Press Releases

January 7, 2015

Competition for Game-Changing Innovations in Education Will Now Search for Both Early-Stage Entrepreneurs and New Ideas

January 7, 2015
Media Contact: 

Kat Stein, Exec. Director of Communications / (215) 898-9642 

Competition for Game-Changing Innovations in Education Will Now Search for Both Early-Stage Entrepreneurs and New Ideas

 Philadelphia, PA The University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) and the Milken Family Foundation have opened submissions for the 2015 Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition (EBPC).  This year’s competition will include a 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. As the largest competition of its kind, the EBPC features multiple cash prizes totaling over $140,000.

Now in its sixth year, the competition is an established leader in the field of education innovation and key destination for education entrepreneurs. Considered one of the most prestigious and well-funded education business plan competitions around, 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.

Interested Venture Stage applicants might have any of these – revenue, grants, patents, customers, or investors. Entrepreneurs with a promising idea but none of the above criteria can submit applications in the Idea Stage.  

Competition finalists will travel to the Penn campus in Philadelphia May 12-13 to pitch their ventures to a crowd of investors, researchers, and practitioners. In addition to cash prizes, select competitors will also be invited to join 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 2014.

This year’s competition highlights themes that research and practice show to be critical in the drive to improve education. Applicants are encouraged to address at least one of the following:  

  • Urban Education
  • Connecting Research to Practice
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Technology in Grades K through 12
  • Special Education & At-Risk Students
  • Open & Collaborative Solutions: The Education Ecosystem
  • Online & Distance Learning in Higher Education
  • Global/Borderless Education Solutions
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Workforce Learning



  • 2015 Competition features dual-tracks to accommodate both Ideas and Ventures; prizes will be awarded in both paths
  • $140k+ in competition prizes, plus investments and incubation services for entrepreneurs invited into The Education Design Studio Inc. (EDSi)
  • The organization/idea entered cannot have raised more than $500k in investment funds and/or grossed more than $200k since the beginning of its legal existence
  • Live competition finals take place at the University of Pennsylvania on May 12-13, 2015
  • For more information on eligibility and rules, please visit:

The Milken Family Foundation (MFF) was established by Michael and Lowell Milken in 1982 with the mission to discover and advance inventive and effective ways of helping people help themselves and those around them lead productive and satisfying lives. MFF advances this mission principally through the various programs it initiates and carries out in the areas of education, medical research, and public health.

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, or check out Facebook at MilkenPennEBPC; Twitter: GSE_innovates; #MilkenPennGSE.