Friday, November 16

3:00 PM  – 4:15 PM 

Rivergate Room
Ernest Morial Convention Center
New Orleans, LA 


Think Shark Tank at ACTFL 2018! In its second year, this event, sponsored by ACTFL and the Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center at the University of Hawaii, features first-time entrepreneurs who have created a technology product intended to fill a need in world language education. A panel of experienced professionals and attendees will provide input and decide on a winner based on the pedagogical merits of the product.


Inspired by the show Shark Tank, the competition consists of a 90-minute session at one of the convention venues during which a small group of startup companies pitch their innovation and receive feedback from a highly specialized audience of world language educators. The winner of the competition will receive an honorary plaque from ACTFL and the Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center. All participating companies showcase and demonstrate their products at the Tech Center booth during ACTFL World Languages Expo hours on November 16 and 17, 2018.


  1. The Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center (Tech Center) will provide shared booth space at the 2018 ACTFL World Languages Expo at no cost for qualifying participants.
  2. Exposure to thousands of language education professionals and several successful companies in the field during the ACTFL convention and through the Tech Center News and website.
  3. 2018 participants will be featured in publications, promotional materials and press releases.
  4. Inclusion in our network of innovators, which includes highly specialized professionals in the field of language learning technology.
  5. Mentoring time with 2017 Launchpad participants during the ACTFL Convention.
  6. Winners will be featured in promotional materials for future events.

Qualification Criteria

Companies must comply with the following criteria:

  • Must be a seed- or early-stage company (must not have raised over two million in funds from combined funding sources) with a main focus on the language education market.
  • Have a language technology product, process or service in use by customers or early beta (testing) customers at time of application.
  • Have not been an exhibitor at a previous ACTFL convention.

Competition Rules

  • Companies may present only one technology product, process or service and are responsible for protecting their own intellectual property (IP) rights.
  • Each company has an equal amount of time to present but may opt to forgo presentation time for feedback.

Important dates, times and locations

Launchpad Timeline

About the LaunchPad

The Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center (Tech Center) and ACTFL are prime sponsors of the LaunchPad. The Tech Center is an initiative sponsored by the Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO) and its mission is to enhance The Language Flagship experience through the effective use of technology.
The American Council on The Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) hosts the ACTFL World Languages Expo, which brings together more than 8,000 language educators around the world from all languages, levels, and assignments.

ACTFL Attendee’s Interests

Reasons To Attend

Registration for the 2018 Launchpad is now closed.

Previous LaunchPad Events

Contact Information


1890 East West Road

Moore Hall 256

Honolulu, HI 96822

(808) 956-5121

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