October 20, 2022
The Nova Scotia Sandbox Project interconnects students, mentors, and advisors who share a passion for entrepreneurial advancement. ShiftKey Labs was created as a sandbox geared towards post-secondary students across Nova Scotia with an interest in computer science. Housed at the Faculty of Computer Science of Dalhousie University, ShiftKey Labs is an inclusive space dedicated to solving global challenges in the tech and business realm lead by Executive Director Jennifer LaPlante.
At ShiftKey Labs, the pathway to innovation begins by hosting collaborative collision spaces called Sandboxes. Located across post-secondary campuses, sandboxes use a human-centered approach to problem-solving. These collision spaces provide future entrepreneurs the opportunity to network virtually or in-person with like-minded individuals, communicate with stakeholders, and join forces with different faculties.
When asked how they prepare students to enter the “idea generation”, ShiftKey Labs emphasize their one-stop approach to digital training. ShiftKey Labs are more than a collaborative space, they offer three learning streams to support entrepreneurial adoption:
- ShiftKey Sandbox is the center of all things tech, offering skill-building events such as hackathons to tech talks to career fairs. Plus STEM Connector, a flash mentorship program linking mentors and mentees together to share experiences.(Interested in becoming a mentor? Sign up today!)
- ShiftKey Academy is an applied learning lab that encourages experimentation for learners already on their career path.
- ShiftKey Build is a tool hub providing businesses in the initial development stages with expertise in infrastructure to consumer behavior.
Amongst all their initiatives, ShiftKey Labs works hard to expand the potential of students across Nova Scotia, specifically gender equality within STEM. The need for diversity in tech is now, which is why ShiftKey Labs prides itself on networking, speaker, and mentorship opportunities specifically for women-identifying students.
“Shiftkey Labs hopes to create a space that will provide support to marginalized individuals interested in pursuing an education and career in STEM” – Lucija Prelovec, Communications Manager
ShiftKey Labs has come a long way since opening its doors but is far from finished. Innovation alone is forever changing, as a result, Shiftkey Labs continues to adopt new technologies and challenge the future leaders of the industry.