Finalists Announced For 2017 Education Business Plan Competition Idea Path from University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education & the Milken Family Foundation

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

This year, the EBPC is partnering with the Reimagine Education Awards and Conference to present the finals of the Idea Path December 4-5 in Philadelphia.

Media Contact: 

Jeff Frantz, Penn GSE Associate Director of Communications / (215) 898-3269

*Note for TV and radio: The University of Pennsylvania has an on-campus ISDN line and ready access to a satellite uplink facility with live-shot capability.

The University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) and the Milken Family Foundation today announced the finalists for the Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition (EBPC) Idea Path. Entrepreneurs are pursing ideas that could change education around the globe, from pairing gaming with music lessons in Philadelphia to teaching digital and problem solving skills in eastern Kenya.  

This year, the EBPC is partnering with the Reimagine Education Awards and Conference to present the finals of the Idea Path December 4-5 in Philadelphia.  

The EBPC is the most prestigious and well-funded education business plan competition, which has earned its reputation by attracting innovative ideas from around the world and spotting winning education innovations early on in their growth. The Idea Path is for entrepreneurs that are very early in ideation and development.  

The 2017 EBPC Idea Path Finalists, selected through a crowd-sourced judging which includes teachers, investors, entrepreneurs, and researchers, include: 

  • A Water Kiosk at School (Kenya): A primary school-based and student-managed business selling clean tap water to community residents in Kenya at an affordable price.
  • Clipit (New York, NY): A Professional Learning Network (PLN) that provides customizable educational resources to help teachers plan their classes efficiently.
  • HUNT Advisory (Tallahassee, Fla.): A talent search consulting service and online platform that connects high school students with employers to close the skills gap and reduce student debt.
  • Indosight (Philadelphia, Pa.): An augmented reality (AR) education app that provides training applications for workers that operate heavy machinery.
  • Lumen Labs (Kenya): A market survey company that enables students to gather information from their communities in rural Kenya to help them gain digital skills and promote computer education.
  • Mood Magnet (Philadelphia, Pa.): An app that encourages students to enter their mood on a daily basis for school counselors to track, send encouragement, or intervene.
  • Muzemaster (Philadelphia, Pa.): A platform that connects music teachers with students and integrates gaming with music lessons to bolster academic success.
  • STEM Library Lab (New Orleans, La.): A non-profit STEM lending library/resource center where teachers borrow equipment and receive help to implement inquiry-based lessons.
  • Sidekick (Evanston, Ill.): An AI assistant that makes it easy for high school teachers to turn current, real-world company problems into class projects.
  • Student Dox Central (Washington, DC): A secure, reliable service that allows users to request, access, and track elementary and secondary school academic files of transferring students.
  • SuaCode (Hanover, N.H.): A self-paced online course to teach coding optimized for delivery on low-end smartphones with limited internet access.
  • Tassel's Promise (Chicago, Ill.): A web-based app that connects foster youth to on-demand mentoring and academic coaching.

As the largest competition of its kind, the EBPC features multiple cash prizes. The Venture Path competition — for start-ups which already have revenues, grants, customers, or investments — will be held in spring 2018.  

The EBPC is made possible through the generous support of the Milken Family Foundation, ACT, American Public University System, ChanceLight Behavioral Health and Education, iTutorGroup, and McGraw-Hill Education.  

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

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  

Find more on or follow the conversation on Twitter: @GSE_innovates and #MilkenPennGSE. 


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