Canberra educational app Quizling selected for SXSWedu in Texas
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Canberra educational app Quizling selected for SXSWedu in Texas

A Canberra tech start-up is making waves in the education tech world as the only team outside of North America selected to pitch at American festival South by Southwest.

Quizling, is a free, quiz-based app, created by former Canberra teachers Dion Oxley and Damien Trask in 2014.

Quizling directors and ex-teachers Dion Oxley and Damien Trask.

Quizling directors and ex-teachers Dion Oxley and Damien Trask.Credit:Rohan Thomson

The duo started out by testing Quizling in their own classrooms and through colleagues, before being accepted for the GRIFFIN Accelerator program to further develop the app. They also secured $300,000 in an investment round from the Sydney Angels, Canberra Angels and the Sydney Sidecar fund.

The duo now works full time on the app, and more recently, they've partnered up with institutions including the National Gallery, National Library, Royal Australian Mint and TEDx.

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The Quizling app.

The Quizling app.

In March, the app will be further thrust into the tech limelight at South by Southwest (SXSW).

SXSW is an annual conglomerate of film, media, and music festivals and conferences attracting tens of thousands of people to Austin, Texas each March, with SXSWedu the educational arm of the event.

SXSWedu includes a launch competition, one of the US's foremost stages for tech startups to showcase innovations from across the globe. Oxley and Trask submitted the app to the competition last year, and found out last week they were a finalist.

"It's open globally and it's an enormous thing, so I imagine thousands entered. It's a rigourous process," said Oxley.

"It's great to have someone acknowledge the innovation and the approach to education we're taking. It's a nice way to start the year."

The 10 finalists - eight are from the US and one is from Canada - get to pitch to the SxSWedu community, which includes potential investors, partners, and fellow entrepreneurs. As well as exposure, the winner receives $2500 prize money.

Oxley said they hope the opportunity will increase their reach in the US - users of the app have already played quizzes in Turkey, Portugal, the UK, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Uruguay and the Gaza Strip.

Jil Hogan is an food and lifestyle reporter at The Canberra Times.

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