This year Collision, the world's fastest growing tech conference, moves into its fifth year and a new home out of the U.S. and in Canada. Here at Edmonton.com we want to highlight some of the great Edmonton companies making the trip out to Toronto for Collision, and show how they will shape the future of the country and the world. Here, Zept shows you how finding a school is as easy as swiping left or right:
After selling his previous company in 2016, email newsletter service Mailout, Gregg Oldring was trying to figure out what to do with the empty downtown office space for which he still had a lease. Then he ran into Tony Williams, at that time merely an acquaintance, at a coffee shop.
“I didn’t really know him that well, at that point,” says Oldring. “We had that classic conversation, ‘What do you do for a living?’ And Tony’s response that day was, ‘What I do is stupid.’ Which got me thinking, ‘Okay, tell me more.’”
Williams went on to describe to Oldring his job at the time as a consultant to universities for international student recruitment, which he painted as a frustrating experience for both schools and students.
“That problem seemed like a great thing to be solved with technology,” explains Oldring. Out of that conversation emerged Zept and allowed Oldring to stop looking for subtenants.
Since then, Oldring and his team have tasked themselves with helping make the experience of finding the right school easier for international students.
“The challenge is that there are a lot of schools, and you don’t necessarily know which ones you could get into. And often, really the only way you can find out is to apply. And that's a daunting and incredibly time-consuming process.”
Zept streamlines the entire endeavor, asking a few simple questions at the outset — where a student would like to study, what they would like to study, and their grades. Zept’s algorithm then filters out schools that don’t meet a student’s criteria, acting as a scholastic Tinder of sorts. When a “match” occurs, a student can then learn more about that school and apply, or the school can even reach out to the student.