SXSW EDU celebrates and honors trailblazers who are leading innovative and creative work through a series of fast-paced competitions.

Launch Competition – SXSW EDU 2022 – Photo by Holly Jee

Launch Competition – SXSW EDU 2022 – Photo by Holly Jee

2021 Launch Competition Finalist - Leslie Begert

For me, the most unexpected benefit was meeting the finalists, and while we were waiting, we formed a solid bond that has lasted the test of time because we were all in this very similar boat. It has actually had real material impact on our journey… You don’t get this sort of camaraderie from other pitch competitions.

Leslie Begert
President & Co-Founder / FabuLingua

2022 Student Startup Competition Emcee - Sarah Hernholm

Something that i'm really excited about that I've seen at the conference this year is how much the youth voice is being amplified. I want young people around, and I want them in spaces that are usually reserved for adults. And the thing that I love about EDU is that they do that.

Sarah Hernholm
2022 Student Startup Competition Emcee / WIT - Whatever It Takes

2018 Launch Winner - Aarushi Machavarapu

Winning the Student Startup Competition in March 2018 lifted me up and empowered me to continue working and dreaming big.

Aarushi Machavarapu
2018 Student Startup Competition Winner / Threading Twine

2017 Media - The

Few arenas spotlight, critique, or celebrate the newest edtech efforts quite like the South by Southwest Education Conference & Festival. At the center of it all: the live, rapid-fire Launch Competition, which gives new edtech innovators a stage, and platform, to make their best pitch.


About Competitions


SXSW EDU hosts competitions that serve as a vehicle to elevate and honor the work of trailblazers in the space. These competitions are about showcasing fresh ideas and solutions, and ultimately connecting the broader community to those ideas for impact.

Competition hallmarks include a lineup of finalists selected through an application process, as well as emcees, judges, and coaches that are hand-picked for their experience and expertise. Historically, these events have celebrated early-stage startups, the design of physical learning environments, and student entrepreneurs.

Launch Startup Competition


The Launch Startup Competition, presented by Walton Family Foundation, celebrates emerging innovations making an impact on the future of teaching and learning. The fast-paced pitch competition allows early-stage startups to seek feedback, investment, strategic partnerships, and exposure. Selected finalists will pitch in front of a panel of industry experts and educators, as well as an audience at SXSW EDU 2023.

Learn more

The Launch Competition application is now closed.

Student Startup Competition


The Student Startup Competition powered by WIT - Whatever It Takes supports youth entrepreneurs, serving as a platform for high school students to showcase their business ideas. The competition provides students with a remarkable opportunity to showcase their talents, validate their business ideas, and gain experience. Selected finalists will pitch in front of a panel of judges as well as an audience at SXSW EDU 2023.

Learn more

The Student Startup Competition application is now closed.

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