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SXSWedu Announces LAUNCHedu Entrepreneur Competition and Event

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Advisory board comprised of nationally recognized academics, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to oversee competition

AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — SXSWedu® Conference today announced LAUNCHedu, a new event to showcase the best new educational startups, business concepts and products from today’s most innovative entrepreneurs. The event will take place during SXSWedu on March 7, 2012 at the Hilton Austin Downtown.

Building upon the model of the successful Accelerator programs at SXSW® Interactive and SXSW Music Festivals, LAUNCHedu will provide conference attendees the opportunity to see promising entrepreneurs pitch educational business concepts and demo educational products to a judging panel of venture capitalists, successful entrepreneurs and education practitioners.

The fast-paced competition will feature a full day of presentations in two separate categories – one for K-12 and one for Higher Education. Six finalists in each category will be invited to participate in a live pitch program at SXSWedu, with the winners being named directly after.

“With LAUNCHedu, we are seeking the most creative minds in education, people who have innovative business ideas and concepts designed to engage students in learning,” said Ron Reed, principal, SXSWedu. “This new entrepreneurial event promises to be one of the highlights of SXSWedu, and will give attendees the opportunity to see firsthand the future of goods and services in K-12 and Higher Education.”

LAUNCHedu will be overseen by an advisory board consisting of more than a dozen nationally recognized leaders within the educational business and educational technology fields. Members of this diverse, experienced group are Michael Crosno, founder, CEO and chairman, MyEdu; Jack Chorowsky, chief operating officer, KIPP New York; Tom Gilligan, dean, McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin; Gary June, chief marketing and business development officer, Pearson Education; Sergio Monsalve, principal, Norwest Venture Partners; John Mullen, vice president and general manager, Education, State & Local Government, Dell, Inc; Hugh Norwood, president, Trinity Education Group; Adam Dell, venture partner, Austin Ventures; Deborah Quazzo, co-founder, GSV Advisors; Greg Ratliff, senior program officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Drew Scheberle, senior vice president, Education & Talent, Austin Chamber of Commerce; Jeff Shelstad, CEO, Flatworld Knowledge; and Deepak Sindwani, principal, Bain Capital Ventures.

“It is exciting to be a part of SXSW’s efforts to expand the Accelerator concept into education as LAUNCHedu,” said Michael Crosno, founder, CEO and chairman of MyEdu. “All of us on the advisory board are committed to supporting innovation in education and we welcome the opportunity to help entrepreneurs with a passion for education achieve success.”

The application process is now open for LAUNCHedu. Enter here for your chance to participate. Applications will be accepted through December 2.

For more information on the LAUNCHedu competition, visit

Register to attend SXSWedu today at and join us March 6-8, 2012. Early bird, discounted registration rates are available through November 11.

About SXSWedu

SXSWedu seeks to converge the wide variety of stakeholders who share an interest in 21st Century education innovation and best practices. Our attendees represent not only education professionals including teachers, administrators and university professors, but also business, industry and policy leaders who all share a keen interest in modernizing teaching and learning.

Content strands at SXSWedu 2012 will range from early childhood to college and career readiness, and will include assessment, emerging trends, digital content, gaming and learning, higher ed, open educational resources, research and evaluation, and statewide portals, including Texas’ Project Share. Join us March 6-8, 2012 for the educational experience that only SXSW can deliver.

For more details, visit

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