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APUS $25,000 Prize for Innovation in Online Education

Finalists Able to Meet Top Investors & Researchers; Vie for Education Design Studio Fellowships as Part of 2014 Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition


Charles Town, WV, December 5, 2013 – American Public University System (APUS) today announced that submissions are now open for its annual $25,000 APUS Prize for Innovation in Online Education, part of the 2014 Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition (EBPC). Applications must be submitted by January 15, 2014.

As the first education-focused business plan competition, EBPC features more than $125,000 in prize funding and exposure to top investors and researchers in the field of educational innovation. It was created to stimulate cutting-edge ideas – whether local or global, profit or non-profit, or preschool through adult learning—that serve the world’s educational needs.

Now in its fifth year, EBPC is an established leader in the field of education innovation and key destination for education entrepreneurs. EBPC is recognized for attracting innovative ideas from around the world and spotting winning education innovations early on in their growth.  Finalists will be notified by April 14, 2014, and flown to Philadelphia on May 13-14 to pitch their ventures to investors, researchers, and practitioners. In addition to cash prizes, select competitors will also be invited to join the Education Design Studio, Inc. (EDSi), a hybrid incubator and seed fund built specifically for education ventures that was launched this fall in collaboration with Penn GSE.

Persistence Plus, winner of the 2013 APUS prize, leverages mobile technology and cutting-edge behavioral research to foster the specific student behaviors and mindsets that help lead to college persistence, completion, and life success. Co-founded by Jill Frankfort and Dr. Kenny Salim, the company also won the $15,000 Milken Family Foundation Second Prize in the competition, and was invited to participate in EDSi.

The 2014 EBPC judging, held in conjunction with the annual conference on May 14, is 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 and connectivity in the field. In addition to the APUS prize, other categories include the following:

  • The Milken Family Foundation: First Prize ($25,000), Second Prize ($15,000)
  • The K12 Online Learning Prize for Innovation in Technology ($25,000)
  • The Educational Services of America Prize for Innovation in the fields of Special Education and At-Risk Students ($20,000)
  • McGraw-Hill Prize for Open Educational Resources ($15,000)

EDSi will build upon the success of EBPC by extending invitations to a select group of EBPC participants for its six-month Design Studio program. Once accepted into the Design Studio, Fellows will take part take part in an exciting new program that includes seed funding; access to legal and accounting expertise; technology support and mentoring; marketing and sales mentoring; a supportive community context comprised of program immersion, and access to extensive research and practitioner expertise. EDSi is planning to commit over $500,000 in investments and services for Fellows in the 2014 cohort. For further information about EDSi and the competition, please visit: