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Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition and Conference


Through its dynamic ecosystem, the Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition (EBPC) celebrates meaningful innovations that address persistent and emerging problems in education. The EBPC is open to applicants worldwide.


Who Should Apply

The 2021 EBPC application opens March 10 and closes April 20! We welcome entrepreneurs with innovative ideas in education from around the world. 

In addition, winners of select international business plan competitions will automatically be named as a Semifinalist in the Milken-Penn GSE EPBC. If selected as Finalists, they will earn the opportunity to compete in our Milken-Penn GSE EBPC Finals on October 5, 2021 on the campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Learn more about eligibility


Educational entrepreneurship ventures can address a wide range of educational issues. We encourage applications in every conceivable educational setting–from early childhood through corporate and adult training, in settings and contexts anywhere in the world. We also welcome both nonprofit and for-profit submissions. Since 2010, areas of focus have included:

  • Urban Education
  • Connecting Research to Practice
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Technology in Grades K through 12
  • Special Education & At-Risk Students
  • Open & Collaborative Solutions: The Education Ecosystem
  • Online & Distance Learning in Higher Education
  • Global/Borderless Education Solutions
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Workforce Learning


EBPC applicants should describe an issue in education that their venture addresses, offer their venture’s solution, and discuss scaling possibilities to demonstrate the impact their proposed innovation can bring to the field of education and additional settings.

Important elements of business plan applications include (but are not limited to):

  • The Product or Service: Describe the innovative product(s) or service(s) that your venture offers, including details about your organization, its mission statement, and any key partnering organizations involved in your venture.
  • The People: Discuss your organization’s management team and address project leadership, backgrounds and expertise of key personnel, staff members, and overall organizational structure.
  • The Market: What is your target market(s), and who are your target customers? Discuss the viability, readiness, and descriptions of your target market(s) and explain your marketing strategy to communicate with and successfully reach customers.
  • The Competition: Explore existing competitors (with examples) that provide similar product(s) or services(s) to what you offer. Discuss your competitive advantage: how will you differentiate your venture to secure your market(s) and ensure the viability of your business? Discuss barriers to entry and any liabilities your organization may face.
  • The Finances: Provide financial details including all expected income and expenses (current and anticipated) for years one, two, and three of your financial plan. Consider how your organization will scale and remain financially sustainable.
  • The Impact: Describe your venture’s potential Impact on teaching, learning, and/or education outcomes.

Submissions also include a digital slide deck presentation (PowerPoint or similar format; required; 15 slides maximum) and a 60-Second Video Pitch (optional, but highly recommended).  

All application materials must be submitted through the online portal.

The 2021 application will open on March 10 and close April 20.  Subscribe to our mailing list for more details.


In evaluating business plan applications, our judges will consider the importance of the educational problem, the creativity and feasibility of the proposed solution, and the potential for widespread impact.

Learn more about judging procedures

Applicant Resources

As part of Catalyst @ Penn GSE, the EBPC is dedicated to nurturing entrepreneurs and helping to develop their ventures through a continuum of programming supporting education entrepreneurship before, during, and after the Competition. To learn more about Catalyst’s offerings, visit

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