October 2016 - Neovation: Innovating Organizational Education

When you hear the words “corporate training,” odds are you’ll think of a few things. Fluorescent lighting behind cracked plastic screens. Gray carpets with mysterious stains. Off-brand Splenda.

When the team at Neovation think of corporate training, they think different. Water slides. Roller coasters. An untapped wilderness.

Neovation’s main product, SmarterU, is a learning management system designed to innovate the ways we educate, modernizing corporate training and making it more engaging, effective and enjoyable while helping clients raise their bottom lines.

In just shy of five years, SmarterU’s success has led Neovation’s growth from a small-scale operation with a team of five staff to an international mainstay with a team of nearly 30 (and job openings for at least four more positions in the near future). The company works with corporations, non-profits and government bodies.

“Our products were initially incubated within an R&D division of our sister company, Modern Earth Web Design,” said Hurrell. “Our main product, SmarterU, spun off into its own company, so Neovation could focus on education technology. Now we have hundreds of thousands of learners using SmarterU across the globe.”

Some of Neovation’s SmarterU local clients include New Flyer Industries, MacDon and River East Transcona School Division. Internationally, Neovation work with an impressive list of clients including the Home Hardware Stores, City of Philadelphia, Expedia, Druxy’s Fresh Deli Revolution, and Sunwing.

Neovation’s focus on levelling of the global playing field through the accessibility of technology and education is vital to their success and corporate direction.

“What I can tell you about our next project is, it’s an adaptive microlearning tool which we think will be a game changer for the edtech world.” said Dan Belhassen, President of Neovation.

The new hush-hush project, due for release in about a year, is aimed at areas of the world that have shown rapid growth in mobile use.

“Most educational software, applications and other similar tools focus on English-speakers,” said Belhassen. “But India, China and Africa are the fastest-growing mobile and e-learning audiences in the world. We recognize the disconnect, so we’re focusing our next project on those areas of the world.”

Belhassen and Hurrell are also thrilled to be part of DisruptED – a conference that explores the potential of combining tech and education.

“DisruptED is right up our alley,” said Belhassen. “We’re super excited about it. As far as I know, this is the only Canadian conference of its type. We’re thrilled to be able to help shine a light on the subject, especially in our hometown.

Neovation is optimistic about the future of the ICT community in Manitoba. Belhassen and Hurrell recognize the increasingly high demand for ICT professionals in the province – and to them, the solution to filling demand is clear.

“One of the keys is bringing in qualified professionals,” said Belhassen. “The community here is small, but growing. Individual people, corporations and organizations like ICTAM do a great job promoting the industry, but foreign professionals can help push us into the spotlight. It’s the best way to grow the community here – bring the people in with skills and the ability to innovate. The more people we have, the faster we grow.”