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As the first night of Chicago StartupWeekend EDU comes to a close, our 7 final teams are furiously whiteboarding and business model canvasing.  image1A list of those teams and all 25 ideas pitched during PitchFire follows (final teams markets in bold and with an asterix):

  • *Eternity Engine: an online globe with a slidebar overlay for more interactive world history lessons
  • Math and Logic: math tutoring and…I missed this
  • Pedagoji: an online learning hub with gamification for engagement
  • Lingua: an ESL tool, not a lot of detail beyond that
  • *Games for Jocks from Educelerant Dennis Glen, offering remedial tutoring through serious games and other aspects appealing to collegiate atheles
  • Eduko from another Educelerant Erika Kot offering an occupation focused social website to support career exploration / entrance 
  • *Coachable, cloud hosted short class recordings for teacher professional development from recently retired teachers. Made it to the finals, but subsequently disbanded
  • *WatchmeWork, web portal with online streams of experts hard at work for consultation / reference. Made it to the finals.
  • Seeking Mentorship, a website for mentorship, I think
  • *Learning Buddies, from Dr. Jane Hornickle, a peer to peer tutoring in special education, which made it into the finals!
  • Codeable Bracelets, a cool idea from Makeda Ricketts for programmable bracelets to teach and popularize coding to girls (still bummed this did not get through to the finals!)
  • Math Media, from Michael Adamson of Atlanta, one of our farthest travelling participants, injecting pop culture video into math lessons
  • Summer Plans, for tracking children’s plans for summer
  • IdiomOcean, from Natalia from Indiana (though only recently having moved there from Colombia) a marketplace connecting language learners with native speakers for improved fluency and contacts
  • Pi Master from Educelerant and 2013 SWEDU alumna Deeann Dorman
  • *Whipping Post, an online disciplinary write-ups app which made it to the finals!
  • Perfolio from Jeremy Peters who only days ago told me he was done with Education and Start-ups…glad to see him back in the fold
  • *Tutor Train, an online tutoring feedback app jointly pitched by Tash and Stenio (looks like they already have a team), which made it into the finals!
  • *FantasyFinance bringing fantasy stock portfolios into the classroom to teach math, which advanced into the finals (too bad Eric Nelson isn’t here to help coach)!
  • Mentors for Minority Success, a social site connecting incoming minority freshman with older peer students for mentorship and support
  • And our last two pitches responding to our facilitator’s personal appeal, Student Studio, and MyMoney, a math app based on real world math skill needs
Speaking of our facilitator, a special thanks must be given to Nirav Amin, a local Chicago StartupWeekend enthusiast and recent facilitator of Little Rock Startup Weekend.  With widespread flight cancellations following the closing of all Chicago airports due to some bizarre Air Traffic Control tower arsonry, our original facilitator from Startup Education was kept from flying in today.  Thankfully, we were able to appeal to Nirav’s love of StartupWeekend to pry him away from his father’s birthday party to facilitate!
Christopher Nyren