Spearheaded by Hank Thompson, Knowledgestreem, a maker of web-based educational technology, has gone live with their first client, a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Santa Cruz. After being in Chile for two months, the company has made significant advances and, today, the professor is running his first set of quizzes via the startup’s technology and will be utilizing their software for the duration of the quarter.
Specifically, the product being used is called Question Cloud, and is their first developed application. It is a web-based knowledge assessment tool that allows university professors to test students, for hiring managers to test job candidates, and for corporate managers to test employees. According to Thompson, “it lets test builders measure knowledge very precisely. Instead of a single score, Question Cloud produces a series of scores measuring an evaluatee’s understanding of each individual concept. Putting together a test is simple and fast, grading and administration are completely automated.”
After having gone live with their first client, Knowledgestreem’s next goal is to transition the Question Cloud product into more classes in the same university for the next quarter, and to translate the product into a Spanish version ready to be implemented by March, when Chilean schools are opened for 2011. Long-term goals a more expansive, states Thompson, who hails from San Francisco, California: “we hope to expand into a wide array of multimedia question types, allowing test builders to construct tests with videos, images, GPS coordinates, and more. It’s our plan to set up a marketplace for questions, provide tools for people to build effective questions, and to find people, such as hiring managers and head hunters, who want to buy sets of questions.”
Achieving these goals will be thanks in part to Knowledgestreems’s participation in Start-Up Chile and due to the generous feedback they have received from both their participating peers, and from the Chilean business community via various networking events. With this gathered information, they have been able to pivot their offering to a product with much higher market value and have been able to strategically alter their business model, taking the technology they have already developed and “tweaking it to the different users’ needs.” Through the connections they have made in South America, they are going to be able to produce a Spanish language version much sooner than planned. According to Thompson, by going bilingual, they will begin to “build evaluations for people who speak different languages– having concepts in English that the Question Cloud will map out to corresponding Spanish questions,” thus allowing people to assess knowledge regardless language barriers.