The teams have formed and the heart of Startup Weekend Education Pittsburgh is officially underway! If you’re looking for a little more information on the game plan for Saturday and some tips and insights, this post is for you.
As always, if you need anything, find an organizer or volunteer, or tweet at us: https://twitter.com/swedupgh. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #SWeduPGH! And don’t be shy! We’ve all done this before and know what you’re going through.
If you’re getting your team established on social media, be sure to let us know and we’ll spread the word. Also request any team needs on Twitter and we will blast it out through social.
Here are the teams so far. We know your name and idea will fluctuate throughout the weekend so let us know of updates!
- emrj: online platform to connect students with companies for job shadows
- The Wrinkled Brain Project: connect students with scientists to encourage deep thinking in science labs
- Imaginate: interactive storytelling to encourage kids to read
- Every Penny Counts: kids get rewarded with pennies for answering questions during class
- Field Trip: making botany more real-world interactive through teacher-directed initiatives
- Root Ed: connecting college mentors with high school students
- ClassR: collaboration platform for students in the same class working on projects together
- Lunchtime: summer lunches for kids through a non-profit food truck
- Pittsburgh Thriving Index: a dynamic real-time dashboard with multidimensional data that reframes education with access points for all
- E-lectern: build a better interface for online teaching
- The Project Playground: app to give teachers insights on student projects, straight from the kids
- Code Trail: helping young kids learn to code through gamification
ECS will open at 9am! Come grab breakfast in the cafeteria thanks to Square Cafe then get to work.
Hopefully you had a successful brain dump Friday evening so you can hit the ground running on Saturday. Be sure to do lots of research, keep the MVP model in mind and take advantage of the amazing mentors coming in who have volunteered their time. This is when you want to really consider your market and get validation.
Assign roles and tasks to help get everything done. Be agile– know it will be a rollercoaster but that’s ok. And most importantly, have fun!
Mentors will be in from 10am-5pm. For special requests, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tips: prioritize what your team needs guidance on and spend as much time with those mentors.
- List out questions: Time is limited with mentors so make sure you use it wisely.
- Be humble and open-minded: Remember, you don’t know what you don’t know.
- Be upfront and direct: If you need to pass on a mentor to digest and implement information, let them know.
Adam Kelson– Partner, Saul Ewing LLP
Jesse Council (Youth Mentor)– CEO & Co-Founder, Shy-Way Essentials; National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Finalist
Nikki Navta– CEO, Zulama
Nicole Muise-Kielkucki– Manager of Social Enterprise Initiatives, Idea Foundry
Dan Seitam– Partner & CxO, C-leveled
After lunch from Mad Mex, we’ll be doing a status report where you’ll update us on your progress and any needs you have. Remember, Startup Weekend is about community and collaboration. Teams helping each other out is highly encouraged!
Mentors will be here until 5 pm, and Saturday evening is when you’ll have to start considering how your pitch will go. Volunteers are here to help if this is new to you! We’ll also be sending around the judging criteria in an email to help guide you.
Win 10 is catering dinner and we’ll have an ice cream social from Dream Cream later in the evening. Things can get intense on Saturday but don’t forget to take an occasional break to clear your head and enjoy all the event has to offer.
The new year is underway, and so is our official planning for the first Startup Weekend Education in Pittsburgh. With many things to finalize before the big weekend on February 20-22, we’re thrilled to already have more exciting updates to share, including new sponsors, speakers, judges, and more.
Informational session: January 27
Are you in the education space but not sure what Startup Weekends are like? Or are you a serial Startup Weekend participant who’s not sure how to translate your skills to this new venture? Then come to our info session at AlphaLab Gear! We’ll have presentations and discussions, plus, in traditional Ed Tech Meetup fashion, delicious food.
Register now here: http://www.meetup.com/Ed-Tech-PGH/events/219675845/
Keynote speaker: Luis von Ahn of Duolingo
One of the more exciting developments in the past few days has been the confirmation of our keynote speaker, Luis von Ahn. Duolingo has continually been recognized as revolutionary tech for learning a language, and we couldn’t be more honored and excited to have one of the co-founders and CEO speak on Friday evening.
Sponsors: TurnItIn, Cherin Law Offices, and The Hardware Store
Of course Startup Weekend Education wouldn’t be anywhere without the generosity of the community, so we have many thanks to give to our newest sponsors.
At the gold level, TurnItIn is the worldwide leader in originality checking, online grading and peer review for educators, students, and researchers. Having such a pioneer in student learning at our event is a privilege.
Also at the gold level is local co-working space and technology services company The Hardware Store, which will also be handling all our digital media needs for the Sunday pitches. Many thanks to founder Josh Lucas for his ongoing support and documentation of startup events.
Steve Cherin, of Cherin Law Offices, is a frequent supporter of the startup community and we’re glad to have him officially on board as a silver sponsor. He provides legal services for many of Pittsburgh’s startups and is a valuable resource for companies at any stage.
First two judges: Lisa Palmieri and Elijah Mayfield
We’ve set a promising precedence with the confirmation of our first two judges, who will be among a panel of five.
Lisa Abel-Palmieri, Ph.D, is the Director of Technology and Innovation, the Director of Learning Innovation Institute, and the Head of Computer Science at The Ellis School in Shadyside. Dr. Abel-Palmieri is a prominent and active member of the Pittsburgh ed-tech community, and is involved in several projects, including Remake Learning and TRETC.
We’ve also confirmed Elijah Mayfield, who is the founder and CEO of LightSide Labs, which was recently purchased by TurnItIn. LightSide Labs provides writing support for students and teachers in grades 6-12, and his insight in the ed-tech scene will be invaluable.
We will send out more updates as we confirm more judges, mentors, sponsors, and vendors.
Questions? Email us at email@example.com.
Buy your tickets now for the inaugural Startup Weekend Education Pittsburgh and get 20% off with code EARLYBIRD until February 1, 2015.
If you’re a student, you can get 50% off your ticket with code STUDENT– you’ll be required to show a valid student ID at the event.