SXSWedu relies on the expertise of a handpicked group of judges and emcees who, based on their demonstrated business and investment experience, are qualified to help determine the viability of a startup. These experts play a key role in the event and help guide the exciting LAUNCHedu education startup competition at SXSWedu, March 3-6, 2014 in Austin, Texas.
North Shore Schools
An educator, director, speaker, writer and musician, Mike has been a public secondary school teacher for 15 years. He currently teaches English and Mass Communications, and serves as Artistic Director for North Shore HS Theatre in Glen Head, NY.
Mike has hang glided in Brazil, bungee jumped in New Zealand, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and run the NYC Marathon.
He is a published songwriter and blogs about innovation in teaching, art, politics and culture at Teachernomics.com.
Director of Education Entrepreneurs,
Mandela Schumacher-Hodge has dedicated her professional life to improving both the educational outcomes of students as well as the professional opportunities for educators. Beginning her career in 2008 as a Teach for America corps member in South Central Los Angeles, Mandela was quickly promoted as Lead Teacher in her second teaching position. After obtaining a Masters Degree in Education Administration and Policy, Mandela was admitted into one of the nation's top Ph.D. education programs at UCLA. In 2011, Mandela and her co-founder won first place at Startup Weekend Education for an EdTech solution that would later become Tioki, "The LinkedIn for Educators.”
In 2013, Mandela was named Director of Education Entrepreneurs, which has now become the largest grassroots initiative dedicated to fostering education entrepreneurship around the world. Spanning 44 cities, 16 countries and 6 continents, Education Entrepreneurs and its unique programming gives people an unprecedented opportunity to play a role in shaping the future of education.
The LAUNCHedu Lightning Round and Showdown judging panels, comprised of education practitioners, successful entrepreneurs and investors, will contribute their unique experience and expertise to the 2015 competition.
Professor of Innovation,
The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business
Bob Metcalfe serves as a Professor of Innovation and Murchison Fellow of Free Enterprise at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. A graduate of both MIT and Harvard, Bob invented Ethernet in 1973 and founded 3Com, which is now a part of HP, in 1979. He has been honored with numerous awards including the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal in 1988, the National Medal of Technology in 2005 and the Fellow Award from the Computer History Museum in 2008. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2007 and has been a partner of Polaris Venture Partners.
Cofounder & Chief Product Officer,
As a science teacher turned tech director in Denver, Dan saw first-hand how data obstacles were quickly becoming the biggest barriers to innovation in education. When leading Clever's product team, Dan draws on the experiences and relationships he formed at STRIVE Prep and as a Teach for America Corps Member. Dan was named a 2014 Forbes "30 Under 30" in Education, gave the winning presentation in the 2013 LaunchEDU competition, and spends his free time rock climbing and drinking craft beer (in that order) in San Francisco.
Chief Executive Officer,
John “Jack” J. Lynch Jr. has over 20 years of management experience in the software and information industry and is highly respected in the field of education technology. He was the founding CEO of bigchalk.com where he created an education network serving 40,000 schools. He later was president and CEO of the Pearson Technology Group. Most recently, he was on the executive board of Wolters Kluwer, a global leader in professional information services. He holds a bachelor of arts from Boston University.
Ulrik Juul Christensen
Digital Learning Senior Fellow,
Ulrik Juul Christensen joined McGraw-Hill Education as Senior Fellow, Digital Learning, in February 2014. Dr. Christensen is a key member of the McGraw-Hill Education team striving to reimagine learning through adaptive and personalized learning. Dr. Christensen has given numerous keynote lectures worldwide and is recognized as an expert in learning technology, having pioneered advancements in adaptive learning, data-driven content development, computer simulation, and debriefing technologies. He founded his first company, Sophus Medical, in 1997, while still in medical school. The company created intelligent simulation solutions to assist in the development of medical education curricula, particularly in the fields of nursing and emergency medicine. Sophus Medical was acquired by Laerdal in 2002 and its technologies are still central to Laerdal Medical's dominant role in emergency medicine and nursing education. After serving as part of the Laerdal management team, Dr. Christensen co-founded Area9 in 2006, which was at the helm of redefining the standards of adaptive and personalized learning.
Digital Learning Coordinator,
Academy for Urban School Leadership
Jennie Magiera is the Digital Learning Coordinator for the Academy for Urban School Leadership, a network of 32 Chicago Public Schools, and previously taught math to 4th and 5th graders. A White House Champion for Change, Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Certified Teacher and CPS’ 2012 Tech Innovator of the Year, Jennie has been working to redefine education through effective technology use. She explores how to leverage 1:1 devices such as Chromebooks and iPads to increase student collaboration, self-efficacy and creativity. Jennie is also passionate about transforming professional learning, co-founding PLAYDATE and other new conference concepts. Aside from her students, Jennie's great loves in life are sci fi, mashed potatoes, Tabasco sauce, her dog and her husband. You can follow Jennie on Twitter at @MsMagiera or through her blog TeachingLikeIt’s2999.
Chief Executive Officer,
New Schools Venture Fund
Stacey Childress is the CEO at NewSchools Venture Fund, a nonprofit philanthropic firm working to transform public education for low-income children. Previously, Childress led the K-12 Next Generation Learning team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, investing in schools and technologies that support personalized learning for middle and high school students in the United States. Prior to joining the foundation, Childress was on the faculty of the Harvard Business School where she wrote and taught about entrepreneurial activity in public education, focusing on urban school districts, charter schools and non- and for-profit enterprises with missions to improve the public system. Also a former high school teacher, Childress is a graduate of Baylor University and Harvard Business School. In 2012, she was named one of Forbes Magazine’s Impact 15, a group of innovators revolutionizing education in the United States and around the world.