Blackbird Named To GSV Cup Elite 200; Will Compete for $1 Million in Prizes



Blackbird, bridging the middle school gap in middle school computer science education, has been selected as a semifinalist among 200 leading pre-seed and seed education technology startups competing to win the GSV Cup, with a prize purse valued at $1 million. Semifinalists are recognized as top innovators in the EdTech sector, disrupting the way people teach and learn worldwide.


Blackbird has been invited to pitch to an esteemed panel of judges from global venture capital firms and strategic education companies at the ASU+GSV Summit taking place August 9-11, 2021 in San Diego, California, and virtually. The prize consists of $550,000 in non-dilutive capital and $450,000 in Google Cloud credits.


“Utilizing our unique educational version of JavaScript, Blackbird was built from the ground up to address the middle school gap in coding education. Closing this gap is transformative to creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive future of all STEM fields in the US and around the world,” said Heather Blackbird, cofounder of Blackbird. “We are honored to be recognized as a top innovator in the EdTech sector and look forward to the ASU+GSV Summit in August.”


“Congratulations to Blackbird for being named to the GSV Cup Elite 200,” said Deborah Quazzo, managing partner of GSV Ventures. “As the world moves from Before Coronavirus (B.C.) to After Disease (A.D.), we are seeing a surge of innovation in edtech -- the dawn of the age of digital learning -- driven by entrepreneurs on a mission to improve lives through education. These ‘weapons of mass instruction’ have the power to transform teaching and learning. Blackbird was named a semifinalist in an extremely competitive contest of EdTech startups around the world and will now compete for $1 million in non-dilutive capital and prizes.”


Blackbird was selected based on rigorous criteria by a panel of 152 esteemed judges from global venture capital firms and strategic education companies. The GSV Cup is powered by Google Cloud, HubSpot for Startups, HolonIQ, and GSV Ventures. Applicants were evaluated by the world’s leading investors, including Accel, Alexa Fund, Brand Capital International, Epic Ventures, Founders Circle Capital, Owl Ventures and Reach Capital, among others.


The GSV Cup Elite 200 are semifinalists and will compete for the $1 million prize. They will be invited to participate at the ASU+GSV Summit taking place August 9-11, 2021, both virtually and in San Diego, with a live audience voting for the finalists. The ASU+GSV Summit is the annual education technology conference hosted by GSV Ventures and Arizona State University.


The second annual GSV cup is the world’s largest pitch competition for “Pre-K to Gray” early stage EdTech startups, with more than 700 startup applicants in 2021. These innovative EdTech companies help ensure that all people have equal access to the future through technologies in early childhood, K-12, higher education, adult consumer learning, and adult enterprise learning. This year’s Elite 200 represent diverse backgrounds and locations:

  • 58% of companies have female founders

  • 44% of companies have founders that identify as people of color (POC)

  • 39% of companies are based outside the United States


See the full list of companies selected to the GSV Cup Elite 200.


ASU+GSV Summit

The ASU+GSV Summit is an annual event hosted by Arizona State University and GSV Ventures connecting leading minds focused on transforming society and business around learning and work. The 2020 Summit welcomed over 15,000 attendees from more than 135 countries, including leading educators, innovators, investors, strategists, foundation leaders, media, and policy makers across the “Pre-K to Gray” global education and skills sectors. Previous keynote speakers include President George W. Bush, Bill Gates, Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Common, Sandra Day O’ Connor, Richard Branson, John Legend, President Vincente Fox, Gloria Steinem, and Howard Schultz, among others.


About Blackbird

Now in use in middle schools and coding academies throughout the country, Blackbird was built from the ground up to address the middle school gap in coding education – in a fun and engaging platform that can be administered by non-technical and technically trained teachers, instructors and parents. Blackbird begins with a free, foundational section with additional advanced lessons available through a simple and affordable pricing structure that includes full support and professional development. For more information, visit Blackbird on the web at https://blackbirdcode.com.



For Media Relations contact:

Anders Steele, Anders@BigFarmPR.com