Charles Town, WV, May 2, 2018 —American Public University System (APUS) today announced that it presented its $20,000 Venture Path prize for Innovation in Online Education to Mentor Pro as part of the 2018 Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition (EBPC). The entrepreneurship recognition, for start-ups already having revenues, grants, customers or investments, was awarded as part of the Catalyst@PennGSE initiative designed to address persistent and emerging problems in education.
New York-based Mentor Pro – one of 200 applicants and 11 finalists worldwide competing for cash prizes totaling over $100,000 – is a platform that optimizes and facilitates communication between mentors and teachers to boost effective professional development for teachers. The finalists presented their projects to a select judging panel of industry leaders, including investors, researchers, and practitioners such as APUS Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer Beth LaGuardia Cooper.
“I’m very pleased to congratulate Mentor Pro Co-founders Cecilia Hevia, Magdalena Izquierdo and Carol Neumann,” said LaGuardia Cooper. “Their robust platform enables mentors to track the progress of their teachers and have access to data analysis, pre-made qualitative reports and a video analysis system, among other innovative features.”
In addition to the APUS prize, Mentor Pro also won the $40,000 Milken Family Foundation Grand Prize and $25,000 in Amazon Web Services promotional credits, while all finalists receive $1,000 in cash and $5,000 in Amazon Web Services. Previous APUS awardees include Byndr, Citelighter, GraphLock, Lumen Labs, Osmosis, Persistence Plus and Tassl, all of which have gone on to grow their ventures, attract investors, and have a positive impact on education.
Now in its ninth year, EBPC stimulates cutting-edge ideas that serve the world’s educational needs. Launched in 2010 by the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education in partnership with the Milken Family Foundation, EBPC is the nation’s first-ever funded education business plan competition and has awarded more than $1 million in total prizes.