GSV Cup: Meet the Elite 200

Thea Knobel
GSV Ventures
Published in
3 min readMay 11, 2021


Announcing the Elite 200 semi-finalists for the world’s largest EdTech pitch competition with $1M in prizes!

Actor Matthew McConaughey & CEO of Chegg Dan Rosensweig present a startup award at a previous ASU+GSV Summit confrence.

The GSV Cup is a pitch competition for pre-seed and seed stage startups in the future of digital learning and skills from Pre-K to Gray. This year over 700 companies from across the globe applied! The startups are competing for $1M in cash and credits at the ASU+GSV Summit. We’re excited to announce the Elite 200, a group of global startups that are removing barriers so that all people have equal access to the future.

Judging Framework

More than 150 judges from global venture capital firms and strategic companies including Accel, Bessemer Venture Partners, Iconiq Capital, Lerer Hippeau, Owl Ventures and Reach Capital scored the companies. The judges used the “Five P’s” framework, which GSV uses to evaluate potential investment opportunities. Startups were scored based on 5 categories: People, Product, Potential, Predictability, and Purpose.

Meet the Elite 200

The 2021 Elite 200 represents the most competitive and diverse cohort in the GSV Cup to date with companies innovating across early childhood, K-12, higher education, adult consumer learning, and adult enterprise learning. These startups are creating a future with frictionless learning that the education sector has historically been plagued with, as 1.5B learners join the accelerated $7 trillion digital learning and skills sector.

  • 58% have a founder(s) that identify as female
  • 44% have founder(s) that identify as people of color
  • 39% are headquartered outside of the United States

Going Global

It’s no secret why over 1/3rd of companies from the GSV Cup are headquartered outside of the U.S. Emerging markets have the raw talent of entrepreneurs and a rising middle class with a need for high-quality education. Startups applied from countries across the globe including Kuwait, Germany, Argentina, Nairobi, Singapore, Brazil, Jordan, Sweden, Israel, Dubai, and China. Outside of the U.S., the most startups hailed from India and the United Kingdom.

Connecting at the ASU+GSV Summit

The ASU+GSV Summit connects leading minds focused on transforming society and business around learning and work. In 2020, 15,000 people attended the summit and past speakers include Bill Gates, Gloria Steinem, John Legend, George Bush, Condoleeza Rice, and many more. At the summit, the Elite 200 will have the opportunity to present and network with the world’s top innovators in education and technology including investors, policymakers, educators, founders/CEOs and corporate leaders.

“The financial support and connections from the GSV Cup have allowed us to grow immeasurably, but the respect, pride, and community have allowed us to dream endlessly,” said Kaylan Ray-Mazumder, the CEO & Founder of Premedians, which won a prize as a startup in the Top 3 last year.

The GSV Cup is powered by Google Cloud, HolonIQ, HubSpot for Startups, and GSV Ventures. You can view more details on the full list of Elite 200 startups here. The finalists will be voted on by a live audience at the Summit. You can find out more and register to join the ASU+GSV Summit live in San Diego on August 9th-11th here.



Thea Knobel
GSV Ventures

Vice President of Platform & Marketing at GSV Ventures investing in the globe's top EdTech startups.