Technology Innovation Center Announces 2019 LaunchPad Winner & Open Application for 2020 Competition

Woodpecker Learning wins 2019 competition


​​The Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center (Tech Center) is pleased to announce that Woodpecker Learning, a Taiwan-based start-up, is the winner of the 2019 LaunchPad language education technology competition. LaunchPad offers technology startups a unique opportunity to attend, showcase, and receive formal recognition at one of the world’s most comprehensive language education expositions, the ACTFL World Languages Expo. This year’s convention was held in Washington D.C.

Participation in the event affords LaunchPad finalists the opportunity to receive feedback from various sources, including experienced entrepreneurs and a highly specialized audience of world language educators. At the competition, the five finalists pitch their language technology innovation. Honorary plaques from ACTFL and the Tech Center are conferred to the winner selected by five competition judges and a People’s Choice award determined by an audience vote. All finalists are given free space at the Tech Center booth to showcase and demonstrate their products at the Convention Expo. The following companies were represented at this year's competition.

Peter Sutton - Woodpecker Learning (2019 Jury and People’s Choice Award winner)

Daniel Turcotte - Scholarcade (Spywatch Lex)

Brooke Stephens - StoryLabs

Weerada S. - FilmDoo

Moulay A. Essakalli - Zid Zid

Frank Dolce, Banter CEO and 2018 winner noted, “The LaunchPad competition at ACTFL gave Banter a platform to engage with decision-makers from educational organizations all over the world.”

According to Julio C. Rodriguez, Center for Language & Technology Director, “Although a single winner is named after the competition, the Tech Center’s goal is to create positive impact for all five competitors through exposure to thousands of language education professionals at the conference, access to other academic, government, and private networks, and inclusion in publications, promotional materials, and press releases.” 

Up next is LaunchPad 2020, led by Richard Medina, Faculty Specialist in Human-Computer Interaction, Center for Language & Technology and will be held at ACTFL’s Annual Convention and World Languages Expo in San Antonio, Texas, on Nov. 21, 2020. 

Applications from technology start-ups are currently being accepted. Application deadline is March 1, 2020.

Details about LaunchPad and Application Process:

Application deadline: March 1, 2020

For additional information, please contact

About The Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center (Tech Center):

The Tech Center, sponsor of the LaunchPad competition, is an initiative by the Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO). The mission of the Tech Center is to enhance The Language Flagship experience through the effective use of technology. Learn more at

About the ACTFL World Languages Expo:

American Council on The Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) is one of the co-sponsors of LaunchPad and the host of ACTFL World Languages Expo. The convention brings together more than 8,000 language educators around the world from all languages, levels, and assignments.

Source: Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center

About The Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center

The Tech Center is an initiative sponsored by the Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO). Its mission is to enhance the learning of critical languages in Flagship programs through the effective use of technology.

The Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center
1890 East West Road, Moore Hall 256
Honolulu, Hawaii

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