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Innovation Right Under Your Nose

by Michelle R. Davis

EdWeek Market Brief

Article excerpt

Ed-Tech Startups Win Big in Business Plan Competition Funding

Education startup companies focused on interactive coding, overcoming youth trauma, and helping with dyslexia were among the winners of $140,000 in prize money to build their businesses at a Philadelphia entrepreneurship competition sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.

Our take

Providing a Forum for Innovation

This year, companies participating in the Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition were the recipients of $140,000 in prize money. Winning entries included a multi-lingual texting platform that provide automatic translation, and a video-based interactive case study collaboration tool. The range of entries provides insights into trends that can fuel further innovation. Chances are there are some great ideas and applications in your school system. Could a competition, on a smaller scale, bring them to light?

Teachers are continually innovating, but their ideas and innovations don’t often go further than their own classrooms. Providing a forum to reveal these ideas and use cases can be a good way to boost tech adoption in relevant ways. There’s nothing quite like the promise of prize money—or even simple recognition among peers—to encourage innovation. Technology, when paired with thoughtful examination of learning practices and strategy, can make a transformative impact in our schools and beyond.