Launching an ed-tech startup in a sector criticized for lagging in technology adoption is tempting. However, the window of opportunity can be lost without fast execution, quick testing, and direct marketing.
Challenges Faced by South African Founders
During the Covid pandemic lockdown, four South African founders faced challenges while conceptualizing ‘The Invigilator’ App. The rapid transition to online learning presented new obstacles for South Africa’s academic communities, especially regarding online assessments and academic integrity. Existing proctoring technology required individual laptops, constant internet, and large data usage. These limitations hindered adoption across larger South African universities and low-income educational institutions with connectivity issues.
The Need for an Adaptable Solution
Academics and tech developers realized the need for an adaptable interface that could work with any learning institution’s management system. The solution had to be affordable, suitable for blended learning and limited-resource student communities, while ensuring academic integrity. Speeding up development was essential to align with market conditions.
The Development of The Invigilator App
Within six months, the team developed The Invigilator App. It can be downloaded on entry-level smartphones, requires limited memory, and runs without a constant internet or wi-fi connection. It allows entire institutions to move to online assessments, making it an all-inclusive facilitator.
The key lessons from this experience include conducting thorough research, understanding end-user needs, and ensuring a positive user experience. Moving quickly from idea to market is crucial. Ignore skepticism and surround yourself with positive supporters who believe in your vision.
Continued Growth and Expansion
Introducing a new tech product successfully is just the beginning. Competition drives growth and expansion, leading to the addition of new and improved features that cater to market demands.
The Success of The Invigilator App
The Invigilator App has conducted over three million assessments and gained significant traction among universities globally. Its success disproves the doubts of traditional educationalists and inspires others to develop ed-tech solutions.
The team continues to pitch The Invigilator App to universities and showcase it at conferences. Enthusiastic feedback drives the expansion of unique and generic features, ensuring the best online learning environments.
The journey of The Invigilator App serves as inspiration for others to follow suit and develop ed-tech solutions. Technology enables education to become more accessible and affordable, shaping the future of learning.
By Nic Riemer, CEO and Co-founder of The Invigilator App