SXSW EDU® Announces Winners of the 2022 Launch and Student Startup Competitions

MBA Blog / 11th March 2022

The SXSW EDU Conference & Festival is proud to name Our Worlds, Inc. as the winner of this year’s Launch competition and AUesome as the winner for this year’s Student Startup Competition. It was announced at the Competitions Awards Celebration.

For over a decade, the Launch Competition, this year supported by Schmidt Futures and the Walton Family Foundation, has given early-stage startups the chance to pitch the emerging ideas, services, and products that they are developing to a cohort of leaders across the business, investment, and learning sectors. Out of the six finalists, whose innovations ranged from platforms supporting emotional literacy education to speech AI, the panel of judges selected Our Worlds, Inc., based in Pala Indian Reservation, CA, as the Launch Competition award winner. Our Worlds provides place-based, primary source, educational content about Native Americans in Extended Reality 360º throughout the world. The experiences are unique, immersive, and available to anyone with a smartphone. Our Worlds provides a portal to the indigenous stories that surround you.

“It’s been such a joy working with SXSW EDU on the Launch Competition, which shines a big spotlight on amazing startups poised to make a huge impact on education. We’re at a critical moment where teachers deserve the best that technology can offer, and I’m proud to support a competition that surfaces the most promising ideas,” said Dan Carroll, middle school science teacher turned CPO and co-founder of Clever — and the 2013 winner of the Launch Competition.

“The Launch Competition at SXSW EDU is a true showcase for creativity, innovation, and positive impact. It’s exciting to see new ideas coming to life — enriching the current landscape at a time when schools, educators, and professionals are rethinking engagement, learning, and achievement through technology,” said Craig Narveson, general manager & director of strategic partnerships at Kahoot! — and a 2013 Launch Competition finalist.

Additionally, SXSW EDU selected AUesome based in Sunnyvale, CA, as the winner for this year’s Student Startup Competition, powered by WIT – Whatever It Takes, with support from the Do-Or-Dier Foundation, Diamond Challenge, and Uncharted Learning. Like Launch, this competition has become a pinnacle of the SXSW EDU program, uplifting the budding young high school entrepreneurs certain to shape the future of education. AUesome was selected from five finalists and was recognized for its work to make therapy more accessible and affordable for children on the autism spectrum. Their kits, instructional videos, and app simplify the at-home therapy process for parents of children with special needs.

“This competition is important because it provides young people the chance to use their voice and share their ideas in places and conferences that are usually reserved for adults,” said Sarah Hernholm, founder and president of WIT – Whatever It Takes. “SXSW EDU does a wonderful job of not only stating the importance of showcasing young entrepreneurs but actually doing it.”

To learn more about these competitions, along with the winners and finalists, visit sxswedu.com/competitions.

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