MEDIA ADVISORY: U.Va. Hosts First Charlottesville Education Startup Weekend

The University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education is sponsoring the Charlottesville Education Startup Weekend Friday, April 5, through Sunday, April 7. Media are invited to cover the event, the first that is focused on technology in education.

This weekend, entrepreneurs and visionaries will assemble with developers, designers, marketers, product managers and business experts to carry their ideas for improving education through technology from infancy to a startup in just 54-hours. Attendees begin with open-mic pitches to share their business ideas and afterwards vote on the high-potential ideas. Participants then form into teams and work with coaches to learn and implement the necessary components of launching a startup and bring the top ideas to life.

At the end of the weekend, a panel of judges will view the final presentations as teams demonstrate their prototypes and allocate awards while providing valuable feedback. This is Charlottesville’s third startup weekend, but the first that is focused on technology in education.

Speakers for the weekend include Charlottesville residents, Marsha Gartland, CEO of CaseNEX, and Peter Bencivenga, president and COO of CaseNEX. Jim Cheng, Secretary of Commerce and Trade for the commonwealth of Virginia, and Nick Schiavi from North American Higher Education, Blackboard, Inc., will serve as judges for final presentations. The schedule of events is available online, but the media are invited specifically from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 7.

“The Curry School of Education is thrilled to host and sponsor Startup Weekend,” said Justin Thompson, director of innovations and outreach at the Curry School. “We believe the answers to today’s most pressing challenges will be found in innovation, creativity, research and scholarship. Participants in this weekend’s activities – whether coaches, organizers, speakers, designers, educators, entrepreneurs or investors – enrich the education innovation ecosystem that is growing in and around our community.”


REPORTERS: Justin Thompson can be reached at 434-326-2156 or

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