Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition 2017


Deadline: September 12, 2017

Applications are open for the Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition (EBPC) Idea Path Competition. The EBPC Idea Path competition offers a tremendous opportunity to entrepreneurs and investors alike from across the world. The Competition includes a path for Ideas (opening Summer 2017), as well as a path for Ventures (check back in January 2018). In offering multiple prizes and prize categories, the EBPC attracts innovative ideas in education from around the world, ranging from those structured on local or global needs, public or private issues, Pre-K through adult education, and social or for-profit ventures.

The 2017 Finals of the EBPC Idea Path Competition will be held in conjunction with the upcoming Reimagine Education Awards & Conference on December 4-5 here in Philadelphia, USA. Reimagine Education is an international competition and global conference for those seeking to shape the future of education through innovation.

Competition Themes

  • Urban Education
  • Connecting Research to Practice
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Technology in Grades K through 12
  • Special Education & At-Risk Students
  • Open & Collaborative Solutions: The Education Ecosystem
  • Online & Distance Learning in Higher Education
  • Global/Borderless Education Solutions
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Workforce Learning


Idea Path:

  • Idea Path Grand Prize (1): $5,000
  • Other Idea Path Prizes (2): $2,500
  • All Idea Path Finalists: $1,000


  • Any individual is eligible to enter the Competition by submitting an Entry (defined below), except the following individuals are not eligible:
    • Anyone who is under 18 years old;
    • Any Competition judge;
    • Anyone who previously was awarded a prize in this Competition.  (However, if a previous winner wants to enter a new educational entrepreneurship business plan, which the University determines, in its sole opinion and determination, is unrelated to the previous winning educational entrepreneurship business plan, then the previous winning Applicant may do so, subject to his or her or its compliance with all of the other eligibility requirements.);
    • Anyone for whom it would be illegal to enter this Competition in his or her legal jurisdiction of residence;
    • Any Graduate School of Education faculty, lecturer, administrator, staff, or other employee.   (Note:  Faculty, lecturers, administrators, staff, employees, and students from the University of Pennsylvania and its schools, centers and institutes, other thanthe Graduate School of Education, may enter the Competition, provided that he or she has first disclosed his or her product or service or technology or concept or intellectual property to the University’s Penn Center for Innovation or its successor (“Penn PCI”), using the disclosure form required by Penn PCI, in order for Penn PCI to determine whether the University has an ownership interest in such product or service or technology or concept or intellectual property by virtue of its intellectual property and employment policies.
  • A group of individuals also may enter the Competition, so long as all of the individuals meet the requirements above for a single individual to enter. In other words, if one member of the group is ineligible to enter, the group is not eligible to enter.
  • A corporation, partnership, or other legal entity, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, also is eligible to enter, provided it is legal for the entity to enter under applicable law. However, organizations entering the competition may not have raised more than the equivalent of US$500,000 from all investors and founders since the beginning of the legal existence of the organization until the date the organization submits its Executive Summary and Application Form. Additionally, organizations entering the competition may not have had more than the equivalent of US$200,000 in gross revenue since the beginning of the legal existence of the organization until the date the organization submits its executive summary. Organizations that have raised more than this threshold, as determined in the sole opinion of the University, will be disqualified.
  • Organizations entering the Idea path of the Competition are expected to be pre-revenue and pre-investment.

Competition Rules

  • Educational entrepreneurship business plans should outline the problem they address, offer a solution, and discuss scaling possibilities for bringing the proposed innovation to additional settings.
  • Broadly construed, educational entrepreneurship initiatives can address a wide range of educational issues. T
  • his competition encourages applications in every conceivable educational setting – from early childhood through corporate/adult training, in settings and contexts anywhere in the world. We also welcome both nonprofit and for-profit submissions.
  • In terms of focus, they invite submissions that address issues of curriculum, instruction, educator professional development, assessment and evaluation, collaborations, learning design, technological innovations, learning/school support tools, and more.
  • In evaluating business plan submissions, judges will consider the importance of the educational problem, the creativity and feasibility of the proposed solution, and the potential for widespread impact

How to Apply

  • To enter the Competition, an eligible Applicant must submit all of the required materials.
  • NOTE: If you are choosing the Idea path, it means you do not have any of the following: customers, revenue, outside investment, or grants. If you already have any of these you are a venture and should apply for the Venture path.

A subset of these Applicants will be selected as finalists in the Competition, and invited to present the business plan orally at the University, before judges.

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