Q&A with Miro Kazakoff, Co-Founder and CEO of Testive
Testive is a company that develops adaptive testing and test preparation products, TurboTest™ and SAT HABIT. Co-founded by Miro Kazakoff and Tom Rose, Testive has raised $500K in seed funding. EdTech Times sat down with Miro Kazakoff to learn more about Testive and himself.
ETT: What is your elevator pitch? That is, could you describe what your company does in just a few sentences?
MK: Testive helps students improve their scores on life-changing exams. Our algorithms help rapidly identify student’s strengths and weaknesses, and direct them to focus on the right study areas. We can predict a student’s SAT score as accurately as a full-length test in just 30 minutes, and students who use our SAT product for at least 7 days see an average projected score improvement of 100 points.
ETT: What is your company’s core value proposition? What problem are you solving and for whom?
MK: We make it easier and faster for students to improve their scores on life-changing exams. These exams provide access to educational opportunities, job opportunities and the chance at the best life possible.
ETT: What is the biggest need for your startup? (e.g. funding, development, market access, channels, publicity)
MK: Like all start-ups that sell directly to consumers, our biggest challenge is effectively acquiring customers.
ETT: What should we expect to see from your company in the next twelve months? (e.g. product milestones, team size, potential growth/revenue targets)
MK: Over the next 12 months, Testive will be focused on adding human coaches into our offering to combine the best of what technology can provide with the motivation that can only come from another human. We’ll be working to allow these humans to provide a high quality educational experience to as many students as possible at much lower prices than equal quality private tutoring.
ETT: Why do you have a passion for this? What is your vision?
MK: We believe that students are learning in inefficient, ineffective ways. In the limited time we have to educate our nation’s youth these inefficiencies compound, leaving too many students behind. We imagine a future where all students have access to the best possible tools to help them learn.
ETT: Which three startups or entrepreneurs do you follow and find interesting?
MK: Chris Howard and Libboo.com are the ones finally tapping the power of digital communication to understand how humans influence other humans and how companies can use that power to make sure long tail products get exposed to the right customers. Aaron O’Hearn and Start-up Institute are addressing the delicate transition from academic education to professional training by offering students an intensive 6 week program to help them get hired by start-ups in a variety of key roles. Nick Francis and HelpScout build killer customer support software, and Nick is one of the most thoughtful people I know on the topic of growing a powerful business with a small, dedicated, elite team.
Thanks to Miro for taking the time to talk with us!
Check out Testive at their website:
Yevgeny Ioffe, or as people call him, Yev, has been working in both the startup world and established companies. His career spans from joining Xplana Learning as it launched to Cengage Learning to MBS Direct when it acquired Xplana in 2009. Yevgeny brings to EdTech Times his passion for start-ups and technology, along with his interest in the ever evolving world of edtech. Yevgeny obtained his BSc and MA from Brandeis University and MBA from Boston College.