REVIEW: Remote Platform Administers Online Exams

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Innovative Exams landed 3 major clients and expects to exceed $1MM in revenue during 2013. They raised $1MM in their first round of financing.

Founded in 2009, Innovative Exams provides secure delivery of online testing services for high-stakes exams through remotely-proctored kiosks. Testing centers work well when there is high demand but otherwise are not a viable solution. Major clients such as Accenture and Red Hat continue to add kiosks in the U.S. and overseas. Recently, the company landed 3 major contracts which sets the stage for significant revenue growth in 2013.

PRODUCT/SERVICE: Innovative Exams provides secure delivery of online testing services for high-stake exams through strategically-located kiosks. They authenticate a user’s identity, remotely proctor, and provide support services for the test-taker. High resolution video is streamed to monitors with multiple cameras. The exams are necessary for licensing and certification.

VALUE PROPOSITION: Kiosks are much cheaper to build and maintain than major test centers which require a critical mass of test candidates to be financially viable. The greater number of kiosks provides easier access to test-takers. Users save travel time, travel expenses, and have greater flexibility to schedule exams at their convenience. Employers save money and time and can more efficiently deliver high-stakes testing throughout their companies. Accenture’s costs have decreased up to 30% with the kiosk model. There are only 3 testing centers in the state of Illinois. Currently, Innovative Exams maintains 12 kiosks in Illinois.

MARKET SIZE: Exam administration is a billion dollar market in the U.S. and a billion dollar market overseas. The 2 dominant players, Pearson VUE and ETS/Prometric, generate over $800MM in annual sales.

REVENUE MODEL: Innovative Exam’s expenses include the kiosk, desk, proctor and electricity. The price of the exam depends upon its length, complexity, physical location, and number of test-takers. It ranges between $10 and $300 per test. The test-taker pays. Everything is automated. Their technology platform allows them to keep their overhead significantly below the industry average.

MANAGEMENT TEAM: Founder/CEO Ruben Garcia worked for Pearson VUE, a multi-billion dollar education company, and designed security software which prevented people from cheating. He worked for 15 years in the industry before launching Innovate Exams where he focuses on strategic direction and business development. Bill Bonetti is VP of Operations. He has extensive operational experience with technology in the educational field. He’s worked for all the large testing companies. Kabir Kassam is COO and manages their strategic partners. Boris Barvish is CTO and was instrumental in building the architecture and organizing and managing the tech team.

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE: Innovative Exams is the only company with the technology to deliver highstake exams via kiosks. The 2 dominant players, Pearson VUE and ETS/Prometric, rely on major testing centers. Their platform minimizes cost, maximizes flexibility, provides security of content, and ensures a seamless end user experience. They have a patent pending for the method that they use to secure the platform.

PROOF OF CONCEPT: The company built the prototype in 2009 and ran pilot programs at Accenture and Comptia in 2010. They launched sales in 2011.

CUSTOMERS/USERS: The company generated over $100K in revenue in 2012. Recently, the company landed 3 major contracts and expects to reach $1MM in 2013. Clients include Accenture, Red Hat, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, and the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals. Accenture uses Innovative Exams to help its more than 215K employees obtain certifications. Accenture has 23 kiosks in the U.S. and India. Red Hat has kiosks in every major U.S. city. Innovative Exams has clients in the U.S., India, the UK, Canada, and Singapore, and will soon launch in Spain, Holland, Germany, and the Philippines.

STRATEGIC PARTNERS: Accenture and Comptia funded their pilot programs. Accenture and Red Hat are important clients and partners. Innovative Exams was selected for and participated in the Cap 20 Cluster Acceleration program sponsored by the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center. They receive advice and mentorship from the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Innovative Exams is a Microsoft BizSpark partner. Other key partners include Questionmark, Zoomorphix, and PSI Testing Services.

FUNDING: Innovative Exams raised $1MM in their 1st round of financing from three private investors around the country. Currently, they are seeking capital to hire salesmen and build infrastructure. They want to hire 2 salesmen, 1 marketer, and more proctors.

SUMMARY: Their main challenge is to scale rapidly without sacrificing quality and realize their vision as the “Red Box of Testing” by distributing product worldwide via kiosks. ❒

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