social innovation and community engagement provided by the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute. The Hub program meets every Wednesday between September 5 – December 5, 2018. More details can be found at
  • During the Fall, the Upcycle Team will be directly involved in a range of entrepreneurial activities, from prototyping products to launching a lean version of services, and using an active lean canvas to refine and develop business models. 
  • The team will decide how to allocate funds. A maximum of $4,000 can be used to support each student team member’s participation ($2,000 per student, to cover living costs and other expenses that would otherwise preclude their participation). Remaining funds must be used to cover project / business related costs.
  • Each student is expected to commit 10-15 hours per week during the semester.