Press Releases


April 9, 2015

University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education & the Milken Family Foundation Announce 2015 Education Business Plan Competition Finalists and $140,000 in Prize Funding

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Competition for Game-Changing Innovations in Education To Showcase Early-Stage Entrepreneurs; Prizes for New Ideas Added 

Philadelphia, PA, April 9, 2015 The University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) and the Milken Family Foundation announced the finalists for the sixth annual Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition (EBPC) today.  Finalist ideas range from a language learning web app to a peer-to-peer college admissions resource to a lightweight learning management system for emerging markets.

As the largest competition of its kind, the EBPC features multiple cash prizes totaling $140,000. This year’s competition includes a new path devoted to Idea-stage ventures as well as a competition pathway devoted to more mature, but still early stage, start-up Ventures – with prizes awarded in both categories.

Considered the most prestigious and well-funded education business plan competition, the EBPC has earned a name for itself by attracting innovative ideas from around the world and spotting winning education innovations early on in their growth. Previous finalists include Raise, Eneza Education, and Citelighter – all of which have gone on to grow their ventures, attract investors, and have a positive impact on education. The EBPC is made possible through the generous support of the Milken Family Foundation, ACT, American Public University System, Educational Services of America, K12 Inc., McGraw-Hill Education, Microsoft, TSL Education, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The 2015 EBPC Idea and Venture Path Finalists, selected through a crowd-sourced judging which includes teachers, investors, entrepreneurs, and researchers, include:

Ventures Path:

Idea Path:

  • College Fit / Philadelphia, PA
  • Course Lab / Wilmington, DE
  • Education Modified / Brooklyn, NY
  • ActualizeMe / Philadelphia, PA
  • Freedom Games Studio / Chicago, IL
  • JournalUp / Philadelphia, PA
  • Knudge / Philadelphia, PA
  • Lurn / Sunnyvale, CA
  • Talking Points / Stanford, CA
  • Yenko / Brooklyn, NY

The competition is an established leader in the field of education innovation and key destination for education entrepreneurs. Competition finalists will travel to Philadelphia’s Penn campus on May 12-13 to pitch their ventures to a crowd of investors, researchers, and practitioners. Finalists have the opportunity to earn $140k+ in competition prizes, plus investments and incubation services for entrepreneurs invited to join the The Education Design Studio Inc. (EDSi), a hybrid incubator and seed fund built specifically for education ventures that was launched in collaboration with Penn GSE in 2013.

The Milken family – several of whom are Penn graduates – embody the Franklin spirit and through successful educational entrepreneurship – from pre-K services through college education for working adults – as well as investments in educational enterprises, have demonstrated a commitment to the leaders of tomorrow. In their four decades of philanthropic activities, the Milken family has made education – particularly innovation in education – a cornerstone of their work. Visit the Milken Family Foundation for more information.

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Penn GSE is one of the nation’s premier research education schools. No other education school enjoys a university environment as supportive of practical knowledge-building as the Ivy League’s University of Pennsylvania. The School is notably entrepreneurial, launching innovative degree programs for practicing professionals and unique partnerships with local educators, and the first-ever business plan competition devoted exclusively to educational products and programs. For further information about Penn GSE, please visit www.gse.upenn.edu/ 

Find more on http://www.educationcompetition.org/ or follow the conversation on Twitter: @GSE_innovates and #MilkenPennGSE.

Contact:  Kat Stein, Exec. Director of Communications

                  katstein@gse.upenn.edu / (215) 898-9642