Last year, SXSWEdu was a blast, (if you need any reminding, check out our photo album). We’re certain that this year will be even better! From March 9-12th, we’ll be in Austin, TX participating in five SXSWEdu events.
1. LAUNCHedu Competition
Early-stage startups seeking feedback, investment, strategic partnerships and exposure were invited to apply online to have their company considered for the competition. The promising startups that are selected as finalists in the competition will present their early stage business concepts before a judging panel of industry experts, early adopters and educators, as well as a live audience at SXSWedu. More details.
2. Workshop: Understanding and Empathizing With Education Users
How well do you think you know your user? Whether you’re a teacher trying to understand the needs of students in your classroom or an entrepreneur trying to understand the needs of teachers and students who use your product, empathy and understanding is the secret weapon of successful entrepreneurs. In this workshop, you will discover and practice techniques for understanding your user’s needs. More details.
3. Panel: Redesigning School As We Know It
Why does school mean four walls, one teacher and 20 students? Ever had an idea for how to reinvent a school from the ground up? This panel will discuss how to design schools of the future that create opportunities for students and teachers to thrive. What are the frameworks for thinking about what is needed in a new school model? If you’re interested in designing personalized learning and competency-based education, then this panel is for you. Meet the panelists and find out where this event will be hosted.
4. Edtech Community Builders Meetup powered by Edtech Austin
Leading edtech events, programs or organizations in your community? Looking to take the edtech scene in your city to the next level? Edtech community builders from around the world are gathering at SXSWedu to swap stories and share tactics. More details.
Free entry and free drink tickets, but you must RSVP here.
A few of our Education Entrepreneurs Community Leaders are also hosting events:
Gaming the System: Teachers Hacking the Classroom, featuring Community Leader Courtney Francis
A growing number of teachers are creating games of all shapes and sizes for their own classrooms. They’re defying conventions in creative ways that inspire and engage students (and teachers!) to learn through game play. Let’s talk about what that’s like, and lead the way for other innovative teachers. We’ll share remarkable work, discuss the creation process and inspire one another to think like game designers. Learn how to create, adapt, remix, mash up and integrate games in classrooms. More details.
Building an EdTech Bill of Rights, featuring Community Leader Katrina Stevens
In this 2-hour, hands-on interactive session, we’ll use a design process to collectively create an “Edtech Bill of Rights” that suggests the responsibilities of different members of the EdTech ecosystem and fosters authentic partnerships. Goal is to facilitate dialogue among teachers, EdTech leaders, researchers, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders, with a focus on educator voices, for the purpose of working together across the ecosystem on innovative ideas that will improve student learning. More details.
For more information about Education Entrepreneurs, visit our website.
Today, we are excited to announce that 4.0 Schools and Education Entrepreneurs have formed a national partnership that covers two of our key program offerings: Startup Weekend Education and Workshops. As a leading incubator for pre-seed education entrepreneurs, 4.0 Schools will play a more active role at our events throughout the United States, ensuring our early stage entrepreneurs have a great next step to pursue, and that event Organizers feel supported in putting on a great event.
Since 2010, 4.0 Schools has launched 43 education ventures, 34 of which are still serving students, teachers, parents today. 4.0 Schools ventures have raised over $5M and earned more than $2.5M in revenue, and include such notable companies as Overgrad, Formative, Community Guilds, and Branching Minds. Also, several Education Entrepreneurs alumni have already taken advantage of 4.0 Schools programming, including Fantasy Geopolitics, Classtracks, Vidcode, and ImagiLabs.
With this new partnership, 4.0 Schools is excited to give Education Entrepreneurs participants the opportunity to bring their early stage ventures to 4.0 Schools for coaching and battle-testing their ideas with users via their two programs, Essentials and the Launch program.
- Essentials is a multi-day experience designed to help support 4.0 Schools community members move their ideas forward. Participants will practice the skills of empathy, unbundling, and prototyping, as they work to concisely define their customer or user, the problem they’re working to solve, and the solution they’re testing. Essentials alums walk out the door with a clear plan to test their idea.
- The Launch program supports entrepreneurs to bring new ventures – products, services, or school models – to life in under 90 days. If you’re a bold, gritty individual hungry to solve a tough problem, the Launch program will push you to test and iterate your envisioned solution until it is really meeting the needs of your end users. 4.0 provides an extensive test-bed in NOLA, where companies can iterate based on real user feedback and secure their first customers. During the Launch program, entrepreneurs will have access to coaching, connections, and equity-free capital up to 5k.
4.0 Schools is focused on more than just developing entrepreneurs. They’re committed to building communities of educators, entrepreneurs, and anyone looking to build the future of school. This new partnership will also more strategically connect our volunteer event Organizers and national Community Leaders with 4.0 Schools’ network and resources, to ensure the greatest impact possible can be made towards community building efforts focused on education innovation.
You can learn more about 4.0 Schools here.
Entrepreneurship is a Journey
It’s a marathon, not a sprint. We’ve all heard this phrase used to set the context for those about to take their first leap into entrepreneurship, and I think most seasoned entrepreneurs would agree with the point it’s trying to make. The development and sustainment of a successful startup doesn’t just happen overnight; it takes months upon years of hard work, sacrifice, discipline, and execution to produce a venture that’s secured product market fit and established a solid foundation to ensure its livelihood for years to come. Due to the various obstacles entrepreneurs will have to overcome and the wide range of emotions they will experience trying to turn their vision into reality, some might argue that entrepreneurship is neither a marathon or a sprint – it’s moreso a marathon, a sprint, an Ironman Triathlon, Tough Mudder, and Tour de France all rolled into one, while carrying 50lbs on your shoulders.
No matter what you compare it to, the fact is, becoming a successful entrepreneur and building a successful startup is quite the arduous process. Success doesn’t just happen; large amounts of time and energy must be invested over extended period of times, and throughout various stages of the company’s development. Recognizing this, UP Global, created The Entrepreneurs Journey. Broken up into six stages, The Entrepreneurs Journey outlines the specific phases every entrepreneur goes through in pursuit of creating a prosperous venture. In order to ensure entrepreneurs’ needs are met at every stage, UP Global has created complementary programs for each one, including Startup Digest, Startup Weekend, Startup Next, Startup Week, and Entrepreneurs Across Borders.
Education Entrepreneurship is Unique
Recognizing that entrepreneurs aiming to build education businesses face unique problems (e.g. developing products that align to both the needs of students and teachers, securing pilot opportunities in schools, navigating government policy around student data), UP Global developed Education Entrepreneurs. The goal of Education Entrepreneurs is to create a suite of programs and resources specifically to meet the needs of education entrepreneurs. Beginning with the popular “turn your idea into a startup in 54 hours” program called Startup Weekend Education, Education Entrepreneurs offerings have expanded to include Startup Digest Education, Bootcamps, and Summits. Whether interested in exploring different options to innovate in education, excited by the opportunity to build a prototype in a weekend, or ready to jump full steam ahead into the world of being an official edtech founder, Education Entrepreneurs is giving more people than ever the opportunity to utilize entrepreneurship and technology to solve problems in education.
Partnering With Imagine K12
In the past year alone, Education Entrepreneurs has expanded from 12 to 74 events, 9 to 59 cities, 3 to 24 countries, and 2 to 6 continents. This means nearly 7,000 people around the world have joined our community and are engaging in the innovation process. As we help increasingly more people enter education entrepreneurship, we want to make sure they have access to the best resources, mentorship, and funding opportunities throughout their journey. Earlier this year, we partnered with edSurge, the leading source of news and resources on education technology. This partnership has provided our community with access to important and timely content, valuable resources, and unique opportunities.
Today, we’re excited to announce that we are partnering with Imagine K12, the leading edtech accelerator. This partnership will give our education entrepreneurs better access to crucial mentorship and funding opportunities to scale their ventures and ensure the solutions they develop actually reach the learners they were designed to help.
Since 2011, Imagine K12 has cultivated hundreds of edtech entrepreneurs and companies by providing them with funding, mentorship, connections, and incredible guest speakers, like Mitch Kapor, founder of Kapor Capital, Eric Ries, founder of The Lean Startup, and Paul Graham, founder of YCombinator. Here’s some data highlighting Imagine K12 results to-date:
Launched more than 70 companies
Imagine K12 companies have raised more than $120 million
More than 10 million students and more than 1 million teachers are using Imagine K12 products
Remind, 2014 Educators Top Messaging App
Code HS, 2013 NBC Innovation Challenge
Hapara, 2013 NYC Schools Gap App Challenge
Raise Labs, 2013 GSV/ASU Education Innovation Summit
LearnSprout, 2013 MBA Impact Investing Network
Bloomboard, 2012 SXSW LAUNCHedu K-12
NoRedInk, 2012 NBC Innovation Challenge
ClassDojo, 2011 NBC Innovation Challenge
Over the past three years, several Startup Weekend Education and Startup Weekend alumni have been admitted into the Imagine K12 cohorts, including the founders of Class Dojo, NoRedInk, Blendspace, Plickers, Learning Jar, and Tioki. With a goal of connecting even more Startup Weekend Education alumni to valuable funding and mentorship opportunities, our new partnership with Imagine K12 will give all first place winners of Startup Weekend Education events a guaranteed interview with Imagine K12’s investment team, if they choose to apply. All teams participating in Startup Weekend Education events as part of the Education, Empowered Track during Global Startup Battle this weekend and next (November 14th-23rd) are eligible for this opportunity, and local Facilitators and Organizers will be equipped to answer participant questions.
As Education Entrepreneurs grows over the years, it is our goal to support education entrepreneurs at every single stage of their journey, and we’re excited that our partnership with Imagine K12 will help us achieve that.
More About Imagine K12
Imagine K12 is a startup accelerator for companies that are creating innovative technology solutions to enrich and transform K-12 education. Starting a company is hard, and the education market presents unique challenges. Imagine K12 has a singular goal: improving your company’s chances of success. They do this through a combination of strategic advice and mentorship; supportive networks of investors, educators, and entrepreneurs; and a small amount of initial funding (about $100,000). Over the past three years, Imagine K12 has helped to launch 70 companies, which have collectively raised over $120 million in funding and reached millions of classrooms around the country. Read why Imagine K12 is excited to partner with Education Entrepreneurs.
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.
Opportunities to Connect and Grow
See our flagship program, Startup Weekend Education, in action
ARVE Error: id and provider shortcodes attributes are mandatory for old shortcodes. It is recommended to switch to new shortcodes that need only url
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
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-12, Y 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
- Nominated for the “Better Together” Digital Innovation Learning Award (winner announced November 21st)
- Selected as a panelist at SXSWEdu 2015 (topic is “Redesigning on School as We Know It”)
- Invited to conduct the Keynote at this year’s NYSCATE Conference, the largest professional organization of technology-using educators and administrators in New York State
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.
So What’s Next?
- Visit our website to learn more about Education Entrepreneurs
- Stay up-to-date by following us on social media (Twitter and Facebook), subscribing to our newsletter, and bookmarking our website
- Check out our list of upcoming events to see which one you want to participate in
- Bring education entrepreneurship to your own community by organizing an event
- Email EducationEntrepreneurs@up.co with any questions or comments
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:
- Edtech solutions, alone, will not transform education. Communities of people equipped with entrepreneurial skills, who are empowered to take action will transform education.
- A collaborative innovation process that involves multiple stakeholders, perspectives, and skill-sets is the best innovation process when it comes to improving educational outcomes.
- 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:
Step 1: Create an account on SXSW Panel Picker. (If you already have one, skip to item #2 below)
- Click here to be directed to our SXSWedu proposal webpage.
- In the upper right-hand corner, select “Sign In.” You will be directed to a new page.
- 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
- Click on the links below
- On each page, select the “thumbs up” icon in the upper left-hand corner (Yes, you can vote for all three!)
- Vote for Growing an Education Innovation Community
- Vote for Understanding and Empathizing with Education Users
- Vote for Redesigning School As We Know It
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:
- Grow your own education innovation community. Vote for this @SW_Edu panel at #SXSWedu: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/38230 #edchat #edtech
- Build with the education user in mind. Vote for this @SW_Edu panel at #SXSWedu: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/40721 #edchat #edtech
- Redesign School As We Know It. Vote for this @SW_Edu panel at #SXSWedu: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/42174 #edchat #edtech
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 email@example.com
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!
ARVE Error: id and provider shortcodes attributes are mandatory for old shortcodes. It is recommended to switch to new shortcodes that need only url
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to learn more about Startup Education? Visit our website
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
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 Clever, Class Dojo, Fantasy 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
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.
Startup 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.
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
- Become a Leader: Bring Startup Education to Your Community
- Join the Movement: Find an Upcoming Event Near You
- Stay Informed: Subscribe to our Newsletter
- Share the Opportunity: Tell Someone Else About Startup Education
- Show the Community Some Love: Like Us on Facebook
More About UP Global
UP Global, the umbrella organization for Startup Weekend, Startup Next, Startup Education, Startup 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
This 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!