4.0 Schools Reports ‘Pitch Fever’ on Day of Education Challenge Pitch at NOEW

4.0 SchoolsThe early-stage education incubator 4.0 Schools is gearing up for the annual Education Challenge Pitch happening tonight (March 27) from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at Gallier Hall.

The pitch, now an essential part of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), will bring together a set of passionate entrepreneurs who are building the future of school, one piece at a time.

4.0 mentioned their so-called “pitch fever” in a recent blog post. The organization is a bustling hub for innovators tackling the most challenging issues in education.

Up to $30,000 is on the line for the eight entrepreneurs scheduled to pitch education prototypes and ventures in two tracks: pre-revenue and revenue.

Information about each of the featured pitch companies is below:

Positive Space

Mikey Muhanna (4.0 Essentials alum)

Positive Space is a non-profit co-working space in New Orleans dedicated to increasing the rate of college persistence and graduation among low-income high school graduates, who often lack the personal and social skills to succeed in college. Positive Space builds these skills by teaching recent high school graduates the fundamentals of computer programming through a volunteer-administered curriculum that will serve as a conduit to develop student grit, professionalism and emotional maturity.

[ ]schools

Christine Ortiz (4.0 Essentials alum)

[ ]schools (Blank Schools) is a radically different approach to school model development; utilizing interdisciplinary teams, d.thinking and human centered design, lean startup and empowered participatory democracy principles, [ ]schools will catalyze individuals to design and launch new community schools in condensed time-frames with limited resources.

FatHappy Games

Andrew Larimer (4.0 Community member)

FatHappy Games will create a series of iOS adventure games to help 7-10 year olds create their own educational YouTube shows. The “Space” app will teach science, the “Horse Ranch” app will teach entrepreneurship, etc., all starring the user as they take pictures and videos along the way!


Nicki Anselmo (4.0 Essentials alum)

STEMSnaps, led by 4.0 alum Nicki Anselmo allows students and teachers snap and share pictures showing evidence of everyday STEM. Pictures are tagged by content, sent to classmates and will authentically connect students to their curriculum. Cooking dinner is now a study of chemical properties. Grocery shopping is the proportion word problem for the next day.


Hassan Hassan (4.0 Launch alum)

Inspired by Dan Myers’ TED talk, 180Hooks is a production company that uses the power of narrative to reinvent the math word problem through a series of common-core aligned short films about real New Orleanians. Each short will be entirely funded through Kickstarter and festival awards.


Tess Brustein (4.0 Community member)

SmarterCookie is a web and mobile video sharing and coaching platform that helps teachers improve their practice. Teachers receive frequent and individualized feedback on their instruction, learn from exemplar teaching videos, and collaborate with their colleagues anytime, anywhere. With the vision of an excellent teacher for every student, SmarterCookie enables schools to become places of continuous learning for both students and their teachers.


Stephen Gilman (4.0 Launch alum)

MakerState empowers kids with science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) skills through hands-on after-school labs in robot engineering, video game design, 3D prototyping, and moviemaking. Makers level up game style through six masteries–Engineer, Storyteller, Programmer, Designer, Impact Artist, and Social Entrepreneur–and demonstrate their purpose-driven learning for real world audiences every day. Learn more about how making is transforming learning at www.maker-state.com.


Monika Smyczek (4.0 Launch alum)

CultureConnect puts mobile technology in the hands of every museum and cultural institution – giving you the tools you need to create vibrant and engaging experiences for your visitors. Easy to use and designed specifically for the museum market, our platform helps you create interactive tours, mobile image galleries, curriculum guides, and more. Revolutionize the way you interact with your visitors with CultureConnect.


We’d like to thank our sponsors for SBN’s involvement in New Orleans Entrepreneur Week: 365 ConnectFederated Sample, and Peer Partners. Want to be a sponsor? Email Julia@SiliconBayouNews.com!

Startup Showcase 2014