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Columbia Entrepreneurship Design Studio

ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS – Columbia University Ed Tech Design Challenge 2017


Join the Challenge

EdTech Design Challenge 2017 is a 7-month innovation initiative designed to help teams of Columbia innovators generate new tech-based businesses, products, or programs that solve deeply entrenched K-12 education problems.  Students from across Columbia may apply.

Apply for EdTech Design Challenge Today

Info Sessions Available


The EdTech Challenge 2017 is a collaboration between Columbia Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Design, the School of International and Public Affairs Tech & Policy Initiative and its Center for Development Economics & Policy, Teachers College, UNICEF, the Nasdaq Educational Foundation, and Fundação Lemann.


Workshops – Design Sprints – Events – Curriculum – Travel

With a focus on Brazil, the EdTech Design Challenge focuses on 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.  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.

EdTech Challenge kicks off on October 13th with a week-long design sprint. 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.

During the 2017-18 academic year, the teams will continue to their collaboration and to turn their ideas into viable solutions, programs, or startups.


Optional resources provided include:

  • A spring semester course on building social ventures taught by SIPA Professor and Ed Tech entrepreneur Sarah Holloway
  • Market research trip to Brazil
  • A tour of EdTech startups
  • Cash grants
  • Travel and lodging assistance


For the winning teams, the EdTech Design Challenge culminates in a June 2018 trip to Brazil to pitch their proposed solutions to a panel of VC’s, policy makers, and educators.  


Important Dates:

  • Add info session dates
  • October 10, 2017: Global Ed Tech Forum hosted by SIPA
  • October 13 – 20, 2017: Ed Tech Design Challenge @ the Design Studio
  • January 20 – May 1, 2018: Ed Tech Design Course including March 2018 trip to Brazil
  • May 1: $25,000 Awarded to winning Team(s)
  • June: Trip to Brazil for Winning Team(s)


Design Challenge Schedule


How to Apply:

Ed Tech Design Challenge Application Open: September 1 – September 30, 2017

Apply Here!

Open to current Columbia, Teachers College and Barnard students

Space is limited to 18 students.  Application is required.  Criteria for selection will include ability to participate in all elements of the program, background in education/technology/EdTech/startups preferred.


Optional Information Session:

September 21st from 1-2pm

International Affairs Building Room 324

Lunch will be provided!

Register Here!


For more information contact:

Joseph Heritage, Design Lead