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Education / Pitches / Venture capital

DC edtech startup Words Liive is in the running for a $1M pitch competition

The music-based literacy education company was chosen from among 700 applicants to compete in the GSV Cup, described as the "world’s largest pitch competition for 'Pre-K to Gray' early stage edtech startups.

Sage Salvo is an economist, poet and educator. (Photo by Flickr user TEDxMidAtlantic, used under a Creative Commons license)

Five years after launching its music-based literacy product, Sage Salvo’s Words Liive is a semifinalist in a Google Cloud-sponsored pitch competition, with a $1 million potential prize up for grabs.

D.C. edtech startup Words Liive is a semifinalist in the GSV Cup, a leading pre-seed and seed competition for education startups. Words Liive, which allows teachers to anchor lessons around popular songs, is one of this year’s Elite 200, chosen from over 700 startups focusing on education technology. The prize consists of $550,000 in non-dilutive capital and $450,000 in Google Cloud credits, which would be put towards Words Liive’s Opus product. 

Given the huge shift towards remote learning over the past year, Salvo said he appreciates the opportunity to share an alternative solution for literacy.

“We’re at a critical inflection point in public education, with remote learning ready to be normalized, but social skills and critical thinking skills in dire need of progression,” Salvo said.

The cup, in its second year, is described as the world’s largest pitch competition for “Pre-K to Gray” early stage edtech startups. Words Liive was selected to participate based on evaluations from 152 judges of venture capital and education companies including Accel, Alexa Fund, Brand Capital International, Epic Ventures, Founders Circle Capital, Owl Ventures and Reach Capital. Alongside Google Cloud, HubSpot for Startups, Holon  IQ and GSV Ventures are all partners in the competition. 

“As the world moves from Before Coronavirus (B.C.) to After Disease (A.D.), we are seeing a surge of innovation in edtechthe dawn of the age of digital learningdriven by entrepreneurs on a mission to improve lives through education,” said Deborah Quazzo, managing partner of GSV Ventures, in a statement. “These ‘weapons of mass instruction’ have the power to transform teaching and learning.”

The 200 semifinalists will compete at the Arizona State University (ASU)+GSV Summit on August 9-11, both virtually and in-person in San Diego. Live audience voting will determine the finalists.

See the full Elite 200 list
Companies: Words LIIVE
People: Sage Salvo

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