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EdTech Startup Awards Seek Global Innovations

A global competition is accepting applications from education technology teams that want to participate in pitching events with the hope of being named one of the "most promising" edtech startups of the year. Winners receive cash awards as well as exposure to potential mentors and business development champions and investors.

The Global EdTech Startup Awards 2017 (GESAwards) will evaluate entries in five areas: the need for the product or service in the market; the innovation of its pedagogical approach; the user experience; the potential for growth in the user base; and its potential for growing into a sustainable business. The event includes special tracks for tech that addresses literacy, innovation and artificial intelligence.

Last year's winner, Edovo, provides secure tablet technology to bring daily education and rehabilitation to correctional facilities, for both prisoners and staff.

The application process begins with a simple form and inclusion on an edtech startup map. So far, if the map is reflective of entrants, the competition includes 233 K-12 start-ups, 62 higher education entrants, 160 life-long learning teams and 59 in other categories. Semi-finalist contests will take place around the world during November. From those regional events, finalists will be chosen to present their ideas at a London event in January. Among the 14 judges are Jimmy Wales, the head of Wikipedia, and Bob Wise, president of Alliance for Excellent Education.

The contest is the creation of a group of edtech organizations, including MindCET, an Israeli center for innovation and technological development in education; the Open Education Challenge, which supports European education startups; and Inncubated, an initiative to improve edtech in Latin America.

The deadline for applying through the GESAwards website is Sept. 30, 2017.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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