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Entrepreneurs Earn $140,000 in Prize Funding at the 2014 Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition at the University of Pennsylvania Today

Philadelphia-based start-up Osmosis won top prizes 2014 Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition (EBPC) today. Education entrepreneurs from 12 early-stage start-ups competed in the final phase of the competition, which features eight prizes totaling $140,000 in funding - with Osmosis taking home both 1st prize ($25,000) from the Milken Family Foundation and the American Public University System Prize for Innovation in Online Education ($25,000).

Additionally, all of this year’s finalists and semi-finalists have been invited to participate in the Education Design Studio, Inc. (EDSi), a Philadelphia-based $2.1 million hybrid incubator-seed fund that was launched in the fall of 2013 in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.

Considered one of the most prestigious and well-funded education business plan competitions around, the EBPC has earned a name for itself by attracting innovative ideas from around the world and spotting winning education innovations early on in their growth. The University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) and the Milken Family Foundation conceived of the competition to catalyze innovation in education, and the EBPC features separate prizes in categories ranging from Open Educational Resources (OER), to innovation in online education, to special education and at-risk students. It also provides an opportunity for competitors to connect with top investors and researchers in the field of educational innovation.

The twelve competition finalists presented their projects – showcasing the best and most promising new ventures in the field – to a select panel of industry leaders on the Penn campus today. The winning entrepreneurs are:

  • The Milken Family Foundation:

    • First Prize ($25,000) -- Osmosis, Philadelphia, PA – a learning app aimed at the medical community
    • Second Prize ($15,000) -- Totus Power, San Francisco, CA – an innovative system of providing power to classrooms in India and other developing countries
  • The American Public University System Prize for Innovation in Online Education ($25,000) -- Osmosis, Philadelphia, PA
  • The Educational Services of America Prize for Innovation in the fields of Special Education and At-Risk Students ($20,000) -- ProfessorWord, Philadelphia, PA – a system of improving vocabulary while searching the web
  • The K12 Online Learning Prize for Innovation in Technology for Grades K Through Twelve ($25,000) -- Branching Minds, New York, NY – a web-based tool that identifies learning challenges
  • The McGraw-Hill Education Prize for Open Educational Resources ($15,000) -- eduCanon, Galesville, MD – an interactive video teaching platform
  • TSL Education Borderless Education Prize ($10,000) -- Totus Power, San Francisco, CA
  • Halloran Philanthropies Borderless Education Social Impact Prize ($5,000) -- Ubongo, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – which creates digital content for learners in Africa

For more information go to: http://nestcentral.org. For further information about Penn GSE, please visit www.gse.upenn.edu/, or check out Facebook at MilkenPennEBPC; Twitter: NESTCentral; hashtag #MilkenPennGSE.

The Milken Family Foundation was established by Lowell and Michael Milken in 1982 with the mission to discover and advance inventive and effective ways of helping people help themselves and those around them lead productive and satisfying lives. The Foundation advances this mission principally through the various programs it initiates and carries out in the areas of education and medical research.

Penn GSE is one of the nation’s premier research education schools. No other education school enjoys a university environment as supportive of practical knowledge-building as the Ivy League’s University of Pennsylvania. The School is notably entrepreneurial, launching innovative degree programs for practicing professionals and unique partnerships with local educators, and the first-ever business plan competition devoted exclusively to educational products and programs.

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