Slow Pitch: An EdTech Design ThinkTank (a 2016 SXSWedu Proposal)

In collaboration with Sean Duffy, founder of the EdTech meetup and co-founder of EdTech Action, an edtech incubator, we developed what we hope will be a transformational summit for all participants and attendees at SXSWedu 2016. We’ve summarized our proposal below and would love your feedback. We still need to get our proposal accepted so stay tuned – later in August, we’ll call upon you to vote for it in panelpicker! If we are lucky to earn a spot at SXSWedu next year, we’ll open up an application process to invite edupreneurs, teacherpreneurs, and edtech startups to apply to participate.

Slow Pitch: An EdTech Design ThinkTank (#slowpitch)

Organizer: Dr. Joan E. Hughes

Moderator: Mr. Sean Duffy

Join an interactive pitch session where startups, mentors and the audience will dialogue and hone startups’ products so that they will transform learning and penetrate school markets. Selected edtech startups (follow @techedges and @dearmrduffy to apply) will provide demos, evidence of real/potential impact, and marketing/monetization plans prior to SXSWedu. At the summit, we’ll cultivate a focused, generative dialogue between the startups, the 10+ educator, research, and business mentors, and the audience. Audience participation will be curated throughout with twitter, polls, and open-mic opps. This design thinktank will help emerging edtech advance and innovate.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Experience a design process for edtech development that includes input from a wide array K-12 and business mentors to increase technology adoption
  2. Assist edtech startups in crafting their products/missions to transform young people’s learning and/or teachers’ instruction
  3. Work through edtech goals, design, development, funding, and business complexity with mentors from education, technology, and business


  • Ms. Rafranz Davis, Executive Director of Professional and Digital Learning, Lufkin ISD, Texas
  • Dr. Joan Hughes, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Learning Technologies, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Dr. Janice Trinidad, Ph.D., Veteran Science Teacher & Instructional Coach, Manor New Tech HS and ThinkForward PBL Institute
  • Mr. Marc Wright, 12th grade student, Round Rock High School
  • Mr. Eric Silva, Undergraduate Student, Computer Science, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  • Dr. Gloria Gonzales Dholakia, Ph.D., Parent and Executive Director at Leander ISD Educational Excellence Foundation
  • Ms. Carolyn Foote, Librarian, Westlake High School, Austin Texas  
  • Mr. Lincoln Turner, EdTech Entrepreneur at Wizzimo
  • Ms. Angela Lee, Assistant Dean, Columbia Business School & Founder, 37 Angels
  • Developer, to be announced