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Cognotion, Handsfree Learning, and LearnLux Chosen as Education Semifinalists in Challenge Cup Global Competition 

Challenge Cup Spans 16 Cities in 11 Countries to Identify Entrepreneurs Tackling World’s Biggest Challenges; Semifinalists Receive $50,000 in Investment from 1776 and Chance to Compete in Global Finals May 16


May 11, 2015

Washington D.C. — 1776 tonight announced that Cognotion, Handsfree Learning, and LearnLux will move on to Saturday’s global Challenge Cup finals as semifinalists in the education category. The companies represent three of the world’s most compelling startups tackling challenges in the area of edtech innovation and each will go on to compete at the Challenge Cup’s Global Finals, the overall winner of which will receive $150,000 in investment from 1776, the global incubator and seed fund.

“From Austin to Amman and Boston to Berlin, we’ve traveled the globe to find the world’s most promising startups working to develop inventive solutions to the education industry’s most fundamental challenges,” said Rusty Greiff, Managing Director of 1776’s education ventures. “Cognotion, Handsfree Learning, and LearnLux are extremely impressive companies, and have set themselves apart as three of the world’s most promising edtech startups. We can’t wait to see what happens Saturday night at the Global Finals.”

The semifinalists are as follows:

  • Cognotion – Cognotion identifies talent, delivers functional utilization of knowledge, and decreases employee churn rate by using gaming and video tools designed for entry-level millennials. Cognotion uses emotion and context to teach hard and soft skills to entry level employees.
  • Handsfree Learning – Handsfree Learning helps students, teachers, and institutions in learn-by-doing disciplines by supporting instruction, practice, assessment, and feedback. By applying a range of hardware and software solutions to the process of technical skills acquisition, the Handsfree platform expands possibilities in subjects like dentistry, medicine, culinary arts, fine arts, cosmetology, and lab sciences.
  • LearnLux – LearnLux creates online learning tools to teach people personal finance when they need it most. The startup allows companies to empower their employees to become financially autonomous by giving them the skills and knowledge they need to make the best financial decisions.

Cognotion, Handsfree Learning, and LearnLux will compete against several other semifinalists in the energy & sustainability, health, and transportation & cities categories at the Challenge Cup Global Finals Saturday, May 16 at 5pm in the Sydney Harman Hall (610 F St NW).

In addition to competing for $650,000 in prizes, the winners of each category will also win an expenses-paid trip to key industry events where they will have the opportunity to meet with potential new customers and investors.

All startups participating in this week’s Challenge Cup events will also receive connections with mentors, corporate partners, policymakers, and potential investors—specifically curated for each company—at the Challenge Festival.

For more information about the Challenge Cup and Challenge Festival, click here.

ABOUT 1776

1776 is a global incubator and seed fund that finds promising startups focused on solving the world’s most fundamental challenges and helps engineer their success.

Just shy of two years old, 1776 has helped more than 250 startups grow by vetting their viability and connecting them to a “swat team” of support, from investors to mentors, government officials, and institutional market partners that they need to succeed.

1776 focuses on startups in the most broken, entrenched industries and sectors that impact millions of lives every day—specifically education, energy & sustainability, health, transportation, and cities.

Because solving big challenges in entrenched industries requires a different approach, 1776 is revolutionizing the startup landscape. From its hub in Washington, D.C., it is sparking a global movement of “problem-solving’ startups through the Challenge Cup and Startup Federation, the premiere network of incubators throughout the world.

By creating a global community of startups, mentors, partners, and investors, 1776 is proving that its unique approach to incubation can create a sustained cycle of innovation that connects existing enterprises, corporations, and government entities to the startups that are solving the world’s biggest problems.

1776 was founded in February 2013 by Donna Harris, a serial entrepreneur and former Managing Director of the Startup America Partnership, and Evan Burfield, founder of netDecide, a provider of enterprise wealth management solutions, and the consulting firm Synteractive.