The Gates Foundation Kicks Off $2.5M College Knowledge App Contest

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has launched an educational Facebook app contest today with 30 prizes worth a grand total of $2.5 million. The 'College Knowledge Challenge' kicks off this week with an "edtech hackathon" at Facebook’s headquarters at 1 Hacker Way in Menlo Park. Developers of all ages and skill levels are asked to create apps that "build pathways to college, build peer groups for in-coming college students, and assist with college admission and getting financial aid," according Tech Crunch.

"At the Gates foundation we’re increasingly focused on personalized learning," said Stacey Childress, Deputy Director of Education for the Gates Foundation, at the introduction of the event yesterday. "We mean meeting every student where they are every day so they get what they need next to be successful. Tech isn’t a solution to that but it’s part of it."

Elliot Schrage, VP of Public Policy at Facebook, said that his company "shares a common vision of a world that’s open and connected, and where every person has a chance to live a healthy productive successful life" with the Gates Foundation. "We both believe in the Hacker Culture."

While the apps are designed to target low-income and first-generation college students, the challenge does not require that they be built by that demographic. Deborah Robinson from the Gates Foundation says that anyone with a good idea should be able to bring it to the table.

Right around $18,000 in hackathon prizes will be awarded this week, with the 30 best College Knowledge Challenge apps to be named after submissions close on November 16. For more information check out

Source: Tech Crunch

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