Columbia Launches EdTech Design Challenge 2017

Columbians across campus have a chance to join the EdTech Design Challenge 2017, a 7-month initiative designed to help teams of Columbia innovators generate new tech-based businesses, products, or programs that solve deeply entrenched K-12 education problems.

Apply for EdTech Design Challenge Today

Join the Discussion on Global EdTech on October 10

A collaboration between Columbia Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Design, the School of International and Public Affairs Tech & Policy Initiative, the Center for Development Economics & Policy, Teachers College, UNICEF, the Nasdaq Educational Foundation, and Fundação Lemann, the EdTech Design Challenge will focus on Brazil and three universal K-12 educational problem areas: kids with special needs, kids in need of remediation, and parent engagement.

18 Columbia students will be selected for the Challenge. Once selected, they are paired with EdTech entrepreneurs from Brazil.

How It Works

EdTech Challenge kicks off on October 13th with a week-long design sprint in NYC. Through design-thinking workshops, visits to EdTech startups, and an EdTech forum, the Columbia and Brazilian cohort will come together and form teams and generate ideas for EdTech solutions. Over the course of the 2017-18 academic year, the multi-national teams are offered resources to help develop their EdTech ideas into viable solutions.

The winning teams will receive $25,000 in funding and get a chance to pitch their proposed solutions to a panel of VCs, policy makers, and educators in Brazil.

Here is what the first sprint will look like:

Design Challenge Schedule


Apply Today!

Applications are now open until September 30, and all current Columbia, Teachers College, and Barnard students are eligible to apply. Be sure to keep up with important dates – application deadlines, information sessions, and events – on our calendar. The first information session will be held on September 21 (register here), or contact Joseph Heritage, Design Lead at:



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