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Innovation Conference Features Big Names in K-12 Marketplace

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Scottsdale, Ariz.

Some of the speakers at the education-and-innovation conference being held here, judging from their bios, could end up serving as inspiration for other attendees and aspiring entrepreneurs looking to break into the K-12 market.

And some of those speakers could presumably end up funding those up-and-comers' work.

The headline speakers at the Arizona State University/GSV Advisors Education Innovation Summit include executives from the biggest and best-known education companies in the country—Pearson, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and the like. But it also includes venture capitalists and investors looking to put money into promising and potentially profitable education companies.

There are also a lot of names from the world of education policy, many of whom will be familiar to many Ed Week readers.

The full list is a long and eclectic one. Here's a sampling, drawn from the conference bios:

• Steve Case, former chief executive officer of AOL, who now runs an investment company, Revolution;

• Author Andy Kessler, whose works include Eat People: And Other Unapologetic Rules for Game-Changing Entrepreneurs;

• Former U.S. Senator and peace-broker George Mitchell, Republican from Maine, along with fellow ex-U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey, who once served as a Democrat from Nebraska;

• Michael Moe, co-founder, CEO, and chief investment officer of GSV Capital, and one of the "world's preeminent authorities on growth investing," according to his bio;

• Larry Summers, former U.S. Treasury Secretary and the one-time director of the National Economic Council under Presidents Clinton and Obama, respectively;

• Osman Rashid, co-founder and CEO at Kno, and previously, founding CEO of Chegg, a textbook-rental company;

• Anant Agarwal, president of edX, a Harvard University and MIT online learning venture;

• Stewart Alsop, a partner in Alsop Louis Partners, a venture-capital fund focused on helping entrepreneurs launch businesses;

• Tim Brady, founder of ed-tech startup incubator Imagine K12, backer of education-focused companies, and the former CEO of an educational startup;

• John Katzman, founder of the Princeton Review, and founder of Noodle Education, an education-focused search and recommendation engine;

• Andrew Ng, the co-founder of Coursera and a professor at Stanford University;

• Matthew Peterson, co-founder at CTO of the Mind Research Institute (see an Ed Week story I wrote years ago that touches on his work, as it relates to helping students prepare for algebra);

• James Shelton, assistant deputy secretary at the U.S Department of Education, who has shepherded many of the agency's competitive grant programs, such as the i3 program;

• Rajiv Vinnakota, managing director and president of the SEED Foundation; and, perhaps most importantly,

Ronnie Lott, the once-feared San Francisco 49ers safety, now retired and a pro football Hall of Famer.

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