Asha Owens, a master’s degree student in Teachers College’s Instructional Technology & Media program, is one of 10 exemplary female business founders and cofounders selected to compete in the Pitch Black: The Future is Female competition at the 2018 South by Southwest (SXSW) conference and festival in Austin, Texas.
Owens was chosen on the strength of “Best Fit,” an app she co-developed with two other TC master’s degree students, Rebecca Kwee (Higher & Postsecondary Education) and Danielle Llaneza (Developmental Psychology), that personalizes the college-discovery process for prospective first-generation students. Best Fit, which connects students with near-peer mentors who can provide authentic dialogue about applying to – and attending – college – won the Innovation Award and Best Research Award in Teachers College’s inaugural EdTech Innovation Awards this past fall.
Founded in 1987 in Austin, SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. The SXSW conference and festivals event celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. Pitch Black targets African American individuals, businesses and non-profits looking for start-up funding and mentoring to take their idea to new heights.
Owens and the other contestants will compete on stage in Austin on March 11th. The winner will receive an investment of $10,000 from Silicon Valley-based VC firm Backstage Capital or $2,500 cash prize provided courtesy of the HBCU Battle of the Brains.
The TC EdTech Innovation Awards emerged from a call from TC President Susan Fuhrman to create a new way to develop EdTech tools that are based on research and incorporate specific domain expertise.