It’s been over a year since we took over managing Startup Weekend Education as part of the merger between Techstars and UP Global. In that time, we’ve had the incredible honor of getting to know SWEDU participants and organizers across the country and see first hand the work they are doing to build innovative education ecosystems. It’s with that knowledge that we wanted to announce a change we’re making. Effective today, Startup Weekend Education in the U.S. will be managed by Techstars.
We didn’t come to this decision lightly. We’ve seen the transformative impact Startup Weekend Education can have. But we realized that we needed to take the advice we so often give to entrepreneurs: focus on doing the things you’re best in the world at and trust others to do the same. Startup Weekend Education is an incredible event, but what we’ve heard from our community is that they want support doing things outside of SWEDU. Things like building connected ecosystems that support education entrepreneurs after they complete a SWEDU. And that’s why we’re making this change. SWEDU organizers and participants who are interested in building their local ecosystems will have the opportunity to join 4.0’s Community Catalyst program, which gives participants coaching on how to build education ecosystems and access to a network of community builders all across the United States. If you’re interested in learning more about the transition, join us for a webinar on October 18, at 4:00 PM Central Time.
We’ll be working with Techstars in the short term to make sure the transition goes smoothly. Our 4.0 Team led by Malliron Hodge will be in regular contact with the Techstars team to support organizers with SWEDUs already in the works. We’ll also be working with Techstars on an ongoing basis to identify and connect with SWEDU and Startup Weekend participants with education ideas who are not yet ready for Techstars later stage programs and could benefit from 4.0’s Essentials and Tiny Fellowship. To demonstrate our commitment to these teams, we’re providing up to 75k in scholarships to ensure participants can attend these programs to continue working on their ideas.
Moving forward, SWEDU participants will have greater access to the extensive Techstars global ecosystem made up of tens of thousands of community leaders, founders, mentors, investors, and corporate partners. Startup Weekend EDU will be part of Techstars’ Startup Programs team, who will service and support organizers, helping them to grow ticket sales, find mentors and judges, and connect organizers with local educators in their communities. You can find upcoming Startup Weekend EDU events at http://startupweekend.org/interests/EDU
We know this is a big change, but we believe that our best contribution to this work is supporting individuals who are building education ecosystems. If you have questions about the transition, we hope you’ll join us for the upcoming webinar. As we move forward, we’ll continue our focus on building programs and tools that ensure that any person with an idea for the #futureofschool has a home. That’s our commitment to you and we’re excited to make it a reality.
4.0 is a community of people working together to make this future of school better for all kids. If you take us up on the challenge, you won’t be alone.