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The Dallas Entrepreneur Center, 311 N Market St, Dallas, TX 75202

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Have you ever had an idea for improving education? Here’s your opportunity to transform your ideas into action in 54 hours.

Find the right people with complementary skills & the passion to build an education product in one weekend. Design for learning, conduct user tests, receive coaching from experienced education designers & industry professionals, and win prizes that will help take your idea to the next level!

Friday night: 60-second pitches that result in the formation of small teams around the best, most viable education concepts.  Educators validate ideas, then all attendees vote.  We hope you’ll pitch, but definitely not required!

Saturday and Sunday: Work days! Teams focus on user research, customer development, validating their ideas and building prototypes with the help of experienced coaches from the education and entrepreneurial world.  You’re welcome to stay and work as long as the venue will allow!

Sunday evening: Teams demo their education products and receive valuable feedback from a panel of expert judges.  Winning teams take home a grab bag of great tools to help launch their company!

Here’s some examples of startups that have come out of Startup Weekend EDU:

+ ImagiLabs’s Challenge Box: Educational adventure games for kids age 8-12

+ Qeyno: Career exploration game that guides students through STEM career options

+ Kidfit Academy: Interactive and fun physical & health education curriculum

Attendance includes:

+ Delicious & healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner for the whole weekend

+ Eligibility to participate in Microsoft BizSpark

+ $2,000 of credit on Google App Engine

+ $100 of AWS credit for hosting

+ 50 free business cards

+ Event t-shirt

+ Awesome coaching by education startup industry leaders

NōD  Coworking pass – one free 1-day passes to all SW EDU participants and two week passes to the 1st-3rd place teams. 

+ A network of 120 new developer, designer & entrepreneur friends that are also excited about improving education

All of the pitches on Friday and companies demoed on Sunday will be educator approved and designed to solve problems in the education space, broadly defined (not restricted to K-12 or other “formal” education).

We hope you’ll join us!



Nov 21
  • Registration Starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Nov 22
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Nov 23
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Community Partners

Matthew Randazzo


Ben Mackey

Principal, Dallas ISD School for the Talented and Gifted

Ben Mackey was born and raised in Orlando, Florida, and earned bachelor’s degrees in finance and history from the University of Florida. Ben earned his teaching certification through Teach For America and taught mathematics at West Bolivar High School in Rosedale, MS, where he served as the math department chair. During his tenure, he grew the district’s Algebra I state test scores by over 25%, founded the first successful AP Calculus program in district history, and was awarded distinction as West Bolivar’s Teacher of the Year in 2012. Ben was a regional winner and national nominee for the Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teaching Award and earned Teacher of the Year distinction from the Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce. Ben earned his master’s degree in school leadership from Harvard University in 2013 and served as the School Director for West Bolivar’s summer school program before moving to Dallas to begin serving as the principal of the TAG Magnet high school at Townview. In his first year as principal, Ben oversaw TAG Magnet’s overall AP passing rate increase from 73% to 78.6% and TAG be ranked as the #1 public high school in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

Dave Saba

President and Director, Sibling Group Holdings

Dave Saba has worked tirelessly over the last fourteen years to improve educational outcomes for students through improved programs, processes and technology. He currently serves as President and Director of Sibling Group Holdings. Sibling’s mission is to discover, develop and deliver resources to expand and improve lifelong learning opportunities and achievement. Sibling is actively acquiring and growing companies with high quality products in the education sector.

Dave previously served as Chief Operating Officer for the National Math + Science Initiative focused on transforming teaching in America’s schools. Dave also previously served as Chief Executive Officer of the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) which was created to help more career changers move into education. Before joining ABCTE, Dave served as the Mid Atlantic Regional Director for Kaplan Test Prep.

Dave is a Naval Academy graduate who served as a helicopter pilot in the Navy for 8 years and was awarded both the Battle E and Navy Achievement Medals. He completed his master’s degree in Engineering Management from the University of South Florida. He lives in Texas with his wife and serves on the nPower regional board to assist Veterans in their transition into civilian careers. Their two daughters work in education and non-profits as well.

Quia Querisma

Founder, The Tomorrow Techies

Quia Querisma is the founder of The Tomorrow Techies, a startup dedicated to teaching children in grades 6 – 12 the fundamentals of coding and media technology. She decided to launch the company after volunteering as the PR/social media lead for a non-profit coding workshop in Dallas. The event was a success but it left the community in search of the next learning opportunity for their children. Channeling the resources acquired during her decade-long digital marketing and publishing career, Quia tapped her network of tech professionals and formed a curriculum that would introduce students to the fundamentals of coding and digital publishing. The Tomorrow Techies partnered with Richland College for its inaugural season, offering workshops at a price point that is accessible for the whole community.

Prior to launching The Tomorrow Techies, Quia participated in many activities to broaden her involvement within the tech and creative community. She volunteered at major festivals and academic panels focused on careers or education in creative writing, journalism and digital marketing. She was also a speaker at the 2014 Women In Travel Summit, where her blog monetization workshop was one of the most popular sessions.

Quia has worked for several global corporations including Expedia, Inc., Bombardier, and McAfee. Currently, she is the Manager, College Web Communications at North Lake College. She is also a regular contributor for the Huffington Post where she writes about travel and other lifestyle topics. While she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Southern Methodist University, Quia is self-taught in all things tech.

Ryan Joy

Microsoft Developer Evangelist   |  

Ryan Joy has been developing for web and desktop user experiences using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript frontend technologies for more than 14 years. These days he’s a Startup Evangelist @ Microsoft promoting those same technologies to other developers and startups. Ryan has worked with more than a few backend technologies and frameworks. In addition he is active in the local Austin web tech communities both as organizer (Refresh Austin and the Austin Web Design Meetup) and as frequent attendee. He's an avid photographer and a decent cook. You can usually find him in Austin, TX.

Sheryl Campbell

Creative Design & Consulting, Studio C

Sheryl Campbell is a creative, branding and marketing communications professional with over 20 years of experience in NYC and Texas. Education clients have been her focus for the last 8 years, developing online, print, transit and branding solutions. As a creative director for Academic Partnerships in Dallas, Sheryl managed a team of designers, writers, and front end developers to create a proprietary LMS as well as online/print marketing for 25 universities. Currently, as lead creative for her company, Studio C, Sheryl consults with 6 unique education startups as well as clients in financial and entertainment industries. Her tennis game is improving and she is trying to kick her CandyCrush habit.

Byron Sanders

Executive Director, Dallas Education Foundation

Byron Sanders is the Executive Director of the Dallas Education Foundation, a non-profit charitable and educational organization that benefits Dallas Independent School District. Founded in 2006, the Foundation’s goal is to rally philanthropic, corporate, and community support for initiatives and programs benefitting the students of the 2nd largest public school district in Texas. Since joining the Foundation in 2012, Sanders has led his board through a strategic restructuring that brought new vitality to its efforts. For the first time in its history, the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees approved an affiliation agreement ordaining the Dallas Education Foundation as the primary fundraising entity for Dallas ISD. In its new iteration, with a revitalized board, and a focused strategic alignment with district priorities, Sanders’ efforts helped usher in a new era for the Foundation, positioning it as the channel through which “champions for education” can engage the most important initiatives for Dallas ISD students.

Previously, Sanders served as Vice President of Group Excellence, a mentoring and tutoring organization that engaged the energy and passion of college students and young professionals that’s helped more than 50,000 youth from at-risk environments unlock their academic potential since 2004. With the help of Sanders’s leadership, Group Excellence was recently named the country’s #5 fastest growing education company in Inc. Magazine's Inc. 500 List.

Sanders served as Chair of the Young Leaders in Education, an education service and fundraising organization affiliated with the Southern Methodist University Simmons School of Education. A member of the Dallas Assembly, a Leadership Dallas ’13 alum, Leadership DISD, the Alumni Mayor Star Council, and Greenhill Alumni Board, and several other service organizations, Sanders is a relentless advocate for education in his community. Recently, he was also recognized in both the Dallas Business Journal’s 2012 Top Forty Under 40 and Minority Business Leaders 2014 list. He graduated with a BSBA in Marketing from the University of Tulsa and his greatest joy is spending time with his family, a wife and two young children.

Binu Thayamkery

Co-Founder, Nepris   |   LinkedIn

Binu Thayamkery is a seasoned technologist who is passionate about ed-tech, entrepreneurship and agile/lean practices. Prior to co-founding Nepris, he held software architecture and management positions at several medium to large enterprises. A believer of life long learning, and Agile/Lean way of building software products, he has a proven track record of building high performance software development teams. Binu has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science & Engineering from India and a Masters in Computer Science from Colorado State University.

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