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APUS Prize for Innovation in Online Education Now Open for Submissions as Part of 2013 Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition

Charles Town, WV, Nov. 28, 2012 – American Public University System (APUS) today announced that submissions are now open for the 2013 Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition (EBPC) at the newly re-launched web site The first education-focused business plan competition ever now features a total of $120,000 in prize funding, including The American Public University System Prize for Innovation in Online Education ($25,000), and is part of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education’s (Penn GSE) expanding NEST initiative.  The 2013 EBPC will take place on Penn’s campus May 7-8, 2013.

The Milken-Penn GSE EBPC stimulates cutting-edge ideas that serve the world’s educational needs, from Pre-K to adult learning.  Last year, ten worldwide finalists were selected from over 200 applicants to compete in a live competition in Philadelphia judged by a panel of industry leaders, including Dr. Wallace E. Boston, APUS president and CEO. This year’s competition will also feature the Penn GSE NEST Conference, a gathering of industry leaders for a one-of-a-kind opportunity to gauge the pulse of entrepreneurship in education and explore new ways of fostering a culture of continuous innovation in the field.  In coming months, Penn GSE’s Executive Director of Academic Innovation Dr. Bobbi Kurshan will announce a greatly expanded slate of NEST programming that will take place throughout the year.

The $120,000 in total funding is awarded through the following six prizes:  

  • The Milken Family Foundation:
    • First Prize ($25,000) 
    • Second Prize ($15,000)
  • The American Public University System Prize for Innovation in Online Education ($25,000)
  • The Educational Services of America Prize for Innovation in the fields of Special Education and At-Risk Students ($20,000)
  • The Erudient Education Prize for Innovation in Borderless Education ($10,000)
  •  The Startl Prize for Open Educational Resources ($25,000) 

Penn GSE NEST launched the EBPC in 2010 as a partnership between Penn GSE and the Milken Family Foundation.  The EBPC culminates with a live competition, judged by a panel of industry experts, and has more than doubled the amount of prize money and number of prizes since it was first launched. Last year’s winning plans ranged from an effort to leverage mobile technology to educate in Africa (and beyond) to a powerful text-to-audio application that is revolutionary for individuals with visual impairments and those with literacy needs around the world. 

About Penn GSE NEST
A worldwide leader in education practice, policy, and philosophy, Penn GSE is consistently at the forefront of education innovation.  As part of the school’s expanding entrepreneurial effort, each summer Penn GSE 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 Penn GSE NEST Conference.  The Conference is a unique way to generate new ideas, debate policy, forge new collaborations, discover investment opportunities, and conduct social networking and research. For additional information, visit