Share your idea. Change the world.

University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education & the Milken Family Foundation Announce 2015 Education Business Plan Competition Finalists and $140,000 in Prize Funding

Competition for Game-Changing Innovations in Education To Showcase Early-Stage Entrepreneurs; Prizes for New Ideas Added

Philadelphia, PA, April 9, 2015 – The University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) and the Milken Family Foundation announced the finalists for the sixth annual Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition (EBPC) today.  Finalist ideas range from a language learning web app to a peer-to-peer college admissions resource to a lightweight learning management system for emerging markets.

As the largest competition of its kind, the EBPC features multiple cash prizes totaling $140,000. This year’s competition includes a new path devoted to Idea-stage ventures as well as a competition pathway devoted to more mature, but still early stage, start-up Ventures – with prizes awarded in both categories.

Considered the most prestigious and well-funded education business plan competition, the EBPC has earned a name for itself by attracting innovative ideas from around the world and spotting winning education innovations early on in their growth. Previous finalists include Raise, Eneza Education, and Citelighter – all of which have gone on to grow their ventures, attract investors, and have a positive impact on education. The EBPC is made possible through the generous support of the Milken Family Foundation, ACT, American Public University System, Educational Services of America, K12 Inc., McGraw-Hill Education, Microsoft, TSL Education, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The 2015 EBPC Idea and Venture Path Finalists, selected through a crowd-sourced judging which includes teachers, investors, entrepreneurs, and researchers, include:

Ventures Path:

Idea Path:

  • College Fit / Philadelphia, PA
  • Course Lab / Wilmington, DE
  • Education Modified / Brooklyn, NY
  • ActualizeMe / Philadelphia, PA
  • Freedom Games Studio / Chicago, IL
  • JournalUp / Philadelphia, PA
  • Knudge / Philadelphia, PA
  • Lurn / Sunnyvale, CA
  • Talking Points / Stanford, CA
  • Yenko / Brooklyn, NY 

The competition is an established leader in the field of education innovation and key destination for education entrepreneurs. Competition finalists will travel to Philadelphia’s Penn campus on May 12-13 to pitch their ventures to a crowd of investors, researchers, and practitioners. Finalists have the opportunity to earn $140k+ in competition prizes, plus investments and incubation services for entrepreneurs invited to join the The Education Design Studio Inc. (EDSi), a hybrid incubator and seed fund built specifically for education ventures that was launched in collaboration with Penn GSE in 2013.

The Milken family – several of whom are Penn graduates – embody the Franklin spirit and through successful educational entrepreneurship – from pre-K services through college education for working adults – as well as investments in educational enterprises, have demonstrated a commitment to the leaders of tomorrow. In their four decades of philanthropic activities, the Milken family has made education – particularly innovation in education – a cornerstone of their work. Visit the Milken Family Foundation for more information.

Penn GSE is one of the nation’s premier research education schools. No other education school enjoys a university environment as supportive of practical knowledge-building as the Ivy League’s University of Pennsylvania. The School is notably entrepreneurial, launching innovative degree programs for practicing professionals and unique partnerships with local educators, and the first-ever business plan competition devoted exclusively to educational products and programs. For further information about Penn GSE, please visit; follow us on Twitter: @GSE_innovates; #MilkenPennGSE.