Launch Pad

Launch Pad logo


improving the success of today’s edtech startups
& tomorrow’s learning environments


Info and Eligibility


Please make plans to join us for the Teacher Tank session on Thursday, April 23 at 9:40am in Lone Star C3!

We are pleased to announce that the
2015 Launch Pad Selected Participants are:


7 Generation Games DropThought GoReact
Junction Education Matific notebowl
SmashFact YellowDig Zaption




Welcome to the 3rd Annual Launch Pad!

Showcase your startup at this year’s OLC and MERLOT Emerging Technologies for Online Learning Symposium (#et4online) to network with other early-stage companies and gain access to your potential future customers in online higher ed!

The Launch Pad is a dedicated space at ET4Online for a select number of new educational technology companies who apply. If you have an EdTech company you’ve launched in order to solve problems faced by today’s higher ed online educators, apply to be considered for the 2015 Launch Pad.

Companies involved infuse the conference with the energy of educational technology entrepreneurs, creating a more robust ecosystem for innovation and heightened opportunities for learning and reflection. Each startup selected will have a table-top booth in the main exhibit hall, where entrepreneurs can have conversations with practitioners.

Registered conference attendees should plan to attend some of the fabulous concurrent sessions and workshops, visit the exhibition hall to learn more about the products changing the online teaching landscape, and sit down with the entrepreneurs at the Launch Pad to get a glimpse of what tomorrow’s online learning spaces will look like.

We invite you to join us for a special session at the conference focused on innovation in online learning: 

"Teacher Tank" is a special version of the popular TV show, Shark Tank.  This is a one-of-a-kind, high energy opportunity where entrepreneurs will present their start-ups to three rock star educators who will ask questions and provide honest, meaningful dialog and feedback. Winner will  receive:

  1. An award at their booth, "2015 Winner of Teacher Tank";
  2. One (1) complimentary ET4Online individual attendee registration for 2016 event;
  3. An indicator next to their company name or logo on the Launch Pad webpage afterward, indicating “2015 Winner of Teacher Tank".


Donna Murdoch, @donnamurdoch
Chair, Launch Pad Sub-Committee

Teach Tank
The "Sharks" for Teacher Tank will include:

Tanya JoostenTanya Joosten,
Director of eLearning Research and Development at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM)
Bonnie StewartBonnie Stewart,
Educator and Social Media Researcher, University of Prince Edward Island
George SiemansGeorge Siemens,
Executive Director of the LINK Research Lab at University of Texas, Arlington

"The Launch Pad has a great vibe. It's an excellent way to connect with other startups, qualified leads, industry experts, and investors."

Lida Hasbrouck, Ginkgotree
2013 Launch Pad Participant

Meet the "Sharks"

Tanya Joosten

Tanya Joosten is the Director of eLearning Research and Development at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) where almost 3000 instructors (faculty, academic staff, and TA's) are supported in their use of digital technologies to facilitate teaching and learning. UWM offers over 40 online and blended degree programs to its app. 30,000 students.
Tanya is active in blended and online learning where she has taught online and blended classes for over a decade, co-chairs the UWM Online Program Council (OPC), is the campus liaison for online and blended programming, is a mentor for the OLC certificate in online teaching, and was the 2013 chair of the OLC  Blended conference (#blend13) in Milwaukee (http:/

Bonnie StewartBonnie Stewart is an educator and social media researcher fascinated by who we are when we're online. A longtime teacher and writer on open online education possibilities, Bonnie has spent the last 15 years exploring the intersections of knowledge and technologies. She's taught online and in hybrid higher ed contexts since 1999, and has worked with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) since their early days in Canadian experimental education circles. Published in, The Guardian UK, and Inside Higher Ed as well as academic venues, Bonnie explores social media literacies, networked identities, academic influence, and the implications of 'open' for higher education in her research.

From the same Prince Edward Island red dirt as Anne of Green Gables, Bonnie has lived and taught on all three coasts of Canada and around the world. She coordinates an adult education B.Ed program and teaches technologies, literacies, communications, and educational foundations at the University of Prince Edward Island.
George Siemens

In addition to writing self-flattering bios, George Siemens researches, technology, networks, analytics, and openness in education. He is the Executive Director of the LINK Research Lab at University of Texas, Arlington. He has delivered keynote addresses in more than 35 countries on the influence of technology and media on education, organizations, and society. His work has been profiled in provincial, national, and international newspapers (including NY Times), radio, and television. His research has received numerous awards, including honorary doctorates from Universidad de San Martín de Porres and Fraser Valley University for his pioneering work in learning, technology, and networks.

Dr. Siemens is a founding member and first President of the Society for Learning Analytics Research ( In 2008, he pioneered massive open online courses (sometimes referred to as MOOCs). He blogs at and on Twitter: gsiemens