presented by: Walton Family Foundation


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

Deadline: November 1, 2019

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Photo by Holly Jee.

Photo by Holly Jee.

2019 Media - EdSurge

The annual tradition dates back to 2012, and features early-stage companies showing off the latest efforts to solve intractable problems across the education landscape.


2019 Launch Finalists - Nick Ducoff, Edmit

We were excited to participate at SXSW EDU because of the collaborative environment for education innovation. Attendees and others participating in the conference really want to surface and support the best products and services to help students succeed.

Nick Ducoff
2019 Launch Winner / Edmit

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 Launch


Launch showcases emerging innovations and breakthrough technologies making an impact on the future of teaching and learning. The competition provides a platform for early-stage startups seeking feedback, investment, strategic partnerships, and exposure.

Startups are encouraged to apply during the application process July 1-November 1, 2019. Selected finalists will present their product or service in the fast-paced, live pitch event before a panel of industry experts, early adopters, investors, and educators, as well as SXSW EDU attendees, March 9-12, 2020.

Additionally, finalists and attendees will have ample opportunities to connect through spotlights, socials, and other events during SXSW EDU.

For frequently asked questions and answers, check out the Launch FAQ.

How to Apply


Early-stage education startups are encouraged to complete the online application process to be considered as a finalist for the 2020 competition.

Monday, July 1 – Application Opens
Friday, November 1 – Application Closes

Apply for Launch

Eligibility Requirements

  • The SXSW EDU Launch competition is open to early-stage startup companies in the education market.
  • Companies must be incorporated with a management team and public-facing website, able to convey a sustainable business model and able to demonstrate user traction, engagement, and adoption metrics.
  • Companies who have raised over $5 million in funds from combined funding sources at the time of application are ineligible.
  • Each applicant is only eligible to present in one of the SXSW family of startup events (SXSW Pitch, SXSW Release It, or SXSW EDU Launch). In contrast, if you have applied for one of these events and were not accepted to participate, then please feel free to apply to SXSW EDU Launch.

Complete an Application

Launch and Learn by Design competition application steps infographic.

  • Sign in or create an account in the SXSW cart, then select “SXSW EDU Launch Competition” to begin the application process.
  • Once you begin the application, you can save and continue your work as you go.
  • Take some time to review your application, no changes can be made once it has been submitted.
  • Please note that there is a $200 fee associated with the application, but you will not be asked to commit to purchasing until you have completed the application and are ready to submit.

Apply for Launch

Get Involved

Pitch Your Startup

Submit an application to pitch your startup as part of the Launch competition, March 9-12 at SXSW EDU. Apply for consideration, July 1 – November 1.

Apply for Launch

Launch History

Learn more about the history of the Launch competition and browse a full list of past startup finalists, winners, and judges.

Learn More

More Competitions

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