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

Photo by Steven Snow.

Photo by Steven Snow.

About the Launch Competition


The eighth annual Launch competition will take place at SXSW EDU 2019. 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.

Startup finalists will be selected to compete in this fast-paced, live event. Applications are now being accepted for the 2019 competition.

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

How to Apply


Early-stage education startups are encouraged to complete the online application process to be considered as a finalists for the 2019 Launch competition.

Important Dates

Monday, June 25:
Application Opens

EXTENDED to Sunday, November 11:
Application Closes

Eligibility Requirements

A company’s product or service must:

  • Have launched no earlier than January 1, 2016.
  • Have not launched after June 4, 2019.
  • 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.
  • Not have raised over $5 million in funds from combined funding sources at time of application.

Selection Criteria

The evaluation of each company’s application, conducted by the SXSW EDU Launch Advisory Board committee as well as the SXSW EDU staff, is based on the following criteria:

  1. Creativity: Originality of the idea.
  2. Potential: Longevity, actualization and profitability of the idea.
  3. Functionality: Usability of interface for the idea.
  4. Team/People: Who is your team and how will they make your company a success.
  5. Impact: What potential does this product/service have to improve educational outcomes?

Application Instructions

edu-2019-research-graphicSTEP 1 Research

Before beginning the application, determine if your startup is the right fit for the competition by reviewing the eligibility requirements, FAQ, and the list of past finalists.

edu-2019-laptop-graphicSTEP 2 Online Application

Begin your application by clicking “start application” below. Please note there is a $200 application fee associated with the SXSW EDU Launch application. Once you begin your application you can save your work and come back at a later time to finish and submit by the deadline.

Start Application

To submit your application you must create a free universal SXSW account. You may do this at the beginning of your application or it will prompt you once you are saving your information or submitting your application.

edu-2019-checklist-graphicSTEP 3 Review

Review your application and save any pertinent information one last time before you hit submit! After submitting your application you will not be able to edit or review the information.

STEP 4 Submit

Once you have completed the application and agreed to all of the terms and conditions, you are ready to submit!

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Discover More

Pitch Your Startup

The Launch competition celebrates early-stage education companies seeking feedback, investment, strategic partnerships, and exposure. Apply for consideration, June 25 – November 9.

Apply Now

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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