SXSWedu® Reveals Latest Additions to 2016 Program

Third keynote, Launch competition finalists, Film lineup and more announced

Jan 13, 2016, 12:00 ET from SXSWedu

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- SXSWedu® revealed a new swath of programming in the lead up to the 2016 Conference & Festival featuring the third keynote, Launch startup finalists, the complete Film lineup of educational documentaries and narratives to be screened at this year's event, along with additional conference sessions.

Joining previously announced keynote speakers Temple Grandin (Colorado State University) and Jane McGonigal (Institute for the Future), Ayah Bdeir, Founder and CEO of littleBits, will deliver a keynote address at the sixth annual conference and festival. Bdeir is one of the leaders of the maker education and open source hardware movements. Her work with littleBits and beyond focuses on using and advancing open source hardware to make innovative education a possibility for everyone around the world. 

"Ayah's work epitomizes the creative energy that is integral to SXSWedu," said Greg Rosenbaum, SXSWedu Producer. "By celebrating invention and supporting access to innovative tools, Ayah highlights the importance of igniting the creative spark in all learners around the world. We're very much looking forward to having her join us for a conversation on the future of the maker education movement."

In addition to new programming arrivals, the SXSWedu Launch program returns with a new selection of education companies. The program focuses on early stage education startups working to enhance teaching and learning, and gives them a chance to compete in front of a panel of judges and a live audience. Past winners include Zaption (2015), RobotsLAB (2014), Clever (2013), and BloomBoard (2012). This year's finalists are: (Silver Spring, MD)
Alchemie (Ann Arbor, MI)
ELSA (San Francisco, CA)
Expii, Inc. (Pittsburgh, PA)
Listen Current (Chestnut Hill, MA)
Paragon One (New York, NY)
Parachute Teachers (Jamaica Plain, MA)
Smart Coos (New Orleans, LA)
Territorium (Guadalupe, MEXICO)
Words Liive (Washington DC)

The 2016 competition, emceed by Guy Kawasaki (Canva) will include two rounds of pitching and judging, as well as preparation and mentoring with industry leaders. The judging panels draw insight from business, investment and the classroom and include Juan Cabrera (El Paso ISD), Sam Chaudhary (ClassDojo), Brian Dixon (Kapor Capital), Jose Luis Vilson (New York Public Schools), Sehreen NoorAli (Noodle Education) and Stephen Laster (McGraw Hill Education).  More judges will be announced in the coming weeks.

Additional announcements highlight new featured speakers Tim King (Urban Prep Academies), Steve Mesler (Classroom Champions) and Sakena Yacoobi (Afghan Institute of Learning), as well as the complete selection of Playground displays, and the full Film program lineup, including "A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story," "He Named Me Malala," and "Salam Neighbor."

For a complete listing of announced programming and events for SXSWedu 2016, please visit

About SXSWedu

The SXSWedu Conference & Festival fosters innovation in learning by hosting a diverse and energetic community of stakeholders across a variety of backgrounds in education. The four-day event affords registrants open access to engaging sessions, interactive workshops, hands-on learning experiences, film screenings, early-stage startups and a host of networking opportunities. By providing a platform for collaboration, SXSWedu works to promote creativity and social change.

SXSWedu is a component of the South by Southwest® family of conferences and festivals that includes SXSW® Music, Film and Interactive; SXSW Eco® and SXSW V2V®. Internationally recognized as the convergence gathering for the creative arts, SXSWedu extends SXSW's support for the art of engagement beyond musicians, filmmakers and new media innovators to include society's true rock stars: educators.

Join the passionate and innovative community at SXSWedu, March 7-10, 2016 in Austin, Texas. For more information, please visit

Press Credentials: If you are a member of the press and interested in attending, media accreditation for SXSWedu 2016 is now open. Please visit for more information.


Julia Shatilo
SXSWedu Press & Publicity