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Innovate. Educate.


SXSWedu is on the cutting edge. The conference and education festival, sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among others, ran from March 7th through 10th in Austin, Texas. Embedded in a comprehensive education conference with everything from The Playground to Meet-Ups is SXSWedu Launch, a contest providing startups in the education space with the opportunity to show their products and services to the broader learning community. 2016 marks the fifth annual competition.

SXSWedu is a celebration and nurturing of new ideas, technologies, and innovations in education for industry experts and the public. The contest was judged by several prominent members of the education and technology communities, including Juan Cabrera from El Paso ISD, José Luis Vilson from New York Public Schools, and Joan E. Hughes from the University of Texas at Austin.

Here is a rundown of the startups in the Launch Competition Lightening Round:

Connecting university applicants with university students and alumni, to help them navigate the application process.


Game-based learning tools for science. Taking Organic Chemistry curriculum (courses with a fail rate of 40%) and turning them into dynamic games.


Servicing 1.5 billion English learners to help solve the pronunciation challenge with a responsive app.


Building the Wikipedia for adaptive and interactive education using open content and personalized for users putting the power to participate, teach, and learn directly in the user’s hands.

Listen Current

Partnering with NPR to bring the power of public radio into the classroom to connect students with real world content and improve their critical listening skills.

Online marketplace for substitute teachers to solve the problem of a national substitute teacher shortage by re-imagining the way we provide in-class instruction.

Paragon One

Paragon One is a curated invitation-only community, cultivating authentic career mentorship between international students, entrepreneurs, and leaders from America’s top companies.

Smart Coos

Live online language classes in Sign, English, French, Mandarin and Spanish from your home, on an interactive web platform.


A private social network for schools that incorporates project management principles and tools for improved productivity.

Words Liive
Analyzes modern languages, such as urban music, social media lingo, text messages, and computer programming, and integrates them into traditional classroom literature for young students.

ELSA Announced As SXSWedu Launch Competition Winner

After two days of pitches and presentations from the finalists, the SXSWedu judges were ready to reveal the Launch competition winner. At Container Bar on Rainey Street, the winner was announced: ELSA—your virtual English Language Speech Assistant.

ELSA provides an innovative service that helps those learning English better their pronunciation and reduce accents. What sets ELSA apart from other language learning programs is that ELSA provides a comprehensive service directly from a mobile application, providing practical, automated feedback. ELSA simplifies the learning process with speech recognition tools. ELSA’s ease of use and relatively low cost is propelling the service to success and recognition.

Cutting edge, indeed.

For more information about SXSWedu Launch, visit the website here.

By Juliana Trichilo Cina, repost from

Read original article here.

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