At the 38th National Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC), 11 of the best-of-the-best startups nominated by industry accelerators competed in the 2018 FETC PitchFest, an event where a panel of expert judges evaluated the hottest tools and resources coming to the EdTech market. After two days of competition, Weird Enough Productions, a Georgia-based company combining education on media literacy with original content to provide a full-service solution to media misrepresentation, was named the winner. Weird Enough Productions was represented in the PitchFest by CEO Tony Weaver, Jr., a 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 awardee. As a reward, the company was extended a private meeting to present their product to the highest district-level academic and technology leaders plus a complimentary booth space for FETC 2019.
“This year’s FETC PitchFest was a wonderful competition between 11 of the most interesting and innovative start-ups I’ve seen in a long time,” said Rebecca McKenna, VP of Global Events for LRP Conferences. “We were impressed by each of the presentations but, when each group had its say, there was agreement that Weird Enough Productions stood apart. We would like to congratulate Tony and the Weird Enough Productions team on their victory, we look forward to seeing them again in the 2019 FETC Expo Hall, and we’d like to invite all innovative EdTech companies to join us next January in Orlando.”
At FETC, Weird Enough Productions introduced its new learning tool, Get Media L.I.T., which uses superheroes and comic books to teach students how to combat fake news. Get Media L.I.T. teaches students how to recognize media bias, identify reliable sources, and create media of their own to uplift their communities while also improving literacy rates, classroom engagement, and standardized test scores.
“I’m glad that we were able to bring media literacy to the forefront of educators’ minds. In the age of fake news, students need a way to healthily engage with media content,” said Weaver. “Everything that we’re teaching students about coding and technology will be for naught if we do not first equip them to deconstruct the media images they’re bombarded with daily. I was humbled by the opportunity to participate in the competition and even more grateful for the chance to share an issue I’m passionate about with education industry leaders.”
Arc Capital Development and FETC partnered to present the PitchFest with the goal of identifying and showcasing the next generation of innovators, allowing these startups to share their cutting-edge products and services with a community of more than 10,000 professionals representing districts, schools, and classrooms. Weird Enough Productions and the other 10 competitors―3DBear, 5 More Minutes Ltd, Agents of Discovery, CAPIT Learning, CatchOn, E4Effort, FuzePlay, Orange Neurosciences, TippyTalk, and Wibbu―represented the best-of-the-best startups nominated by industry accelerators.
“Arc Capital Development truly enjoyed our partnership with FETC to present the 2018 Pitchfest competition and highlight such innovative EdTech companies,” said Rita Ferrandino and Kevin Custer, Founding Principals of Arc Capital Development. “One thing we can say for sure after having observed two days of presentations: These companies certainly did represent the best-of-the-best in education startups, and we are excited to see the next steps each takes from here. We’d like to offer our congratulations to Weird Enough Productions on being named the winner, and we look forward to seeing what innovations are presented during next year’s competition.”
Exhibit space is now available for FETC’s 39th annual event, to take place January 27 – 30, 2019, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. The 2019 Expo Hall will expand in size, enabling even more exhibitors to participate. The 2019 FETC Expo will once again feature the FETC PitchFest competition and the Startup Pavilion, a designated area to learn about the newest companies emerging in the EdTech marketplace. To learn more about exhibiting opportunities and reserve your spot, visit fetc.org/exhibit.