Finalists to Compete June 3 in Milken-Penn GSE’s Education Business Plan Competition

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto-Haines | jdisanto@upenn.edu | 215-898-4820May 24, 2010

PHILADELPHIA — Innovative solutions to recurring problems in education will take center stage at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education on June 3, competing for the inaugural Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition.

The finalists and their projects are:

• Shaun Sims and Andrew Mills, “Digital Proctor,” a tool to make online testing more secure.

• Jevan Soo and Sarah Dillard, “Ceres,” software that helps schools streamline the human resources process.

• Jen Schnidman– “Drop the Chalk,” a web-based software that helps teachers measure student progress.

• Emily Durham, “Quick Quizzer,” a software that helps young students practice math and English.

• Barry Striegel, “North Dakota Youth Entrepreneurship & Leadership Program,” for teaching children to become leaders and entrepreneurs.

• Shaina Tantuico, “JeepNeed,” a mobile educational-resource center that runs on vegetable oil and brings learning to under-served children in the Philippines.

Their ideas for innovation in teaching and learning, access to education and data systems and infrastructure will be presented to judges Frank Bonsal III of New Markets Venture Partners, Wallace E. Boston Jr. of the American Public University System, Mark Claypool of Educational Services of America, Charles Fadel fof Cisco Systems, Michael Golden of Microsoft, Jonathan Harber of SchoolNet Inc. and Alan Todd of Corporate University Xchange.

Finalists will present their idea, and winners will be announced immediately following the presentations.  The winner will receive $25,000, the runner-up $15,000.

Finalists in the competition were selected using a rubric developed by Penn’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy; 43 independent judges evaluated 125 entries, including submissions from India, Taiwan and South Korea.

Penn’s Graduate School of Education and the Milken Family Foundation launched the competition last year.

After the competition has concluded, Penn GSE will convene its second annual Entrepreneurship in Education Summit, a meeting of learning-industry leaders, education entrepreneurs and funders who will be developing prescriptions for better government and K-12 systemic support of education entrepreneurs.

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