The proliferation of the high-speed internet, rising costs of higher education, and the global trend to embrace technology have all had a transformative impact on education.
Similarly, the emergence and popularity of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), have motivated universities to add online courses to their offering. According to research, there were more than 400 universities worldwide offering online courses to around 20 million students in 13 different languages in 2014.
Yet, while online courses have become more accessible — breaking geographical and financial barriers — completing an exam at the end of a course is not as accessible.
Frustrated by the limitations of online course examinations, Daniel Haven, founder of Amsterdam-based startup ProctorExam, wanted to make the online examination processes as digitized, reliable and accessible as possible. By integrating video conferencing technology with external smart devices, ProctorExam creates a 360° secure examination environment anywhere.
The Missing Link
Founded in 2014, the idea of ProctorExam came to Daniel while studying for his Econometrics Masters at Amsterdam University. At the time, Daniel was also taking part in an entrepreneurship program.
“During the course, I was introduced to MOOCs and soon discovered that while studying online has become easier, there was a missing link in e-learning: the exam.”
“When it comes time to take an exam, students often must travel to a specific proctoring location where the institute can identify the student and ensure they’re not cheating,‘’ adds Daniel.
“With ProctorExam’s technology students are able to do their exams from anywhere, while our system provides all the necessary security measures to ensure the validity of the exam.”
Strong Backbone & Never Losing Sight
Having lived both in Amsterdam and Tel-Aviv, Daniel credits his entrepreneurial spirit to both ‘Dutch trading mentality’ and “Israeli assertiveness’, adding: “I think these traits contributed to my rejection of existing solutions and kindled a desire to experiment with a more innovative ways to deal with the problems I came across every day.”
Part of Startupbootcamp Amsterdam 2014 cohort, Daniel says he joined the accelerator program because he was convinced that success is a lot about people around you as much as the execution of the business idea.
“While the market responded very well to our proposition, in an increasingly competitive market, every single extra source of help can make the difference.”
“The mentor-driven program connected us to the leaders in our market; helping us grow our network and connect with the right people. We learned that the startups that survive the roller-coaster of events are the ones with a strong backbone and never lose sight of their target.”
Growth & New Markets
Having raised a seed round of $250k, ProctorExam have quickly set themselves as the go-to experts in the online assessment security market — reporting a 75% customer growth per quarter. Additionally, more than 900 students from 11 countries have completed an exam through ProctorExam.
The startup’s technology is currently being used by several universities including the University of Amsterdam, University of Applied Sciences Rotterdam, VIVES University, and in September 2015 Toulouse University.
“We are also in talks with a large European state to use ProctorExam to connect thousands of remote students to their home country,” says Daniel.
Operating in The Netherlands, Belgium, France and Sweden, the team of four plan to expand to the UK and German markets as well as diversify their customer base to include multinationals when they launch a fully automated SaaS product for the private assessment market.
He adds: “With time, we want to be able to partner up with institutions like the UN, the Worldbank, and the Redcross in order to fully eradicate geographical borders and give people from all over the world the same opportunities to receive a diploma as those more fortunate.”
Disclaimer: Blog first published on Startupbootcamp as part of my role in writing about the cool startups within our portfolio.