Startup Competition Guide


Startup competitions with largest cash prizes in EdTech

They include Global EdTech Startup Awards and LEAP Edtech Startup Competition

Innovation series by Steven Loeb
December 28, 2017
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If you're a startup seeking opportunities to get funded, educated or connected, startup competitions are a great resource.

Vator has been holding its own competitions, using VatorX, to find and filter for the best startups. We've had some very successful and notable winners in the past that have gone on to raise big funding rounds including Thumbtack, DogVacay, Pokitdok, Grovo, Udemy and Apartment List, to name a few.

Anyone can list their program as VatorX is one of the most comprehensive listing guides to startup competitions, challenges, accelerators and programs. Click here to list your program!

As part of our weekly series, we'll look at top competitions with big cash prizes, as well as competitions that have teed up the most promising startups, to finding popular startup competitions you need to know about. 

Here are some of the startup competitions that have the largest cash prize in EdTech:


Description: "Global EdTech Startup Awards (GESA) is an initiative led by a group of leading organizations representing all continents of the world.
The Awards will identify, showcase and recognise EdTech startups from all over the world!"

Prize: $50,000. 

In addition to cash prizes, the best startups will get global exposure in the EdTech ecosystem, valuable PR, mentorship and business development opportunities. As well, a few of the competition's top entrepreneurs will be invited to follow up events and next stage accelerator program

Previous winners: Language Hero, Mursion, PaperVideo


Description: "LEAP EdTech Startup Competition is an initiative by TLabs, the leading startup accelerator and support-stage fund and NASSCOM 10000 Startups, the growth enabler of NASSCOM to identify and support the rising stars in the EdTech world."

Prize: A chance to bag investment upto $1 million USD by pitching the idea to Edtech-focused prolific VC's and Angels at the Leap Edtech Conference in Delhi

Previous winners: None specified


EDUCAUSE Annual Conference 2017 - Philadelphia, PA - October 31, 2017 through November 3, 2017

Description: "Ten Start-Up Alley companies were chosen to participate in the Under the Ed Radar Pitch Competition at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference 2017. Each delivered a seven-minute business pitch focused on their innovative solutions and business models to a diversified panel of judges.


  • Grand Prize

    • $2,500 cash prize
    • One complimentary badge registration to attend an EDUCAUSE event of your choice
    • Advertising in EDUCAUSE Review: Two full pages, one-half page

    Runner-Up Prize

    • One complimentary badge registration to attend an EDUCAUSE event of your choice
    • Advertising in EDUCAUSE Review: One full page, one one-half page

Previous winners: Cytilife, GlyphEd, Komprise, Spycloud 


Description: "Launch celebrates emerging innovations in learning with a fast-paced pitch competition featuring early-stage startups during SXSW EDU."

Prize: The winning startup will be recognized and celebrated at the conference-wide Launch Party. Additionally, the winner will receive a prize package that includes two (2) SXSW 2019 Platinum badges, two (2),  two (2) SXSW EDU 2019 badges and a $2,500 cash stipend. Most importantly, the opportunity to receive invaluable exposure to the SXSW EDU community.

Previous winners: Bloom Board, ELSA, Learning Jar, Clever, RobotsLAB, Speaking Pal, Zaption



Description: "The Student Startup competition brings together Central Texas high school students during the Learning Expo at SXSW EDU to pitch their business idea."

Prize: Finalists will compete in front of a panel of judges and live audience and the winner will take home a cash prize to fuel their startup vision.

Previous winners: Beaut.e, Bru, ConnectMe, FlexVE, Wuhu

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