Business Plan Competition uncovering edtech innovation

EduGrowth’s annual LaunchPad Business Start business plan competition is designed to drive innovation within the Education Technology and Innovation sector.

Applicants are asked to submit ‘Business Plans’ which need:

  • to be innovative;
  • to address the education sector;
  • to clearly articulate the impact;
  • to demonstrate the effectiveness of the business idea; and
  • to prove a clear understanding of the market.

In 2018, three key themes emerged from the submissions.

Innovators across the country were focused on a few really critical problems, and the submissions identified broad and varied approaches to tackle them. The themes were:

  • Bridging the gap between formal education and employment. Particularly, giving students the experience necessary to operate effectively in a working environment.
  • The need to make STEM education more engaging to develop a generation of critical and creative thinkers.
  • Making data more accessible to educators to improve their productivity and better implement interventions.

It’s great to see our 2018 finalists continue to progress their edtechs 12 months on; their submissions and innovations for the sector are exceptional and we wish them continued success on their edtech pathway.

The business idea of Research Screener is a web application that applies machine learning techniques (natural language processing) to semi-automate research article screening. It works by users uploading titles and abstracts of research articles from existing library databases to the web app, then manually screening a portion of these articles (e.g. 100). The web app actively learns what articles are, or, are not, relevant to the research based on the users screening. The Web app then screens the title and abstracts of 2,000 – 100,000 articles in minutes rather than researchers spending months, and identifies those articles that are deemed relevant or irrelevant. 

2018 Runner-Up


The business idea behind Headset is a software that manages the marking and feedback process in a new way. The submission highlighted that although marking and feedback is a critical component of teaching and learning and student engagement, it remains an incredibly manual process. The innovative business solution is a software that offers teachers new automated tools, based around what is described as “relative feedback”, which uses software to compare the student to the class, to previous students, and to the students previous submissions.

2018 Finalist

Happy Brain

The business idea behind Happy Brain is an application that facilitates a peer-mentoring program for young migrant students. The submission highlighted the program, The Learning Mentors Program, can rapidly help students catch-up and start thriving at school.

Some students are left behind in relation to literacy and numeracy education, once they fall behind, they may never recover. This is especially true for new Australians who have come as refugees, who face hardship at home or who experienced illness that prevented them from focusing on school. Peer mentoring is a supportive, safe, one-on-one space in which students who are struggling with literacy and numeracy can quickly catch up, safely ask questions, experiment with the content and develop friends.

The application is anticipated to undertake and automate the administration work required for running the program, which will then enable the program format to be scaled.

2018 Finalist


The business idea behind Arludo is an off-the-shelf digital tool to excite and engage students in science in the classroom. It is a mobile game that encourages students to work together like scientists and helps teachers become science experts. It recognises the current shortage of science teachers and the importance of soft-skills development in students.

The submission highlighted the shortage of science specific teachers and that teachers are struggling with rapidly changing technologies. It also recognised that future jobs require soft-skills such as critical reasoning, problem solving, collaborative ability, and basic digital fluency. Teachers are able to use Arludo games in the classroom to allow students to work together to intuitively collect data. Data can then be visualised in real time on a dashboard and teachers can discuss the results with students. It is the focus on cooperative data collection, and data visualisation and literacy in a scientific context that make Arludo unique.

2018 Finalist


The business idea behind DEXTO is an application aimed to boost the employability of students from underrepresented demographics. It provides tailored employability advice that assists students in understanding their own potential, enabling career unfoldment and proactivity. The submission highlighted that students from underrepresented demographics are 25% less likely to secure employment after graduation. Specifically, students first in their family to attend university do not have the same access to networks and advice as their peers and struggled to identify career options. The DEXTO application assesses a students attributes, based on a series of tests, and compares the results with multiple relevant professionals with similar backgrounds and life experience working in a range of industries and roles. This helps students to overcome personal and perceived societal limitations when pursuing a career. In addition, the application offers real-time data and strategies to help secure a job.

The 2019 business plan competition opens on 9 September 2019, is open to any student, alumni or faculty of an Australian University or Higher Education provider and the winner will receive a cash grant of $5,000.

For more information including criteria, important dates and to download the submission template, please visit