Over the weekend Toronto was home to Startup Weekend Toronto EDU, a 3-day event that saw 12 education startups pitch their ideas to various judges. Each startup had 5 minutes to demo their idea, then were given an additional 2-minutes for Q&A.
The list of companies included Smarty Pants, LearningLoop, Revest.me, Teacher to Parent, Enrich, Dollars for Scholars, Replay, News 4 Kids, Fieldr, Beancounters, Bookmantis and Lego My Logo. Up for grabs a grand prize valued at $20,000, that included a $5,000 innovation grant from Chagpar & Associates, legal setup from cobalt, 1-month intensive advisory support from the MaRS, PR and event planning assistance.
In the end it was LearningLoop – a company that developed an online platform to allow educators and parents easily share information about their child’s development process ‘in a simple and meaningful way.” Upon winning, Alison Gibbins, Founder of LearningLoop, stated “As a parent, I feel that the communication between parents and educators really needs to change… This is going to change the lives of the members on our team and the lives of children. A part of our prize is to head to Google’s accelerator program in Silicon Valley! I’m super elated, but also nervous because this is the real deal.” Apparently Learning loop already has 19 educators and 40 families signed up for its initial launch.
Second place went to Smarty Pants, which an app that turns learning into a game and levels can be unlocked by answering skill-testing questions. Third place was captured by Fieldr, which motto is “Find Fun Field Trips Fast” and gives users access to quickly discover unique, local, affordable field trips.