UNIwise
UNIwiseSteffen Skovfoged

UNIwise

Why did you decided to undertake and become an entrepreneur?

We, the founders, met as managers of different educational fields at the same university on a project on digitizing exam and assessment. We ended up creating a great prototype and also with a realization that after more than a decade as public contracted managers it was time to take matters in our own hands and create our own future.

What milestones of the past year would you stand out since winning OpenAxel?

Our digital exam & assessment cloud service WISEflow is now used by more than 400.000 at 50 universities and schools in 6 different countries.

We have just opened our first branch in Seoul, Korea and have doubled our team since OpenAxel.

What projections or plans do you have in short and medium term?

We are working on consolidating our position as the leading digital exam and assessment in Scandinavia and expanding in to a couple of new markets/countries.

We are also working together with several partners (universities and technology partners) in Europe and Asia to develop new ways of testing at a distance in order to support an emerging globalization of learning.

What has OpenAxel contributed so far and how do you think they can help you in the future?

Winning OpenAxel gave a good boost in visibility. After the contest we have had great advice and help in our international expansion effort.

What kind of difficulties do you face as an entrepreneur in Europe and what kind of support do you miss?

Its not easy being a vendor targeting primarily public universities and institutions. EU procurement processes are long and expensive. In several cases our sales process for a single big client can take 2 years.

There are so many great disruptive solutions out there that the public sector and society could benefit from, but its difficult for start-ups to break through the initial barrier.

What is the most satisfying thing of being an entrepreneur?

You have only your self to blame for failure. Vice versa for success.

What is your value proposition for universities, students and professors? What kind of concerns do you want to solve?

WISEflow enables safe, secure and efficient digital exams anytime and anywhere.

•Remove the need for paper, printing, posting and physical archiving

•Save 75% of the resources used in managing exams

•Improve student performance by using ICT-tools from their learning environment

•Provide flexibility and mobility to teachers when reading, assessing and giving feedback

What are your internationalization plans?

We are currently present in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Greenland. We have just started up in the UK and expect a broad launch there soon. We have been working in Korea for about a year now and have just opened a branch in Seoul.

What recommendations would you make to Universities to improve their assessment methods?

Universities are missing out by not offering their most important stakeholders – students and staff – the tools and means they use in almost every other part of their doings. Learning and administration has undergone digitization for a long time. But exams are often still done as they were years ago – with pen and paper, by unnecessary manual handlings or in exam labs with expensive hardware.

Choosing an innovative and reliable digital exam & assessment solution allows them to offer outstanding quality and up-to-date service to students, professors, and staff and to stay ahead in an evolving sector. They get to do this while still saving resources and finding definable strategic deliverables almost immediately.

What feedback do you receive from your clients on your product?

More than 95% of the students says “its easier and better” that pen & paper and that it “improves the quality of the exam outcome itself”

80% of the Assessors/Teachers says “its easier or at least not worse”

All exam managers says “its easy to use and creates overview, better planning, control and the means to save resources”

Do you see a trend in homogenizing educational methods across the EU?

Certainly. Universities and higher educational institutions in Europe have a long history or working together in research, teaching and learning. Students are extremely mobile and often take a semester abroad. In our first two years, with primarily only Danish and Norwegian universities as clients our solution was still accessed and beging used from more than 130 countries around the globe. This shows that education is truely global and educational methods are definently converging.

What is your secret sauce, that makes you different from your competitors?

Its probably the ability and will to execute in combination with more than 20 years of inside knowledge and understanding of our primary market. We are building and developing the service and solution we really craved for ourselves as university managers, teachers and students. And one of our pains at that time was that very few “outsides” really understood what was going on. So we build upon that and look upon all our clients as co-creators.

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