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SXSW HATCH Startup Pitch Competition Finalist: Ginkgotree

HATCH, the official pitch contest of Startup Village at SXSW, has chosen Ginkgotree as one of their 12 finalists.

The Team

The small, 4 person team started building Ginkgotree just last July. Scott Hasbrouck, Founder and CEO, prefaced this by researching the course material market, pivoting through several different business models, and speaking with hundreds of individuals in higher education.

While Scott is responsible for leading development of their backend and overall product design and direction, his wife, Lida Hasbrouck, is their lead marketer and customer advocate. Two friends, Phil Selander and Andrew Colchagoff, are responsible for the front-end user experience and JavaScript engineering, respectively.

The App

They’ve built a web app to help faculty build an online curriculum from any resource, complete with automated copyright clearance and digital content sourcing. It’s a complete textbook replacement, so teachers and professors can take a list of links and page ranges from books and turn them into one unified course curriculum.

Instructors, instructional designers, and institutions already hacking together solutions to create custom syllabi and materials can sign-up free. No fees are paid until the curriculums are “published” (privately). Students of individual faculty sign-ups will pay just $25 per course plus any applicable copyright fees, which is starkly less than a $200 textbook and far more interactive than a flat coursepack. Institutions can also opt to cover student fees. All in all, Ginkgotree promises to improve student outcomes while reducing student costs.

SXSW HATCH Pitch Competition

Ginkgotree beat out over 100 companies from around the world who also applied for this opportunity.

The HATCH Competition, now in its second year, gives startups 4 minutes to present to panel of investor judges in front of a large, highly influential audience. From there, the finalists will have around 5 minutes to field probing questions from the judges.

Prior to the competition, finalists receive one-on-one coaching with mentors to help them prepare. On game day, a panel will judge the startups on several criteria, including disruption, impact, problem, market, team, scalability, and revenue model. Prizes for top contestants include hosting services, investor meetings, media exposure, office space, consultations, and mentoring. Startups also benefit from the prestige, focused exposure to investors and industry leaders, exposure to the tech savvy SXSW audience, and photo and interview opportunities with the press.

If you’re attending SXSW and have an Interactive, Gold, or Platinum badge, you can see all the presenters 9:30 am - 1:30 pm on Sunday, March 10th in the Hilton Austin Downtown in Austin, TX.