The University of Virginia is helping education innovators take action on their ideas. Groups spent 54 hours developing plans to impact education during a startup weekend.
The event was sponsored by University of Virginia's Curry School of Education - but it wasn't just students that came out for the startup. The innovators represented a wide range of age groups and educational backgrounds, but the goal for all of them was to find ways to improve education.
Sunday night each group presented its ideas to a panel of judges which selected the top three groups to receive prizes. Instead of giving the startup groups money, judges presented them with the tools needed to get their innovation going.
"So what does a startup need? A startup needs legal advice. It needs accounting advice. Should it be a LLC or a C corp? It needs to know how to raise funds," Letitia Greene, event organizer, said.
"More than like your actual product it was just learning the process, like what are investors looking for, or what are business people looking for, what components do you need to make a product viable," said Tricia Walker, whose group won first place.
The winning group's startup - called Spedport - is an electronic portfolio meant to track special education student's work progress throughout their entire time in school. Walker says because special education children have specialized education plans rather than a one-size-fits all classroom style, it's important to make sure they are learning everything and not repeating in certain areas.