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

Photo by Tico Mendoza.

Photo by Tico Mendoza.

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 celebrates emerging innovations in learning with a fast-paced pitch competition featuring early-stage startups.

The competition is an opportunity for companies seeking market exposure, investment, and strategic partnerships to showcase their innovative products. Selected finalists will pitch in front of a panel of industry experts and educators, as well as an audience at SXSW EDU 2022.

Presented by

Launch Finalists

Affectifi Inc.
Brooklyn, NY
Affectifi has created, the first and only platform that allows users to improve their emotional literacy, or EQ, while watching content on streaming services like Netflix, HBO, and Disney+.

Berkeley, CA
Epixego promotes equitable access, participation, persistence, and advancement in the future of work. We offer students the clarity in designing their future of work and learning no matter where they are in their career discovery process- by surfacing career paths of near-peer role models who share their competency fingerprint.

IEP & Me
San Francisco, CA
IEP&Me is bringing Special Education into the 21st century through its interactive, intuitive data platform. We serve students, families, teachers and administrators all in an effort to increase student success.

Our Worlds, Inc.
Pala Indian Reservation, CA
We believe every square mile has a story. Our Worlds provides place-based, primary source, educational content about Native Americans in Extended Reality 360º throughout the world. The experiences are unique, immersive, and available to anyone with a smartphone. Our Worlds provides a portal to the indigenous stories that surround you.

Worcester, MA
Readlee leverages the latest in speech AI to listen to drive oral reading fluency for thousands of English Language Learners across the globe.

Washington, DC
Schoolytics is an all-in-one platform that enables educators and parents to make powerful data-driven decisions to enhance learning. We are building a world where teachers and administrators have data superpowers, and where parents are deeply informed about their children’s academic progress, so that every student can excel in school.

Launch Judges & Emcees

Craig Narveson

General Manager & Director of Partnerships


Liz Dozier

Founder & CEO

Chicago Beyond

Dan Carroll

Co-Founder & CPO


Heejae Lim

Founder & CEO


Riyaz Gayasaddin

Riyaz Gayasaddin

Vice President, Program + Talent

Camelback Ventures

Learn More

Student Startup Competition


The Student Startup Competition 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. The competition is supported by the Do-Or-Dier Foundation, Diamond Challenge, and Uncharted Learning.

Powered by

Student Startup Finalists

Accordia Power, LLC.
Cedar Park, TX
Capacipack is a battery backpack that eliminates the need for, and hassle of, extension cords. We power anything you can plug into a wall outlet, from vacuum cleaners, construction equipment, leaf blowers, camping supplies, and a lot more. Our lightweight, ergonomic design makes our backpack comfortable and convenient to wear.

Sunnyvale, CA
AUesome LLC is a social enterprise with the mission of bridging the gap between the digital and physical world of at-home therapy for neurodiverse children on the autism spectrum. AUesome consolidates therapy tools and activities into a kit, accompanied by a digital instructional platform, delivering over 210 kits nationally.

CorteX Wellness
Dubai, UAE
CorteX Wellness is a youth-run wellbeing service company built for youth. We are a B2B company providing schools with wellbeing services: namely, stronger digital support systems. This includes gamified data collection and an online booking system to make wellbeing more accessible and effective at schools.

Fia Technologies, Inc.
Indianapolis, IN
Fia Technologies, Inc. is revolutionizing how sales teams recruit and retain talent with its machine learning-driven software, Fia Recruit. Fia automates the talent acquisition process by matching optimal candidates to the most relevant position based on company needs, existing team data, and candidate profile. Fia enables employers to place high-performing sales candidates at scale and on autopilot.

Austin, TX
A unique personal safety app that allows users to combat various levels of harassment through an incoming simulated phone call that serves as a deterrent, and color-coded alert buttons within the simulated call to easily contact help, share location, and record evidence. Guardial is a discreet, versatile, and proactive solution to a widespread problem.

Student Startup Judges & Emcees

Sarah Hernholm

Founder & President

WIT - Whatever It Takes

Sam Young


Rest Vest

Kylie Thorp

Entrepreneur & Founder

Free Roaming Jewelry

Margarita Geleske

Chief Evangelist

Uncharted Learning, NFP

Zach Hovarth

Zach Hovarth



Learn More

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