Sophia Founder to Showcase Free Online Social Teaching and Learning Platform at Education Innovation Summit

Summit to be held April 5-7 in Scottsdale, Arizona

Mar 28, 2011, 11:40 ET from Sophia

MINNEAPOLIS, March 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Don Smithmier, founder of Sophia – a first-of-its-kind online social teaching and learning platform that offers academic content to anyone, anywhere, free of charge – has been selected to present on April 7 at the Education Innovation Summit. The Summit, hosted by Arizona State University and NeXt Advisors, provides merger and advisory and private placement services for companies in the education sector.  The event will take place April 5 – 7, 2011, at SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center.

"We are excited to showcase Sophia, which recently launched publicly and has already attracted interest from more than 255 educational institutions and 116 countries," said Smithmier, founder and CEO of Sophia. "Sophia connects people who want to learn with those willing to teach so that anyone, anywhere can create academically credible content and share it with the world."

Eleven of the 55 companies that presented at the 2010 Education Innovation Summit have since gone on to receive a cumulative $110 million in significant investments, representing nearly half of the total investment in education innovation companies during that time span. Five companies were acquired or merged and 10 announced major partnerships.

Up to 450 invitation-only attendees are expected, including representatives from more than 85 of the world's most innovative education companies and more than 50 investors.

Confirmed speakers for the 2011 Summit include:  Joel Klein of NewsCorp, Chris Whittle of Avenues: The World School, Stacey Childress from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Susan Patrick of iNACOL, Julie Young of Florida Virtual School, Richard Barth of KIPP, Craig Barrett of Intel, Bob Grady State of New Jersey Investment Fund, Steve Arnold of the George Lucas Educational Foundation, and Joel Rose of School of One.

About Sophia

Sophia is a social teaching and learning application that makes free, credible academic content available to anyone at anytime. It is a mission-driven organization that aims to break traditional cost and access barriers to post-secondary degree attainment. For more information, go to

About the Education Innovation Network

The Education Innovation Network launched at Arizona State University last spring to connect needs – such as funding, research or product development – with expertise to more quickly bring new learning solutions to scale.  The Network links companies working to improve education, ASU's intellectual assets, educational K-20 systems in Greater Phoenix, and investors of all types – philanthropic, angel, venture capital and large-scale acquirers.