Penn GSE and the Milken Family Foundation Now Accepting Submissions for the 2014 Education Business Plan Competition

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Media Contact: 

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

*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.


Competition features over $125K in Prizes, opportunity to meet top investors & researchers, and chance to become an Education Design Studio, Inc. Fellow

Philadelphia, PA – The University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) and the Milken Family Foundation have opened submissions for the 2014 Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition (EBPC). As the first education-focused business plan competition, the EBPC features over $125,000 in prize funding and the opportunity to connect with top investors and researchers in the field of educational innovation. The EBPC was created to stimulate cutting-edge ideas – whether local or global, profit or non-profit, or preschool through adult learning—that serve the world’s educational needs. 

Competition finalists will be flown to Philadelphia’s Penn campus on May 13-14 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 this fall in collaboration with Penn GSE. 

Now in its fifth 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. This year, three previous finalists landed spots on Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” list of Gen-Y thought leaders who are reinventing education in 2013.

The 2014 finals, in conjunction with the annual conference on May 14, is a gathering of industry leaders for a one-of-a-kind opportunity to gauge the pulse of entrepreneurship in education and explore new ways of fostering a culture of continuous innovation and connectivity in the field.  Prizes include (more to be announced):

  • The Milken Family Foundation: First Prize ($25,000), Second Prize ($15,000)
  • The American Public University System Prize for Innovation in Online Education ($25,000)
  • The K12 Online Learning Prize for Innovation in Technology for Grades K Through Twelve ($25,000)
  • The Educational Services of America Prize for Innovation in the fields of Special Education and At-Risk Students ($20,000)
  • McGraw-Hill Education Prize for Open Educational Resources ($15,000)

EDSi will build upon the success of the Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition by extending invitations to a select group of EBPC participants for its six-month Design Studio program. Once accepted, Design Studio Fellows will take part take part in an exciting new program that includes seed funding; access to legal and accounting expertise; technology support and mentoring; marketing and sales mentoring; a supportive community context comprised of program immersion, and access to extensive research and practitioner expertise. EDSi is planning to commit over $500,000 in investment and services for Fellows in the 2014 cohort.

The Milken Family Foundation was established by Lowell and Michael 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. The Foundation advances this mission principally through the various programs it initiates and carries out in the areas of education and medical research.

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 us out on Facebook at MilkenPennEBPC; on Twitter  @NESTCentral; or using the 2014 hashtag #MilkenPennGSE.

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