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The Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition (EBPC) is open to applicants worldwide addressing educational inequities through innovation.

Finalists get targeted venture development support from a strategic advisor, opportunities for in-person networking with investors and potential customers.

New registration process

New this year, ventures will apply through Catapult, the Catalyst @ Penn GSE virtual accelerator. Registration and application are free, and you’ll enjoy access to over 4,000 articles, videos, and podcast episodes in the Catapult Content Hub.

How to apply

  • 1. Prepare your materials

    Review the Application components section below, and get a head start assembling the elements of a successful application.

  • 2. Register for Catapult

    Take 5 minutes to complete our simple registration for a free Catapult account.

  • 3. Complete your application

    Once registered, you’ll fill out and submit your application through Catapult’s online platform by 
February 19, 2024.

Who should apply

We welcome education ventures with innovative solutions to educational inequity from around the world, especially those ventures founded by and serving individuals from marginalized and historically underrepresented communities. We encourage applicants working in every conceivable educational setting–from early childhood through corporate and adult training. We also welcome both nonprofit and for-profit submissions. Since 2010, areas of focus have included (but are not limited to):

    • Urban Education
    • Connecting Research to Practice
    • Teaching & Learning
    • Technology in Grades K through 12
    • Special Education & At-Risk Students
    • Open & Collaborative Solutions: The Education Ecosystem
    • Online & Distance Learning in Higher Education
    • Global/Borderless Education Solutions
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Workforce Learning

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Application components

EBPC applicants should describe an issue in education that their venture addresses, offer their venture’s solution, and discuss scaling possibilities to demonstrate the equitable outcomes their proposed innovation can bring to the field of education and additional settings. Important elements of business plan applications include (but are not limited to):

  • Product or service

    Describe the innovative product(s) or service(s) that your venture offers, including the persistent or emerging issue(s) in education that your solution addresses. Feel free to include your venture’s vision and / or mission statement and any key partnering organizations connected to your venture.

  • People

    Discuss your organization’s leadership team, including the backgrounds and expertise of all key personnel. Describe why your team is best suited to lead your venture and to address the specific needs of the communities you serve.

  • Market

    Define your target market(s). Who are your target customers? Discuss any customer discovery that you have done and explain your marketing strategy to successfully reach customers in your target market(s).*

  • Competition

    Who are your competitors? How do you differentiate? Discuss your competitive advantage. Discuss any barriers to entry or intellectual property you’ve built to sustain your long term competitive advantage?

  • Finances

    Upload a financial model of actual and projected revenue earned and discuss the assumptions used to substantiate your financial model. Preferred file format: .pdf.*

  • Equity

    Describe how your product or service addresses systemic barriers in education to support underserved communities and demonstrate your venture’s potential impact on equitable outcomes in teaching, learning, and/or education.

  • Materials

    Submissions also include a digital slide deck presentation (PowerPoint or similar format; required; 15 slides maximum) and a 60-Second Video Pitch (optional, but highly recommended). Feel free to provide any other promotional or demo (screencast) video to showcase your product(s) or service(s). Maximum video length: 2 minutes.

New this year, apply to to the Competition through Catapult, the Catalyst @ Penn GSE virtual accelerator. Access to this online platform and the application requires a free account.

2024 Competition

Launched in 2010 as a partnership between Penn GSE and the foundations of the Milken families, the Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition (EBPC) culminates with a live competition of education business ventures, judged by a panel of industry experts.

  • Jan 22

    Application Opens

  • Feb 19

    Applications Due

  • May

    Semifinalists Announced

  • Aug

    Finalists Announced

  • Fall

    Live Competition

The fine print: everything you need to know about EBPC.

Learn more about competition eligibility and judges, read the full rules, and get answers to common questions.

General concerns or questions about the Rules and the Competition should be sent to the Competition Director at educomp@gse.penn.edu.