[Startup Interview] Ronald Kouvelt, CEO StuComm
Please describe StuComm?
StuComm focuses on student communication. We offer educational institutions the solution to communicate effectively and efficiently with their students. Our StudentsApp combines information such as time tables, grades and a digital student card in one app. This prevents students from needing to log in to several platforms and switch back and forth between those platforms to find the needed information.
Why did you start StuComm?
We noticed that the communication between educational institutions and their students still had much improving to do in 2014. Not much had changed since we graduated ourselves, and the frustrations we experienced, were still being experienced by the current students. The channels that educational institutions use often don’t fit with the student’s expectations. Students are digital natives and expect to have access to their information at any place and time. Thanks to our app, this is now possible.
Who owns StuComm?
StuComm was founded by myself and my childhood friend William Viveen. We started the adventure of starting a business together in 2014, and are both still closely involved with the company.
How and where are you located?
Our office, a monumental building, is located at the Voorstraat in Utrecht. It was completely renovated recently and offers enough room for our growing team.
How is StuComm financed?
StuComm was financed from own funds. We bootstrapped for a long time and were focused on building our company and offering a real value to our customers and end users. Now we’re growing very fast and expanding internationally. We’ve attracted some external financing in the past year in order to keep growing.
What distinguishes StuComm from other businesses in the industry?
StuComm is fully student-driven, we know what students want and how to reach them. Other companies don’t have this quality. Furthermore, we’re capable to combine many complex and different types of streams of data and information and make these accessible in one place. This allows us to offer personal information to the right person at the right time.
What is it clients want from you?
We help our customers to solve their communication problems. Thanks to the StudentsApp they can reach their students again. Since the app is white labeled, educational institutions can make it a part of their identity and strategy. Inholland School of Applied Sciences scored better on the Dutch National Student Survey (NSE), partially because of the MyInholland app. A great result and proof that our product works.
What does StuComm need to grow?
We always need talented people to help us with our mission and to keep up with the demand.
What are your international ambitions?
Our international ambitions are very big. We are currently already expanding into the United Kingdom and Germany, but we don’t want to stop there. We would love to make our app available for students around the world!
Any recent news you would like to share?
One of our customers, Utrecht University, has swapped its “traditional” student card for a digital student card in the app from this academic year on. Utrecht University is the first university in the Netherlands to use a digital student card, and we’re very proud that we made this innovative and durable solution for them!
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