Calling All Education Entrepreneurs: The Largest Startup Competition in the World Wants You

November sure is a special time of year! Not only did President Obama officially declare it National Entrepreneurship Month, but the largest startup competition in the world, Global Startup Battle (GSB), is just nine days away! Taking place November 14-23rd, GSB 2014 marks the first time education entrepreneurs will have their own track within the competition to showcase their latest and greatest innovations. Titled Education, Empowered Track, nine of the biggest players in the edtech industry will be joining the public to determine the most promising new edtech startup of the competition.

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The Largest Startup Competition in the World

Every year during Global Entrepreneurship Week, UP Global, gives entrepreneurs in over 250 cities around the world the opportunity to compete for prizes designed to help them move their startup forward. The competition is called Global Startup Battle (GSB), and past and present partners include Google, Coca Cola, Amazon, Sprint, Bigcommerce, and more. With over 30,000 people taking part this year, it will easily be our biggest GSB ever! Check out last year’s winners, as well as the GSB 2013 infographic, and be sure to visit the website to find out more about what you can expect from GSB this year.

The Education, Empowered Track is GSB’s First Education-Focused Contest

This year, Education Entrepreneurs and General Assembly are proud to be co-hosting the first ever Education, Empowered Track within GSB. Thousands of people at 10 Startup Weekend Education (SWEDU) events and over 200 general Startup Weekend events will be participating, and we expect more than 300 teams to be building solutions for education over the span of just 10 days. Ideas will be judged on four categories: Education Impact, User Experience, Execution, and Validation. (See here for full judging criteria). If you’re feeling disappointed by the current education offerings, have an idea to make things better, or want to contribute to the movement to innovate and improve education, then participating in the Education, Empowered Track is a great step for you to take.

Powerhouse Sponsors, Judges, and Prize Packages are Included

This year, we’re excited to announce that General Assembly is the official sponsor of the Education, Empowered Track. As one of the largest and most successful education organization’s in the world, General Assembly is excited to work with education entrepreneurs during GSB to improve the way people learn, increase access to education, and ensure that everyone is empowered to be a thinker and maker.

The Judges are also incredible! New Schools Venture Fund, Pearson Affordable Learning Fund, Edsurge, Class Dojo, and the Institute for Global and Online Education have all joined General Assembly to ensure participants get the opportunity to showcase their products to some of the biggest influencers in the space of education innovation. (See the full list of judges here).

$20,000 USD in General Assembly Courses, $5,000 USD Living Stipend, One-on-One Mentoring Sessions, 40 Hours of Support, Legal Startup Kit, and Social Media Super Powers. This is the current prize package, and there’s still more coming in every week! Organizations are eager to reward the brightest minds coming together to improve education, so be sure to check back before November 14th to see what awesome prizes are added!

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Anyone Can Participate

The GSB competition begins with a Startup Weekend event taking place during the 10-day span of GSB (November 14th-23rd). Dispersed throughout the world, these events welcome anyone and everyone to dabble in the world of entrepreneurship and work as a team to build an innovating new product and startup. Startup Weekend is known as the weekend-long experiential learning event that helps people turn their idea into a startup in less than 54 hours. The motto is No Talk, All Action, so if you have an idea that you want to pitch, or a desire to contribute your skills and ideas to an existing team, be sure to sign up to participate, before spots run out.

10 Startup Weekend Education (SWEDU) Events Are Taking Place During GSB

Anyone participating in a Startup Weekend event during GSB, who builds an edtech startup over the weekend, is eligible to participate in the Education, Empowered Track. It’s important to note that there are two types of Startup Weekend events: general Startup Weekend events are referred to as such, whereas Startup Weekend Education events are often times referred to as SWEDU. The elements that make a SWEDU event different from a Startup Weekend is that 25% of the participants are educators, all the Coaches and Judges at the event are experts in education and education technology, and all ideas being worked on over the weekend are specifically focused on solving an education problem. Both types of Startup Weekend events will be taking place during GSB, so irrespective of which type you sign up for, as long as you’re developing an education solution, you’re automatically eligible to participate in the Education, Empowered Track.

Here is a list of all GSB events, and below you’ll find the 10 events that are specifically SWEDUs.

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Education Entrepreneurship is Year-Round

Anyone who wants to innovate education gets a unique opportunity to participate in a Startup Weekend or SWEDU event during GSB and compete for awesome prizes and major international exposure! However, we want to make sure you know and understand that the opportunity to utilize entrepreneurship to solve problems in education is something you can do year-round. Education Entrepreneurs is the official community within UP Global that specifically focuses on leveraging entrepreneurship to improve education outcomes.

Recognizing that people aiming to innovate education face unique problems that require unique solutions, Education Entrepreneurs has created a suite of programs to specifically help education entrepreneurs along their journey. Programs include SWEDU, Startup Digest Education, bootcamps, meetups, resources, and a global network of Community Leaders who are eager to help. Located in all six major continents, Education Entrepreneurs makes it easy for anyone, anywhere to play an active role in shaping the future of education.

Learn more about the Education, Empowered Track

Check out what else is going on at Global Startup Battle

Follow all the Education, Empowered action on Twitter using hashtag #GSBedu

Got questions? Email EducationEntrepreneurs@up.co








Eight Quotes of Encouragement for Entrepreneurs

Every year, I have the privilege of engaging with thousands of people around the world, as they embark on a unique journey to develop their very first startup. In this day and age, it’s no secret that launching a startup is one of the most arduous undertakings one can pursue. As a former startup founder, I know all too well how difficult the path of innovation, product market fit, team cohesion, and scaling can be. However, as a former startup founder, I also know that it can be an incredibly worthwhile and life-altering adventure, if you let it be.

Rather than publish another “Crap! This is really freakin’ hard!” article emphasizing how not-fun and not-easy entrepreneurship is, I decided to take a different approach. Below are eight quotes and tidbits of wisdom to help entrepreneurs approach their journey with a bit more optimism and perspective. And trust me, you’re going to need it.

 

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Startups Are Worthwhile

You have to remember that startups are a worthwhile pursuit. It’s going to be an incredibly hard undertaking, but it’s totally worth it! The opportunity to solve long-standing and far-reaching problems, create things that never were, make a massive impact, positively change lives, and push our society forward. The possibilities are endless and the experience is priceless.

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Appreciate the Process

Be patient people – with yourself and with others. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and in order for you to build the company of your dreams, you’re going to need to become the person that is capable of leading such a company, and that takes time. Some things happen when you want them to, and some things happen when they’re supposed to. Learn to trust the process.

 

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Always Do Your Best

Yes, things aren’t always going to go smoothly. Yes, you may be questioning where you are right now, but do remember that it is critical you give your all to what this moment right now is requiring. You never know which experience may be that big break, so treat them all as though something great can come of it. Expect that good things will happen, and align your actions to be ready to receive them.

 

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Invest in Relationships

A startup is a business, and a business is operated by people, and in order for your business to succeed, you have to be good at enlisting, investing in, and supporting others in their own personal journeys. There is no one who’s gotten to where they are on their own, so turn down that Beyonce “Me, Myself, and I” track, and go out and invest in building great relationships.

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Keep it “100”

Why do it, if it doesn’t serve who you truly are? Sure we all make concessions at times to fit in and be accepted, but it’s up to you to decide where you draw the line. Who am I, really? What do I sincerely want? Get clear on those answers and choose to pursue ventures and work in places that align to that. Afterall, what’s the point of being here, if you’re not at least going to allow yourself to fully enjoy it by being the person you really are.

 

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Be Courageous

Now that you’ve gained a bit of clarity on who you are (and also who you’re not), it’s time to act. There’s no point in knowing, if you’re not going to act on that knowledge, so buck up, speak words, and carry out actions that align to your authentic self.

 

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Have Faith

This comes into play most when you start questioning your choices. Am I 100% sure this strategy will work? Am I positive this is the best person to hire? Am I sure this is the right investor to partner with? None of us can predict the future, but you can do your best to make a decision based off what information you have in this moment. Accept that there is only so much you can know at a given time, and trust in your decisions at that time.

 

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Take Personal Responsibility

At one point or another, things are going to hit the fan – it’s called life and it happens to all of us (sorry I didn’t write the rules; I’m just a messenger). A competitor may beat you to the punch, launching a feature your team has been working on for several months, a personal emergency may arise that requires you to step away from work for longer than you’d ever want to, or a key team member may leave, deciding this is no longer the path they want to pursue. Whatever the situation, recognize the power you do have to decide how you react to that situation.

As an entrepreneur, it can often times feel as though building a business is a never-ending cycle of obstacles to overcome. Sure it can be seen this way, or it can be seen as continual opportunities for personal growth and expansion. How you see it is your decision to make. Ultimately, life happens to all of us; it’s how we react to life that differs.

Know of any more great quotes or advice that should be shared? Add them in the comments section below.








Education Entrepreneurs: New Name, Same Awesome Community & Programs

Since 2010, we’ve been developing programming to support individuals interested in leveraging entrepreneurship to improve education outcomes. Recognizing that education entrepreneurs face unique problems that require unique solutions, we’ve focused our energy on increasing the quality and range of our offerings to ensure entrepreneurs feel supported at every stage of their journey. Centering on Startup Weekend Education, a 54-hour experiential learning event, education entrepreneurs can also take advantage of education-specific reading lists, bootcamps, meetups, resources, and a global network of Community Leaders, who specialize in education innovation.

Action-Based Programs

Community-Generated Resources

Opportunities to Connect and Grow

See our flagship program, Startup Weekend Education, in action

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The Community is Driving Growth

Any opportunity that people get to engage with our programming is due to the hard work and dedication of hundreds of volunteer Community Leaders dispersed throughout the world. Community Leaders are those special individuals who want to bring people together to collaborate on the creation of education solutions. They strategically use our programs, resources, and global network to support the development of an education innovation community in their city. It’s because of these Community Leaders, that more people than ever are gaining access to key information, skills, and a network that’s been shown to play a pivotal role in the development of successful education entrepreneurs.

Growth Over Past Year

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A Few Success Stories

  • Several education entrepreneurs that participated in Startup Weekend/Education have gone on to develop edtech products and teams that have been admitted into some of the most prestigious startup accelerators in the world (e.g. Imagine K-12Y Combinator). Here’s a few of them: Sam and Liam of Class Dojo, Dan of Clever, Jeff of No Red Ink, and the team of Experiment. These entrepreneurs have all created effective solutions to significant pain points of teachers and/or administrators, and their impressive traction has resulted in several million dollars being invested in their companies in recent years.

  • As a high school social studies teacher, Eric Nelson had a problem of his students being disengaged & disinterested in geopolitics. At the recommendation of his mentor organization, 4.0 Schools, Eric pitched Fantasy Geopolitics at Startup Weekend Education Chicago in 2013. A year later, his product is engaging over 10,000 students and 500 teachers in learning about the world in which they live via a fun “fantasy football” type of game.

  • Ed an internet entrepreneur, Simon a graphic designer, and Paul an educator built Night Zookeeper during Startup Weekend Education London in 2011 to improve creative writing and literacy skills in young children. Night Zookeeper is now used in more than 5000 schools by more than 500,000 children, and they’ve raised about $900,000 to-date.

  • At Startup Weekend Education New York City in January 2014, three female developers, Alexandra Diracles, Melissa Halfon, and Leandra Tejedor, teamed up to get more teen girls excited about technology. Feeling a mutual charging that the tech world is still heavily male-dominated, these entrepreneurs wanted to find a way to teach girls that coding and working in tech is creative and fun. What resulted was Vidcode, a video coding app that is not only self-expressive, but paired with a hobby that teen girls love – creating and sharing videos. Today, their Kickstarter Campaign has already reached its goal, with five days still left to go!

Recognition from the Broader Education Community

What’s even better, our successful and seasoned entrepreneurs often times return to our events as Mentors, Speakers, or Judges, guiding the next generation of aspiring entrepreneurs, and strengthening the “pay it forward” culture our Community Leaders have established.

The Name Should Reflect The Community

Recognizing that our Participants, Community Leaders, and Mentors are just as much the drivers for success as the programming and resources themselves, we have made the decision to move forward with a new name that shines a light on exactly who is responsible for this growing education innovation movement: people passionate about education entrepreneurship. As of today, we are officially retiring the Startup Education name and establishing ourselves as Education Entrepreneurs. Clear, to-the-point, and representative of who we are, our community is excited to carry this message forward:

We are Education Entrepreneurs, a global and diverse community that uses entrepreneurship to improve education.

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So What’s Next?








Education Entrepreneurs: New Name, Same Awesome Community & Programs

Since 2010, we’ve been developing programming to support individuals interested in leveraging entrepreneurship to improve education outcomes. Recognizing that education entrepreneurs face unique problems that require unique solutions, we’ve focused our energy on increasing the quality and range of our offerings to ensure entrepreneurs feel supported at every stage of their journey. Centering on Startup Weekend Education, a 54-hour experiential learning event, education entrepreneurs can also take advantage of education-specific reading lists, bootcamps, meetups, resources, and a global network of Community Leaders, who specialize in education innovation.

Action-Based Programs

Community-Generated Resources

Opportunities to Connect and Grow

See our flagship program, Startup Weekend Education, in action

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The Community is Driving Growth

Any opportunity that people get to engage with our programming is due to the hard work and dedication of hundreds of volunteer Community Leaders dispersed throughout the world. Community Leaders are those special individuals who want to bring people together to collaborate on the creation of education solutions. They strategically use our programs, resources, and global network to support the development of an education innovation community in their city. It’s because of these Community Leaders, that more people than ever are gaining access to key information, skills, and a network that’s been shown to play a pivotal role in the development of successful education entrepreneurs.

Growth Over Past Year

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 11.47.41 PM

A Few Success Stories

  • Several education entrepreneurs that participated in Startup Weekend/Education have gone on to develop edtech products and teams that have been admitted into some of the most prestigious startup accelerators in the world (e.g. Imagine K-12Y Combinator). Here’s a few of them: Sam and Liam of Class Dojo, Dan of Clever, Jeff of No Red Ink, and the team of Experiment. These entrepreneurs have all created effective solutions to significant pain points of teachers and/or administrators, and their impressive traction has resulted in several million dollars being invested in their companies in recent years.

  • As a high school social studies teacher, Eric Nelson had a problem of his students being disengaged & disinterested in geopolitics. At the recommendation of his mentor organization, 4.0 Schools, Eric pitched Fantasy Geopolitics at Startup Weekend Education Chicago in 2013. A year later, his product is engaging over 10,000 students and 500 teachers in learning about the world in which they live via a fun “fantasy football” type of game.

  • Ed an internet entrepreneur, Simon a graphic designer, and Paul an educator built Night Zookeeper during Startup Weekend Education London in 2011 to improve creative writing and literacy skills in young children. Night Zookeeper is now used in more than 5000 schools by more than 500,000 children, and they’ve raised about $900,000 to-date.

  • At Startup Weekend Education New York City in January 2014, three female developers, Alexandra Diracles, Melissa Halfon, and Leandra Tejedor, teamed up to get more teen girls excited about technology. Feeling a mutual charging that the tech world is still heavily male-dominated, these entrepreneurs wanted to find a way to teach girls that coding and working in tech is creative and fun. What resulted was Vidcode, a video coding app that is not only self-expressive, but paired with a hobby that teen girls love – creating and sharing videos. Today, their Kickstarter Campaign has already reached its goal, with five days still left to go!

Recognition from the Broader Education Community

What’s even better, our successful and seasoned entrepreneurs often times return to our events as Mentors, Speakers, or Judges, guiding the next generation of aspiring entrepreneurs, and strengthening the “pay it forward” culture our Community Leaders have established.

The Name Should Reflect The Community

Recognizing that our Participants, Community Leaders, and Mentors are just as much the drivers for success as the programming and resources themselves, we have made the decision to move forward with a new name that shines a light on exactly who is responsible for this growing education innovation movement: people passionate about education entrepreneurship. As of today, we are officially retiring the Startup Education name and establishing ourselves as Education Entrepreneurs. Clear, to-the-point, and representative of who we are, our community is excited to carry this message forward:

We are Education Entrepreneurs, a global and diverse community that uses entrepreneurship to improve education.

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So What’s Next?








The Final 48 Hours: Vote to Shake Up Education

Startup Education is the largest initiative in the world to provide year-round programming and resources dedicated to giving anyone, anywhere the opportunity to take action to improve education. SXSWedu is one of the most prominent conferences in the world focused on bringing people together to share ideas about fostering innovation in learning. Some say its a match made in education innovation heaven, and today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve submitted three proposals to present at next year’s SXSWedu conference. But we need your help!

30% of SXSWedu panel selection is based on public votes, which means your willingness to “thumbs-up” our proposals can mean the difference between new, action-oriented, and far-reaching approaches to improving education being shared, or the same ‘ol same ol’ narrative being told about the possibilities for education to evolve. We hope that our track record and vision going forward will inspire you to support our involvement in SXSWedu, but if that’s not enough, here are three key topics for discussion we’d like to add to the story being told at the conference:

  1. Edtech solutions, alone, will not transform education. Communities of people equipped with entrepreneurial skills, who are empowered to take action will transform education.
  2. A collaborative innovation process that involves multiple stakeholders, perspectives, and skill-sets is the best innovation process when it comes to improving educational outcomes.
  3. Creating the space to challenge what school traditionally looks like, feels like, and results in, spurs creativity and produces fresh ideas for designing improved models for learning.

Take Action: Place Your Vote by Friday, September 5th

Public voting officially ends Friday, September 5th. If you’re interested in helping us shake up the usual narrative about innovating education, and share the incredible grassroots work our Community Leaders around the world are doing to affect change, then complete these 3 quick steps:

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Step 1: Create an account on SXSW Panel Picker. (If you already have one, skip to item #2 below)

  1. Click here to be directed to our SXSWedu proposal webpage.
  2. In the upper right-hand corner, select “Sign In.” You will be directed to a new page.
  3. On the Sign-In Page, select “Create Account.” Insert the required information, and your account will be confirmed.

Step 2: Vote for our three proposals

  1. Click on the links below
  2. On each page, select the “thumbs up” icon in the upper left-hand corner (Yes, you can vote for all three!)

Step 3: Share the opportunity

Know other people who want to shake things up?

Easily share this opportunity by clicking on the Twitter icons below:

 

Interested in checking out other SXSWedu panel submissions from Startup Education Community Leaders? See them highlighted here.

Want to learn more about Startup Education? Visit our website

Have comments or questions? Email startupeducation@up.co








Win a Chance to Showcase Your Edtech Product to Hundreds of Educators and School Leaders

On September 13th in Los Angeles, EdSurge is hosting its next Tech for Schools Summit, and once again, Startup Education wants to give one lucky Startup Weekend Education alumni the opportunity to earn the coveted “Startup Education Featured Company” spot, and showcase their product in front of hundreds of educators and school leaders. The deadline to apply is Thursday, July 31st, at 5:00pm PST, so read on to find out how you can take advantage of this incredible opportunity!

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What is the Edsurge Tech for Schools Summit?

Last month, Startup Education formed a partnership with EdSurge, the leading source of news and resources for education entrepreneurs. This partnership offers an opportunity for Startup Education’s global community of education innovators to engage with EdSurge’s timely content, resources, and opportunities – including EdSurge’s Tech for Schools Summits. Encompassing day-long events in a variety of cities around the country, the Tech for Schools Summits give educators an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with some of the most innovative technology being built for schools, and at the same time, gives entrepreneurs the chance to get unfiltered feedback from their end users.

 

What are the perks of being a “Startup Education Featured Company” at the Summit?

  • Application fee is waived

  • Participation fee for Saturday’s “Educator Day”

  • 1 round-trip flight

  • 1 night hotel accommodation

  • Your own showcase table, branded “Startup Education Company”

 

Who is eligible?

  • The applying team must be based in the U.S.

  • At least one member of your team has participated in a Startup Weekend Education (Volunteers, Coaches, and Judges are not eligible; only participants that worked on a designated team throughout the 54 hour event qualify as “participants”)

  • Your product is built for the K-12 market

  • Your company has raised less than $150,000

  • Your company is less than 2 years old

  • You must be available to travel to Los Angeles on September 12th and 13th

 

Where do I apply?

  • 2 Applications to Complete

 

When are the applications due?

  • Both applications must be completed Thursday, July 31st, at 5:00pm PST

 

Anything else I should know?

  • Startup Education will cover the flight and accommodations for one team member. You are welcome to bring additional team members; however, your team will be responsible for those costs.

  • It is OK if the company you are applying to represent at the Summit was not developed at a Startup Weekend Education event. We are interested in knowing who on your team has participated in a Startup Weekend Education event, and what impact participating in the event has had on the development of your product.

 

When will we know whether or not our team has been selected?

  • Friday, August 8th at 5:00pm PST

 

What if our team is not selected?

  • You are more than welcome to still participate in the Summit and get tremendous value out the experience; however, like other companies attending, your team will be responsible for covering the registration fee, flight, and accommodations.

  • You can also consider applying for one of EdSurge’s upcoming Tech For Schools Summits.

  • This is the first of many opportunities that Startup Education will be doing to further support alumni teams from Startup Weekend Education. Subscribe to the Startup Education newsletter to learn more about these opportunities.

 

Questions? Email startupeducation@up.co

Want to learn more about Startup Education? Visit our website

 








Startup Education: Putting the Future of Education in Your Hands

Today, the Startup Weekend Education team and UP Global are excited to introduce Startup Education, a comprehensive set of programming specifically built for those interested in innovating education. We’ve also just kicked off an exciting new partnership with EdSurge, the leading source of news and resources on education technology. Read below to find out more.

The First of Its Kind

On June 3, 2011, the first Startup Weekend Education event launched in San Francisco, CA. Hosted at the offices of one of the most promising edtech companies at the time, Grockit, the event drew educators, entrepreneurs, developers, and designers from all around the country. Over the span of 54 hours, a group of roughly 80 participants pitched ideas, formed teams, received mentorship, and launched the first version of their startup aimed to solve a particular problem in education. The formula was pure magic!

ideas + teams + entrepreneurship + mentorship = innovative solutions

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But that wasn’t surprising. Startup Weekend had been in existence since 2009, and the “idea-to-startup in one weekend” concept had already been proven in hundreds of cities around the world. What was up for debate, however, was the likelihood that this model could be applied to innovating education. The Startup Weekend Education event in San Francisco provided a good test, and the results were overwhelmingly positive.

Within a few months, Mountain View, Seattle, Washington DC, and London all followed suit, giving hundreds more people access to education entrepreneurship for the very first time. By the end of 2013, Startup Weekend Education expanded to 16 cities, spanning three continents, and played a pivotal role in the development of such companies as CleverClass DojoFantasy Geopolitics, and Trinket. In just over two years, Startup Weekend Education solidified itself as the largest starting point for education entrepreneurship in the world!

 

When You Know Better, You Do Better

The initial success of Startup Weekend Education proved that those passionate about leveraging entrepreneurship to solve problems in education could benefit from engaging in the 54-hour experiential learning event. However, as the number of events grew and increasingly more entrepreneurs went through the experience of trying to scale their venture beyond Startup Weekend Education, new learnings surfaced that highlighted opportunities for the program to improve its structure and expand its offerings.

In July 2013, Startup Weekend Education formed a partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This partnership afforded Startup Weekend Education an important opportunity to apply its learnings from the first two years and build out new programming to further support entrepreneurs in their quest to get their innovations to the learners they were designed to help. Below is an outline of the expanded offerings:

  • Startup Weekend Education: Increasing involvement of key stakeholders, such as educators, school administrators, and policy makers
  • Special Editions: Focusing on a specific part of the education industry (e.g. Next Gen, Youth, Library)
  • Sponsored Challenges: Connecting education problems that organizations want to solve with the community of entrepreneurs that are equipped to solve them
  • Bootcamps: Teaching key information and skills to scale education innovations
  • Meetups: Building community with others who want to improve education
  • Resource Hub: Aggregating the most valuable resources for education entrepreneurs
  • Pathways: Customizing paths people can take to play an influential role in the education innovation movement
  • Summits: Gatherings bringing together Startup Education Community Leaders, participants, partners, and the broader public

 

The Start of a New Era

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Expanding beyond the flagship 54-hour event known as Startup Weekend Education, the organization is excited to announce it’s new brand, Startup Education. Comprised of all the opportunities outlined above, Startup Education is the one place where anyone interested in education innovation can learn how to launch and scale their endeavors. Providing a comprehensive set of action-based opportunities for those passionate about innovating education, Startup Education has created an unprecedented opportunity for anyone, anywhere to shape the future of education.

 

Moving Forward Together

The ability of Startup Education to fulfill its mission is dependent on two main things: its community and its partners. Every Startup Education event is organized by a group of Community Leaders, forward-thinking individuals who volunteer their time, energy, and talents to empower others to play a role in innovating education. Startup Education is fortunate to have over 120 Community Leaders all over the world, and it is these special people who are the captains of this ship.

EdSurgeLogo-VectorStartup Education is also fortunate to have formed a partnership with EdSurge, the leading source of news and resources on education technology. Going into effect July 2014, this partnership represents the pairing of Startup Education’s global community and action-based programming with EdSurge’s timely content, resources, and opportunities created specifically for education entrepreneurs.

The Startup Education community looks forward to utilizing EdSurge’s Edtech Index, Reports, and Guides to better identify opportunities to pursue and pitfalls to avoid. With the inclusion of EdSurge’s Tech for Schools Summits and Jobs, Opportunities, and Events Boards, the Startup Education community members will be aware of all the opportunities available to them as they navigate their journey through the education ecosystem. With the support of EdSurge, the Startup Education community will be better equipped to take on the hefty challenge of disrupting education.

 

The Time is Now, The Leader is You

Last year, 11 Startup Weekend Education events took place in North America and Europe. During the first six months of this year, there have already been 13 events, including two Youth events, one Library event, and one Next Gen event. With 39 more events already being prepared (including several Bootcamps launching this summer), Startup Education is on track to experience a 500% growth, closing out 2014 with 70 events, spanning nearly every continent on the globe!

With the addition of new programming, increasing interest to organize events, growing leadership within the community, and a valuable new partnership with EdSurge, the opportunity to change education for the better has never been more promising.

As with any truly catalytic movement, though, there is one particular factor that makes all the difference: the people. It is the people who show up and make their voice heard, it is the people who choose to collaborate, it is the people who put in the hard work, and it will be the people who determine what is done with this opportunity; this rare opportunity to play a role in shaping the future of education. Startup Education is confident that the people will rise to the occasion.

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Startup Education Community Leaders from five continents gathered at the UP Summit in Las Vegas in May 2014

Five Ways You Can Make an Impact

  1. Become a Leader: Bring Startup Education to Your Community
  2. Join the Movement: Find an Upcoming Event Near You
  3. Stay Informed: Subscribe to our Newsletter
  4. Share the Opportunity: Tell Someone Else About Startup Education
  5. Show the Community Some Love: Like Us on Facebook

 


More About UP Global

UP Global, the umbrella organization for Startup WeekendStartup NextStartup EducationStartup Digest and now Startup Week, currently fosters entrepreneurship in 500 cities across the world, serving over 150,000 innovators. By 2016, the organization will support 1,000 communities through partnerships with local grassroots leaders and partnerships with organizations including Google for Entrepreneurs, the Case Foundation and Kauffman Foundation among others.

More About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world, the Gates Foundation aims to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology in America. Particularly, with respect to K12 education, Gates is focused on supporting innovation that can improve U.S. K-12 public schools and ensure that students graduate from high school ready to succeed in college.

More About EdSurge

EdSurge is an award-winning source of news and resources on education technology. Founded in 2011 in Silicon Valley, EdSurge has become the go-to resource for educators who want to learn about the latest products, entrepreneurs trying to build products that will accelerate learning and investors who are keen to participate in edtech. In addition to news, EdSurge has built the largest index of edtech products products and also runs a powerful series of Summits that brings together educators and entrepreneurs. EdSurge was named as “Organization of the Year” by the NewSchools Venture Fund (2014) and won a “Return on Education” Innovation award from the 2013 ASU GSV Education Summit.

 

 








Why Recife and Why Now?

For the first time in my life, I will be traveling to Recife, Brazil. As is the typical reaction whenever you tell someone you are headed to Brazil, most of my friends envision me headed on a tropical vacation filled with beautiful beaches, delicious food, and lively cultural experiences. Although those are all things I definitely hope to get the chance to engage in while I am there (if you see a picture like this pop up in your news feed, then you know that hope was realized), that is not the purpose of my trip. I am actually headed to Recife with one intention and one intention only: to collaborate with local leaders to foster a community that’s empowered to utilize entrepreneurship to solve Recife’s, and perhaps even all of Brazil’s, biggest education problems.

 

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But why Recife? And why now? Good questions! Those are the same ones I posed to the Organizers as they set out on their journey to launch the second Startup Weekend Education to ever take place in all of South America. Meet this incredible group of guys, and find out why they’re so passionate about fostering education entrepreneurship in the city they grew up in.

Gerson Ribeiro is an emboldened entrepreneur and consultant. He is the founder of Gymbo, an educational startup for high school students. Previously, Gerson taught Math, Chemistry and Physics, and now he teachers Digital Marketing for tech entrepreneurs.

Hiro Miyakawa is a seasoned developer, and is heavily involved in the entrepreneurial community of Recife, organizing events such as TEDxRecife, TEDxRecifeAntigo, and TEDxUFPE. He is passionate about teaching his native language, Japanese, to Brazilians.

Vinícius Lira is the Director of Citi, one of the largest education technology companies in Recife, focused on helping students learn business by doing. He is also an experienced developer.

Luiz Fernando Gomes is a mathematician who taught students ages 11-17 for 5 years. During his time as a teacher, he pioneered many technology integration initiatives at his school. Now, he is responsible for the operations in Lotebox, a startup that he launched at Startup Weekend Recife, which took place earlier this year.

What do you think are some of the biggest problems in education in Recife (or Brazil, in general)?

Brazil performs below the average in mathematics, reading, and science among the 65 countries and economies that participated in the 2012 PISA assessment of 15-year-olds. This situation is even more drastic in the Northeast area of Brazil, which is where Recife resides. These low academic rates are often times attributed to political interests, poorly designed educational plans, and misuse of public resources. However, Recife, which is the state capital, is one of the leading cities that is heading towards improving its educational system.

What impact are you hoping Startup Weekend Education Recife will have on solving these problems?

Lately, the career opportunities for educators in Recife have been dwindling, and because of this, more educators are entering the local entrepreneurial community. As a result, new possibilities are emerging for how we go about solving educational problems, and new resources are being provided to help people transform their ideas into sustainable businesses.

Recife has a lot of potential to create technology innovations due to new public benefits that are given to “creative economy” businesses. Educators, however, are not yet inserted and connected in this network. Bringing technologists, entrepreneurs, and educators together via Startup Weekend Education is our goal, which we think will have a huge impact in developing our edtech community.

Foto: Andréa Rêgo Barros/PCR

Why is this the right time for Recife to have a Startup Weekend Education?

We’re living in a very important time in Brazil where everybody is talking about developing students’ skills and abilities. Our country has received terrible ratings in education reports, so increasingly more people here are recognizing that our education system needs to be fixed, and it’s about time people stop talking and actually start the revolution!

Recife has always been a place of opportunity and a welcome home to those who want to change things. This time is no different. Constantly there are new opportunities for what education can be. The only problem is, that there’s a disconnection between educators and technology.

What type of experience and knowledge are your Speakers, Coaches, and Judges bringing to the event?

The people we have chosen to contribute their expertise to this event meet the following requirements:

  • They must have experience in education, either as Educators or Developers of solutions in education.
  • They must understand technological opportunities in the market
  • They must have the entrepreneurial spirit

The experts, the environment, and the opportunities – we are expecting that these three  things coupled together will inspire our participants to want to change the world through education innovation!

The Time is Now!

After several months of planning, Startup Weekend Education Recife is finally right around the corner! Debuting this Friday, April 11th, the Organizing Team has already invested countless hours in creating a space for the people of Recife to question the status quo, generate creative solutions, and work as united teams to push the education system forward. For me, personally, I am absolutely honored to be a part of it, and I cannot wait to see what ripple effect this event has throughout the entire country of Brazil. We’ll be posting updates and pictures from the event all weekend, so be sure to Like the Facebook Page, and follow the Twitter handle, so that you can stay updated on everything #SWEDURecife!








Why We're Putting Kids at the Center of the Education Innovation Process

This post was written by Catherine Uong, Co-Founder of Doozey Game, Operations Intern at DevBootcamp, and Program Coordinator of USC Stevens Center for Innovation.

 

On April 11, Startup Weekend Education Mountain View will be turning the spotlight on the people who know most about schools – the kids! New York City launched this youth-centered format earlier this year, but for the first time, the Bay Area will be creating a space for both middle school kids and adults to collaborate and bring kid-centric ideas about education to life!

Curious as to why it’s important to involve kids in the education innovation process, I went ahead and interviewed Chris Chiang, the Lead Organizer for the event, a history teacher and technologist at Sacred Heart Middle School, and a School Board Trustee for the Mountain View Whisman School District.

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Why is it important to give middle school kids the opportunity to play a leading role in the 54-hour event?

After my experience at participating in Startup Weekend Education, I wanted students to get involved too. Students often find startups and technology intimidating. So I felt it was the right time to get kids introduced to the space. Many kids have lived around these tech companies their whole lives but have no idea how they work. By letting them participate in a Startup Weekend Education, we can give kids a window into this world.

I think it’s important to have youth at the center of this event, because the student-teacher relationship is a reciprocal relationship. We can help introduce kids to STEM and entrepreneurship, but also help introduce adults to what kids know about schools.

Also, it’s more clear than ever that kids want to do something like this. For our event, we capped our student tickets at 60, but we sold out of those tickets in less than 48 hours. It’s a sign that kids want to get actively involved in building solutions for education!

In startups, we often talk about the user and user validation. Who knows schools better than students? I think the tech community can really benefit from having the student voice present to answer the question: “What would kids do?” By having the kids create the educational solutions that they would use, I think it will be a meaningful learning experience for everyone involved.

 

How were middle schoolers recruited for the event? And why middle schoolers, instead of high schoolers?

2010 CeBIT Technology Fair Many of our principals and educators reached out to kids at their schools to participate in the event. We wanted to get the kids that didn’t put limits on themselves yet. High schoolers often times have pre-existing notions, as many adults do, that may inhibit how “out-of-the-box” they’re willing to think. So we decided to reach out to middle schoolers, an age group we thought would be more apt to really thinking creatively.

 

What is your vision for how your event will impact the greater Startup Weekend Education community?

A model has not yet been created for getting kids involved at Startup Weekend Education, so we would like to test things out and see what works for both kids and adults. Eventually, I would love to see the educational community outside of Mountain View utilize this model that we create.

Find Out How It Goes

You can get play-by-play updates on Chris’s kid-focused Startup Weekend Education event taking place this weekend by following the action on Twitter.

 








5 Reasons Every Librarian Should Participate in Startup Weekend Education

This article was written by Melanie Parlett-Stewart, a Blended Learning Librarian for the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. It was originally published on Melanie’s personal blog, Becoming Blended.

 

melanie.parlettestewart_1392220491_21This weekend I participated in my first Startup Weekend Education event, and this one had a Library theme to it! Not only did I get to spend time with some Dal SIM classmates, I also got to meet a lot of incredible people doing amazing things (UX, design, programming, and more). On top of that, we got to hang out at the Toronto Mozilla office, which was pretty cool!

Overall, it was a life-changing experience, and I wanted to quickly share some reasons why I think every librarian should participate in a Startup Weekend Education:

  1. This event pushed me out of my comfort zone. While I’m not a total introvert, this event got me talking and collaborating with many people I wouldn’t normally engage with in a work setting.

  1. You meet amazing people. I met tons of other library people, developers, designers… the list goes on. The knowledge and enthusiasm of the people attending and the mentors made this an amazing experience.

  1. Stuff happens. People actually make stuff! Coming from a work-world where stuff takes for.ev.er to actually happen, it was pretty incredible to see what could come together over the course of a weekend.

  1. New Ways of Working. I love collaborating and problem solving with my colleagues but I don’t get to do it enough. This was a weekend where that’s all we did and it was beautiful.

  1. Get Inspired. This was by far the most inspiring “professional development” event I’ve ever attended. While the event itself is completely exhausting, I feel more inspired about future possibilities and excited about just trying things. I think that sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the “we need evidence it’s going to work” and forget about the “if we don’t try we won’t get the evidence” part.

Want to Get Involved?

Find out which Startup Weekend Education events are coming to a city near you, or Organize one of your own! And be sure to follow Startup Weekend Education Toronto Library-Edition on Twitter and Facebook, so you can stay involved in the growing library entrepreneurship community!