INNOVATION: WHAT'S IT MEAN TO YOU? It's super that NBC's Education Nation is grabbing the attention (and calendars) of Very Important People and beaming the message that education matters all across the planet. Such good intentions make us feel a bit churlish for wondering whether all those fine words will catalyze real change. Even so, it's a whirlwind adventure for three startups: ClassDojo, Kickboard, TruantToday--competing for the $75,000 Citi Innovation in Education Grand Prize (thanks to Citi and NewSchools Venture Fund). Why these three? NSVF apparently offered NBC a list of a dozen or so candidates and the New York crew made the final pick. It's not quite "The Apprentice" but they are going through grueling competitions as well as meetings with hotshots. Here's how they did reading a script they'd never seen before, shot against the TODAY backdrop. Early yesterday their grueling tribulations culminated in a pitch competition, which you can watch here.