12th Annual Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition now open for applications

March 10, 2021
Three panelists at the 2019 EBPC.

Entrepreneurial ventures that aim to scale global change through education are invited to apply for the 12th annual Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition (EBPC). This year’s competition invites applications from organizations focused on creating equitable outcomes in education. Applications for the prestigious competition will be accepted until April 20, and semifinalists will be announced in June. Finalists will compete on October 5, 2021.

Apply for the EBPC here.

In the EBPC’s 11 years, winners and finalists have been awarded more than $1.5 million in cash and prizes, and competitors have collectively gone on to raise more than $150 million in funding. In 2020, the Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition awarded more than $170,000 in cash and prizes.

Last year’s competition featured semifinalist ventures from 11 U.S. states and seven countries. The work of these groups focused on diverse initiatives, including building social-emotional intelligence and combating racism through games, comics, and virtual role play; engaging at-risk students, including incarcerated individuals, with STEM education and work opportunities; and building high school students’ capacity for community and global citizenship through entrepreneurship.

2020 winners included groups helping America’s rural schools become future-ready (Third Room), providing gamified virtual STEM laboratories (CloudLabs), and teaching social entrepreneurship to help students impact their communities (Fulphil).

While the competition has always sought to recognize innovators driving impact, scalability, and profitability, this year’s competition is particularly focused on groups driving impact through equity.  In addition to scoring applicants on their ventures’ quality, innovation, and scaling capabilities, judging criteria will assess applicants’ potential to address inequities and achieve results in under-resourced communities.

“We recognize that those closest to the problems are often best suited to create solutions that work in that context,” said Michael Golden, executive director of Catalyst @ Penn GSE. “Following the many difficulties of 2020, we’re committed to supporting efforts in previously disadvantaged communities to move their systems toward equity in education. We will help these entrepreneurs refine their ideas so they can reach the market faster and make a bigger impact when they get there.”