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

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Photo by Diego Donamaria

About the Launch Competition


The seventh annual Launch competition will take place at SXSW EDU 2018. This exciting event provides a platform for entrepreneurs seeking feedback, investment, strategic partnerships and exposure, to present their early-stage company before a panel of industry experts, early adopters, investors and educators as well as the live SXSW EDU audience.

Ten startups will be selected as finalists to compete in this fast-paced, live event. Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 competition.

Competition Eligibility Requirements

  • Have launched an early-stage startup company in the education market.
  • Be incorporated with a management team and public facing website.
  • Be able to convey a sustainable business model.
  • Be able to demonstrate user traction, engagement and adoption metrics.
  • Must not have raised over $2 million in funds from combined funding sources at time of application.

For frequently asked questions and answers about the competition, please review the Launch FAQ.

Explore Launch Lineup


Launch Schedule

Wednesday, March 7 @ 4:00pm

Launch Competition
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Wednesday, March 7 @ 6:00pm

Launch Happy Hour & Winner Announcement
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Alexandra Bernadotte
Alexandra Bernadotte
CEO & Founder, Beyond 12

Andrew Smith Lewis
Andrew Smith Lewis
CEO & Founder, Cerego


Bridget K. Cherry
Bridget K. Cherry
Program Officer, K-12 Education, Walton Family Foundation

Z. Mike Wang
Z. Mike Wang
Director, Global Experience & Community Engagement, Minerva Project

Mark Miller
Mark Miller
Managing Partner, Good Harbor Partners

Chian Gong
Chian Gong
Principal, Reach Capital


Asha Aravindakshan
Asha Aravindakshan
Advisor, Busca Tu Clase

Peter Nilsson
Peter Nilsson
Director of Research, Innovation, and Outreach, Deerfield Academy

Deborah Chang
Deborah Chang
Founder & Executive Director, #NYCEDU

Darryl Adams
Darryl Adams
CEO & Founder,

Launch Finalists

SXSW EDU 2018 Launch Finalists logo, Choosito.
Wynnewood, PA

Choosito is artificial intelligence for personalized learning. We provide a smart search engine powered by AI that automates how you index, analyze, and deliver personalized digital content. As an IBM Watson AI XPRIZE contender, funded by the National Science Foundation, and LearnLaunchx alumnus, the company is poised to transform education.

SXSW EDU 2018 Launch Finalists logo -  disruptED
Austin, TX

disruptED is an immersive learning platform that utilizes Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technology to significantly improve learning engagement and performance.
Our first product demonstrates our platform in a series of books that bring literacy to life. Each book has an AR and VR version deployed through our disruptED platform.

New York, NY

Students need notes to learn what teachers know. Teachers need tests to learn what students know. At Epigrammar, we created the first tool to integrate students’ annotations with teachers’ assessments to enable individualized instruction at scale.

Ramat Gan, Israel

examPAL helps admissions-tests takers reach their highest score faster. Using artificial intelligence and the wisdom of the crowd, the system studies how each student thinks, studies all possible solution strategies, and predicts the best way FOR YOU to solve each question. Rich interactive experience, with deep technology behind educational dynamics.

Nairobi County, Kenya

M-Shule (“mobile school” in Swahili) is Africa’s first personalized, mobile learning platform for primary students using SMS. M-Shule brings quality, affordable learning to millions of students by making innovations in adaptive learning accessible on a feature phone and using data to empower learning communities.

Daly City, CA

Nimble is revolutionizing the way school districts find and hire teachers with a modern applicant tracking platform that identifies the strongest educators and matches them to the schools that are right for them.

Denver, CO

PAIRIN is a social enterprise company whose mission is to make education relevant and hiring equitable. By integrating soft skills development and career matching into any school, program or company, PAIRIN is focusing on the skills and mindsets that are required for success in college, career and life.

Quottly, Inc.
San Francisco, CA

Quottly is a marketplace for accredited, transferable college classes. Students who use Quottly can find and register for convenient, affordable classes at other colleges that count for their degree. Quottly helps students graduate on time, with less debt and helps universities increase graduation rates and fill empty seats.
Riga, Latvia

Solfegio is a K12 music education software that helps music teachers to engage their students. It empowers a class, even up to 30 people, to play popular songs together. Learning music at school becomes as exciting as listening to it at home while teachers can save hours on preparing materials.

Washington, DC

WealthyLife financial literacy education technology games walk people from birth to retirement in 12 subjects. The first game released is titled CreditStacker. This match-three game, like Candy Crush, allows users to swap colored pieces representing the 5 major credit types, to pay off debt, achieve a high credit score, and learn from the multiple-choice questions. It has been named the best financial literacy product in the country by The White House, Department of Education, and JP Morgan Chase. In August 2017, the company launched the full product version of CreditStacker, exceeding 200,000 downloads in 60 countries in 21 languages in two weeks.

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Launch History

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

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