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Ahead of Startup Day Across America, Senator Hassan Visits Sandbox ColLABorative to Highlight Importance of Supporting Innovative Entrepreneurs


Senator Hassan (right) visits Sandbox ColLABorative in Manchester with (from right to left) with SNHU Chief of Staff and Senior VP of Strategy Wil Zemp and Sandbox employees Jackie Lavorgna, Lisa Bonacci, and Rimi Dwiadari.


MANCHESTER – Today, on the eve of Startup Day Across America, Senator Maggie Hassan visited Sandbox ColLABorative, a research and development lab of strategy and innovation at Southern New Hampshire University that supports innovative ed-tech starts ups and entrepreneurs who are creating good jobs and moving our economy forward. The first bill that Senator Hassan introduced was the Reigniting Opportunity for Innovators (ROI) Act, which would help provide the relief necessary for entrepreneurs to start up and grow innovative small businesses.

“As we celebrate Startup Day Across America tomorrow, it was a pleasure to visit Sandbox ColLABorative, an important piece of New Hampshire’s entrepreneurial ecosystem that contributes to our state’s economy,” Senator Hassan said. “In addition to supporting these labs, we must also do more to help relieve the student debt burden that can prevent innovative entrepreneurs from launching new businesses. The Reigniting Opportunity for Innovators Act is a common-sense step to help foster entrepreneurship, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the United States Senate to move this legislation forward.”

"The Sandbox ColLABorative is a place for our staff, faculty, and the greater community to ideate, test, build, and foster new ideas to better serve students,” said SNHU Chief of Staff and Senior VP of Strategy, Wil Zemp. “It was an honor to introduce Senator Hassan to the space today, and we are encouraged by her support of student success in the Granite State and beyond.” 

On Startup Day Across America, lawmakers are encouraged to celebrate entrepreneurship by visiting new local businesses and learning about the role that startups have in our economy.

The ROI Act allows founders and full-time employees of small business start-ups certified by Small Business Development Centers to have their federal student loan payments and interest accrual deferred for up to three years while launching a start-up. If the startup is located in an economically distressed area, founders and employees who make twenty-four monthly payments will also be eligible for cancellation of up to $20,000 in student loans.