Penn GSE and Milken Family Foundation Announce 2012 Education Business Plan Competition Finalists

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Media Contact:Kat Stein | | 215-898-9642May 23, 2012

Philadelphia, PA – The University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) and the Milken Family Foundation have announced the finalists of the 2012 Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition (EBPC).  

Now in its third year, the Education BPC increasingly attracts innovative ideas from around the world. The competition is designed to stimulate cutting-edge ideas that serve the world’s educational needs. Whether local or global, public or private, or Pre-K through adult learning, education entrepreneurs are answering the call, and ten finalists have been chosen to gather in Philadelphia to compete in the live competition on June 19 – with six different prizes and $120,000 in funding available.

Sponsored by the Networking Education Entrepreneurs for Social Transformation (NEST), the Education BPC and subsequent NEST Summit were developed to create a space specifically for education entrepreneurs and to catalyze innovation in education.

The Competition will be judged by a panel of industry leaders, with all winners being declared and prizes awarded at its conclusion.  The plans, showcasing the best and most promising new ventures the field offers, range from teacher preparation and vocational training, to online research and mobile gaming.

Following the Competition on June 20, the NEST Summit will again provide a one-of-a-kind opportunity to gauge the pulse of entrepreneurship in education, and to explore new ways of fostering a culture of continuous innovation within the field.

“We are at an important crossroads in education, and true innovation, done well, can have a transformative global impact,” said Penn GSE Dean Andrew Porter. “For this year’s competition, we received over 200 business plans from more than 20 different countries.  We are thrilled to support the efforts of these educational entrepreneurs as they move forward with their work.”

2012 Milken-PennGSE Education Business Plan Competition Finalists:

  • Saad Alam and Lee Jokl: Citelighter
  • David Blake: Degreed
  • Shay Eyal: EyalGPS
  • Ross Katz: Ednable
  • Rebecca Li & James Mak: Genii, Inc.
  • Toni Maraviglia: M-Prep Inc.
  • Megan Marcus, Katerina Manoff, Radhika Khandelwal, Sarah Novick, Tracy Money: FuelEd
  • Nikhil Paul: Nfoshare
  • Beth Schmidt:
  • Jason W. Young: Mindblown Labs

More information can be found at:


About the Milken-PennGSE Education Business Plan Competition

Launched in 2010 as a partnership between PennGSE and the Milken Family Foundation, this year’s event culminates with a live competition, judged by a panel of industry experts, on the Penn campus on June 19, 2012.  One hundred twenty thousand dollars in total funding will be awarded through the following six prizes:  


The NEST Summit

As a worldwide leader in education practice, policy, and philosophy, PennGSE is consistently on the forefront of education innovation.  As part of the school’s expanding entrepreneurial effort, each summer PennGSE invites the best, brightest, and most influential professional educators, education entrepreneurs, business leaders, and venture capitalists to the campus of the University of Pennsylvania for the annual NEST Summit.  The Summit provides a unique means for thought generation, policy debate, newly-found collaborations, investment opportunities, social networking and research.

The Milken Family Foundation

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.


About Penn GSE

Penn GSE is one of the nation’s premier “research ed schools.” A small percentage of education programs in the U.S. offer doctoral degrees at all, a tiny fraction are located at flagship research universities, and no other education school enjoys a University environment as supportive of practical knowledge-building as the University of Pennsylvania.

Penn GSE has long been known for excellence in qualitative research, language and literacy studies, practitioner inquiry and teacher education. Over the last 15 years, Penn GSE has also developed remarkable strengths in quantitative research, policy studies, evaluation, higher education, and psychology and human development. The School is notably entrepreneurial, launching innovative degree programs for practicing professionals and unique partnerships with local educators. For further information about Penn GSE, please visit