Columbia Launches EdTech Design Challenge 2017

Update: The 2017 cohort has been selected, representing 7 schools across Columbia! Thank you to all who applied. 

Columbians across campus have joined 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.

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.

Columbia students 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


Working with Experts will include time with :

Morgan Friedman, Teachers College, specializing in special education

Katie Newhouse, Teachers College, specializing in teacher instruction

Tara Schwitzman, Teachers College, specializing in disability studies in education



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