Cheating-Prevention Software Takes $25,000 Prize in Milken-Penn GSE’s Education Business Plan Competition

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto-Haines | jdisanto@upenn.edu | 215-898-4820 June 4, 2010

PHILADELPHIA — Two men from Texas have won $25,000 in the only business plan competition designed to use innovation to improve education.

Shaun Sims, 23, and Andrew Mills, 28, of Austin took first prize in the Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education for Digital Proctor, their idea to improve security in online education.

Digital Proctor analyzes student behavior in online classrooms, identifies suspicious activity through keyboard usage and algorithms, detects financial-aid fraud and helps to increase student-retention rates.  It outshined 125 submissions from the U.S., India, Taiwan and South Korea.

Second prize of $15,000 was awarded to Jen Schnidman, 26, of New Orleans for Drop the Chalk” Web-based software that allows educators to track and quantify students’ academic growth by providing an overall picture of what students already know and what they still need to learn.

The winners were announced by Andy Porter, dean of Penn GSE.

The Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition aims to stimulate entrepreneurship in education and connect social entrepreneurs to venture capitalists and other funders interested in improving education.

Today, Penn GSE convened its second annual Entrepreneurship in Education Summit, a meeting of learning-industry leaders and entrepreneurs to develop prescriptions for better government and K-12 systemic support of education entrepreneurs.

The Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition resulted from last year’s inaugural Entrepreneurship in Education Summit.

To see a video of the Milken-Penn GSE competition, click here.

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