Halifax edtech-maker Shoelace Learning will be one of seven finalists to compete in the SXSW EDU Launch Startup Competition at the internationally recognized South by Southwest arts festival in Texas March 5.

Finalists also receive access to business development opportunities and invite-only networking events, as well as receiving pitch training prior to the competition.

Shoelace, which is led by CEO Julia Rivard Dexter, has developed a platform that it hopes will become the standard in educational gaming. More than 6 million children in the second through eighth grades, across 160 countries, now play Shoelace’s Dreamscape reading game.

In 2021, the company exited from a similar game, called Squiggle Park, in a deal with Bellevue, Wash.-based DreamBox Learning. And almost exactly a year ago, Rivard Dexter and her team closed an oversubscribed seed round that had originally been targeted at $4 million.

“Selected from the largest applicant pool to date for both competitions, these finalist and semifinalist teams feature innovative approaches in education such as improving different literacies, solutions to climate change, advances in student wellbeing, and much more in the education space,” said SXSW in a statement.