Publisher of innovative
PrepMyFuture is on a mission to create a new generation of study materials. Recent technological progress has allowed us to create a learning experience that adapts itself to each student. Moreover we believe that the next generation of study materials will become the teachers' virtual assistant, saving them some time (homework and tests grading) while giving them a clearer picture of their students' needs (weakness identification).
To begin we needed to create our first course: the GMAT online preparation.
Let's create the best GMAT online preparation!
The GMAT seemed to be an excellent starting point:
- We knew the test very well as test takers.
- We signed a partnership with a specialized publisher and an excellent teacher.
- We had a good knowledge of the existing marketplace and were convinced that we could do better, and at a more competitive price.
In 2011, when we were realizing the first version of the service, Business Insider was writing: "better and cheaper than *****" comparing it to the American leader of the test-prep industry.
This first version of the service also attracted the interest of a big test prep company who made us several offers to buy an exclusive licence of our technology. These offers allowed us to gain credibility with investors, allowing us to raise some funds to develop our company while remaining independent.
Our first office at "Le Camping" (startup accelerator which became NUMA) inside Paris former stock exchange palace.
Let's develop the infrastructure which will
allow publishers to create adaptive study materials
Nous sommes ensuite restés avec nos amis du Camping (Kawet, Doctrackr, P1, & co) en créant l'un des premiers co-working parisiens de startups : "L'After".
Le premier "smart book" avec notre partenaire historique : les éditions Ellipses.
We had a new challenge: make it easy to create any course on our adaptive platform. It would be a difficult step to make:
- The GMAT platform had quickly shown its technical limits to scale with no more than 10 000 students. They were generating millions of data points each month. Our algorithms were efficient from a pedagogical point of view, but they were stretching our servers to their limits, and we therefore had to redesign the whole platform.
- Partnerships with traditional publishers were long and difficult to set up.
- Managing content for a single course was quite easy. It became exponentially harder for multiple courses, in multiple languages, on topics as diverse as mathematics, languages and medicine.
Our first "SMARTBOOK" - 200% TOEIC
Our first "smart book" published with our partner "Éditions Ellipses".
In 2014, we published our first courses based on the new platform :
- The official TAGE MAGE preparation in partnership with FNEGE
- EasyECN, a complete preparation for the ECNi (medicine exam in France)
- And the course that would become our best seller: a TOEIC preparation
Our TOEIC preparation was unique: at the same time, we were publishing a book that was compatible with the platform with our partner éditions Ellipses. As we write these lines, 5 years later, the sales of this book are still growing and we've replicated the model with other books (BULATS, TOEFL, IELTS, DELF).
Here are the specific features of our Smart Books :
- Opening a "smart book" account on prepmyfuture.com is free and convenient, there are no activation codes or passwords. We removed the difficulties usually associated with digital resources that are offered with textbooks.
- Audio files are accessible from the platform with different training modes (exam conditions / audio cut question by question). There is no need for a CD player anymore.
- The platform simulates exam conditions, calculates the scores automatically and generates an analysis of the students' performance.
The success of these textbooks got us some exposure in front of teachers.
Teacher virtual assistant
Our publisher partners were great at selling books, but we were still not able to sell the online resources efficiently. We needed to work directly with schools.
Our first meetings with schools were hard to get even though the product had been endorsed by many teachers. In 2014, we only managed to get two significant customers who loved the product enough to trust us with the homework of a thousand students. We worked closely with them to build all the services aimed at teachers. Thanks to them PrepMyFuture became an attractive alternative to traditional study materials.
- The manager of the course could set up a timetable of mandatory activities. The students were doing their homework online between each class.
- Homework is corrected automatically. Teachers can easily check the completion of their students' work and give participation grades. These grades can be automatically generated and exported to an Excel file.
- Teachers can track their students' performance with precision and efficiency. They can identify weaknesses as well as the most relevant activities for their classes.
- Schools can evaluate the level of their students using online tests. Many schools use PrepMyFuture as a placement test or/and track the evolution of the performance every month.
These tools are used by more than 3500 teachers and 100 000 students.
Our actual office, rue de l'échiquier, in Paris.
Nos coffrets, distribués chez les libraires
Since 2017, we have our own publishing team and we are multiplying the number of partnerships with top-tier publishers (Pearson, Hatier, Vuibert). Our content portfolio is growing fast. The platform is becoming better every day with additional content, new features, improved algorithms and our users' feedback. We are developing new courses (French and Spanish test preparation, nursing exams, ...).
With increased user growth, we have more and more feedback and analytics to improve the service. As the platform becomes more efficient and more popular, we attract the best authors and publishers. Having this virtuous circle in place, we want to develop PrepMyFuture as fast as we can.
Founder - Achille Pinson
I've been developing education websites since 2002; I was 14 years old at that time. If you took the French Baccalauréat in the 00s, you probably used one of my websites (20% of the students taking the exam in 2005 used one my websites). I started working on adaptive courses in 2007. Before starting a company, I studied finance (HEC Montréal, Wharton) and Computer science (McGill). Then I joined HelpMyCash, a fast-growing fin-tech startup based in Barcelona. I started as a part-time intern working remotely while I was a student in Canada, and when I graduated I became the product manager of the company. We built a powerful recommendation engine for the mortgage industry. In 2010, I left the company in order to apply everything I had learned about big data and startups to the world of educational publishing!