Excellence In Education Innovation

Why Innovation? 

This award will help supercharge implementation of a current innovation, or provide the seed funding for a new idea or concept based on proven results and potential impact. Our goal is to fund the most innovative idea impacting public schools while also highlighting the exciting work happening across Colorado for other educators to learn from.



Who’s Eligible?

Any person or group of people working in a public school or school district, including public charter and CMOs.

What are the Critical Components?

  • What problem are you trying to solve?
  • How will your innovation/idea solve that problem?
  • How will you use the money to support your idea?

What is the Selection Process?

Coaching Workshops: Colorado Succeeds and mindSpark Learning are pleased to offer a summer coaching workshop for educators interested in practicing their pitch and refining their ideas with business leaders and other education innovators.

Application: Applicants are required to submit a 2-minute video pitch and 400-word written application addressing the critical components of the award. 

Review & Finalist Selection: Video pitches will be reviewed by a selection committee of education, business, and philanthropic leaders in Colorado. The committee will identify 5 finalists for a live-pitching event in Denver.

Live Pitch: During the live-pitch, finalists will need to present their work to the selection committee in a shark-tank-style pitch as well as participate in several minutes of Q&A.

Live Reveal: The $15,000 prize winner will be announced at The Succeed Prize live reveal celebration (2019 date TBD). Finalists and winners will be asked to participate in storytelling and a professional development campaign to highlight their work throughout the year.

Selection Committee

The Selection Committee supports the application review process, participates in the live pitch event, and determines winners in the Excellence in Education Innovation Award, Sponsored by Janus Henderson Investors.

Sarah Bridich
Educator & Lead Researcher, University of Colorado – Denver

Ian Connell
Principal, Charter School Growth Fund

David Craig
Vice President of Finance & Business Execution, Danone

Dave Eddy
Colorado Site Director, Boeing

Dave Espinosa
Senior Project Manager, Mortenson

John Farnam
Deputy Disruptor, Morgridge Family Foundation

Graham Forman
Founder & Managing Director, Edovate Capital

Brad Greenwald
Managing Partner, Hilltop Venture Partners

Demesha Hill
Manager of Community Relations, Janus Henderson Investors & Managing Director, Janus Henderson Foundation

Tara Hosick
Manager of Strategic Community Development, Climax Molybdenum

Thomas Knoll
President, iiColorado, Innovators International

Thembi Machaba
Senior Director of Global Human Resources, Molson Coors

Sudhanshu Malani
Investment Associate, Innovative Schools, Charter School Growth Fund

Cyril Obot
Head of Investment Systems & Application Development – United States, Janus Henderson Investors

Linda Peotter
President, Metal Trading Corp.

Philipp Stephanus
Senior Vice President, DaVita

Donna Upson
Vice President of Sales, Cigna

Ellen Weaver
Senior Manager of Community Benefit & Relations, Kaiser Permanente

Read more

2017 Innovation Award Finalists

Maggie Dering
DSST: Cole High School

Deb Harding
& Tara Hardman
STEM Launch K-8

Courtney Luce
The Fred Tjardes School
of Innovation

“Innovation is based on questioning and challenging the status quo. It is also based on recognizing opportunity and taking advantage of it.”
Tiphani Krueger, Executive Vice president of human resources at Janus henderson investors
Tiphani Krueger of Janus Henderson investors presents the 2017 Innovation Award