Top 10 Pitches: ASU GSV 2017

The ASU GSV is the largest EdTech conference in the world. Located in Salt Lake City, Utah for 2017 the conference saw more than 3500 entrepreneurs, educators and thought leaders gather to discuss the future of education. One of the highlights of the conference was the startup pitch competition, supported by Navitas Ventures, which saw more than 300 startups pitch to an audience of investors, educators and potential collaborators.

I had the pleasure of pitching the Upstart Academy on the second day and I also managed to watch dozens of high-quality pitches from Edtech startups. Here is my pick of the bunch:


A graduate from the Imagine K12 accelerator program, Admitsee is focused on helping high school graduates get into the right college for them. Their platform consists of a marketplace of successful admission papers and insights to help kids discover the right path for them. They’re playing in the $5b annual market for college admission consultants.


With 300,000 followers on Instagram, Ria from Craftsposure knows a lot about the maker community. Craftsposure is focused on helping makers develop the business skills they need to profit from their passions.


Another Imagine k12 graduate, Kodable is all empowering teachers to equip their students with coding skills. Kodable offers easy to follow video tutorials and exercises aimed at students learning about coding for the first time and is now used by more than 50% of American elementary schools. Not bad for a company that’s just a few years old!


You’ve probably heard plenty of CEO say “our people are our most valuable assets”, which is certainly true given how much investment goes into recruiting, wages and training. WhoKnows helps companies maximise their talent pool by quantifying the skills of their staff through machine learning technology.


Pandexio allows organisations to share and store the knowledge of their workforce. If you’re like me you probably have many workbooks filled with notes that never see the light of day. Pandexio’s Smartsnips tool creates a ‘pocket brain’ where staff can access the vast pools of knowledge spread across their organisation from their mobile device.


Become is reinventing career development for children through an interactive mobile game. By inspiring kids to approach their future with confidence and excitement Become aims to improve the lives of young people around the world, whilst empowering parents to play an important role in this crucial aspect of child development.


Brainscape describes itself as the  “world’s smartest flashcards”. Not only have they digitised the flashcard, but they’ve built innovative technology to improve the learning process. Through leveraging the power of spaced repetition and active recall, Brainscape helps people retain information at a previously unheard rate.

Screenshot of the brainscape flashcard platform


Financial management isn’t the most exciting topic, but it’s a crucial one. DollarsEd is helping build financial confidence in all of us through a free mobile training app. DollarsEd aims to help people lead lives of financial independence through an increased understanding of personal finance.


The future might be difficult to predict, but one thing we know for sure in the Western world is that there will be an increased need for skilled healthcare providers to serve an ageing population. Cognotion is reinventing the way that workforce is being trained through its interactive platform.


At a time when everything is moving online, Inkerz is developing technology to preserve handwritings role in the way we learn. We’re not talking about pens that allow you to write on your device, but a tool that records what you write in your notebook.

I’m sure you’re wondering how the Upstart Academy went? You can watch a video of our full pitch right here.