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Last year was the very first SXSWedu, an educational conference immediately preceding the very popular South By Southwest Interactive event in Austin.

The event's back again this year -- March 6-8, 2012.

The Panel Picker for this year's event is now live, giving the Internet community the opportunity to weigh in on which panels they'd like to see.

The conference has also just announced LAUNCHedu, a competition for ed-tech startups. It will be similar to the Accelerator programs that happen at both SXSW Interactive and SXSW Music, giving participants at the event a chance to see some ed-tech startups pitch their products.

The competition will have two categories -- K-12 and higher-ed. There'll be a full day of presentations in these categories, and the 12 finalists will have their pitches judged before a panel of investors, entrepreneurs and educators.

Applications for LAUNCHedu are now open, through December 2, for interested startups. There's a $175 application fee, and if you're selected to participate, you'll get 2 complementary tickets to SXSWedu. Eligible startups must have launched with a product in the K-12 or higher ed markets, have users and be seeking seed or early stage investment.

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Audrey Watters


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