STARTUP EDU FOR ALL: Education is now a regular "vertical" within the Startup Weekend kingdom. Yah! Funding for the events is coming from the Kauffman Foundation & Grockit (which hosted the first Startup EDU weekend, way back in the spring). On the sked: EDU weekends in: San Francisco (October 15), Washington DC (Oct. 22), and London (Oct. 29). Seattle got a jump on things by scheduling its weekend for Sept. 30. More events are in the works in the coming year.
Why do these weekends? EdSurge friend and contributor Justin Su attended last weekend's Mega Startup extravaganza at Microsoft's Mountain View site. He writes that he was "completely amazed by how effective the format is. In the span of 48 hours, numerous individuals came in with nothing but an idea and left with a team, a working prototype and a pitch. I talked with most of the 16 education teams and at least half of them planned to follow through on their ideas after the weekend. And most of these folks had just met one another!"
Even Seattle-based "practical nerd" Frank Catalano, who's done time as an ink-stained wretch, believes the time is ripe for edtech entrepreneurship. Grockit founder, Farbood Nivi, is betting his sponsorship dollars on it. By supporting these startup jams, he says, "Grockit gets a chance to share the trials and tribulations of being an edtech startup with the rest of the world," he writes, which could help speed good products to market. Better: "In time, we expect to create APIs and developer tools that we will be able to provide to teams at SWEDU events to further accelerate their solutions." Sounds sweet to us.