Startup Weekend Education (SWEDU) is a weekend-long event hosted in cities all over the globe throughout the year. Teams are formed at the beginning of the weekend and then spend 54 hours researching and prototyping solutions to problems in education. The weekends culminate in a round of presentations by each of the teams, judged by a panel of edtech experts.
Whenever SWEDU teams decide to focus their time and energy on growing their ideas into successful businesses, we encourage them to apply to Imagine K12. Starting a company is always hard, and the education market presents unique challenges. At Imagine K12, we strive to improve the chances of success for each of our edtech companies with a combination of strategic advice and mentorship, targeted seminars, highly engaged networks of entrepreneurs and educators, and $100,000 in funding.
We receive hundreds of applications for the Imagine K12 program each year, and we typically interview about one quarter of the companies that apply. In our selection process, we look for strong teams with great ideas that have the potential to reach massive scale, attract venture capital, and ultimately have a positive impact on education outcomes. Startup Weekend Education looks for these same characteristics in its competition, and so we look forward to meeting the winning teams and learning more about their companies.
The Imagine K12 interview process is brief. We meet with companies for about 15 minutes, and then within a few days notify the founders as to whether or not they’ve been accepted. In the interview, we are looking to get to know the team and dig deeper into the product and the vision for the company. We always look for evidence of commitment and passion from each founder on the team, as well as a deep understanding of the problem that the company solves. We recommend that Startup Weekend Education teams spend a few months working together before applying to Imagine K12, so they can form solid working relationships within the team and devote time to studying their market and building an MVP.
While the Imagine K12 interview guarantee only extends to first-place teams who want to build their SWEDU ideas into full-fledged companies, we encourage all SWEDU entrepreneurs to apply to Imagine K12. We consider applications on a rolling basis from February through August. When a company is accepted, we immediately fund them and begin advising them. In the fall, all selected companies move to Silicon Valley to work together in person in an intense three-month program.
Check out the Education Entrepreneurs website to find an upcoming Startup Weekend Education event in your area, and hopefully we will see you at Imagine K12 soon!