SEED – Supporting Entrepreneurs in Education – 3.0 is coming October 16, 2013

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SEED (Supporting Entrepreneurship in Education) 3.0 is a crowd-funded and -sourced opportunity for education entrepreneurs and teachers to compete for cash prizes and, even more importantly, present their ideas before an engaged audience of potential funders, users, collaborators, and community members.

SEED 3.0 is modeled off the internationally popular Sunday Soup program, a micro-granting program where attendees pay on a sliding scale (usually $10-20) for a locally sourced dinner during which they hear brief presentations from members of the creative community.  The attendees then vote on their choices for first, second, and third prize.  Once the votes are tallied, the winning groups take home monetary prizes of varying sizes (e.g., $400 for first, $200 for second, $100 for third) funded by the attendance charge.

SEED 3.0 takes the premise of Sunday Soup and tweaks it: the presentations focus solely on education entrepreneurship in the Philadelphia area.  Following a meet and mingle period, during which presenters will be available to answer attendee questions on their concepts, presenters will be given three minutes each to “pitch” their idea to the entire audience.  After each pitch, an esteemed panel of judges has five minutes to ask questions, critique business plans, and make suggestions.  After all the pitches and Q&A, the audience then votes for a winner.

To generate a significant monetary prize (targeted at $5,000 for first place and $2,500 for second place), attendees will be asked to pay a $25 entrance fee and sponsorships from corporate partners will be solicited.  A large portion of this year’s monetary prize comes from a StartUp PHL grant awarded to PhillyCORE Leaders. Other sponsors include PECO, Oxford Mills, and the Philadelphia School Partnership.


The first SEED in March 2012 had over 40 applicants, which were narrowed down to 12 finalists – 6 in an “Emerging” Entrepreneurs category and 6 in an “Expanding/Established” Entrepreneurs category.  The winner of the “Emerging” Entrepreneurs category – PhilaSoup – won $5,000, which it is used to apply for non-profit status and to extend its outreach.  The winner of the “Expanding/Established” Entrepreneurs category – Springboard Collaborative – won a bundle of pro-bono services (legal, accounting, etc.) and sit-downs with several foundation heads in the region.

The second SEED event, called SEED 2.0, was held in October 2012, and the theme was “technology in the classroom.”  We attracted over 20 “ed tech” applicants, which were narrowed down to 5 finalists.  The winner, Teachers Lead Philly, used the $5,000 to create an online portal that would supplement its off-line teacher networking and collaboration events.  Each SEED event had on average 150 attendees and each raised about $9,000, including $5,000 from ticket sales and $4,000 from corporate sponsorships.

This year, there will be two categories for this year’s SEED event.  The first category will be for education entrepreneurs (either non-profit or for-profit) and the second category will be specifically for teachers who are focused on bringing innovation and leadership to their school but are committed to remaining in the classroom as teacher.

WHEN/Where? Wednesday, October 16th from 6 to 8:30 p.m.  at City Hall

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