Start-up Alumni amplifies access to online education


A new education development platform that prioritizes the needs of skilled and semi-skilled South Africans is set to advance the country’s online education and development industry. The success of the start-up, the brainchild of five University of Cape Town (UCT) alumni, will be a game-changer for the country’s online learning space.

Created specifically with the needs of Africans in mind, Epitek works alongside local accredited training sector organizations to make learning fun and accessible. The start-up provides its customers with a white-label online training platform tailored to their individual needs and brand appearance, which makes the platform unique and customer-specific.

According to Sam Burditt, product development manager at Epitek and a mechanical and mechatronics engineering graduate from UCT, the company is helping customers transition from an in-person learning environment to a digital learning space. The process includes moving all learning materials onto an easy-to-use digital platform to create a seamless learning experience. The platform is end-to-end and therefore allows the learner to move from course purchase to graduation without ever leaving the virtual environment.

“The objective for us at Epitek [is] to advance online education in the country.

“There has been a global shift towards online learning over the past five years, which has been rapidly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our goal at Epitek [is] to advance online education in the country, and a way to do it [is] increasing the adoption of online systems as a tool to expand its reach,” Burditt said.

Promote continuous learning

He said the idea to launch Epitek came after one of the founding members of the start-up worked in the local accredited training sector and identified significant gaps in the learning process, both for the learner than for the training provider.

“These inefficiencies have reduced accessibility to education and required significant capital outlays by training providers. So we thought together and came up with our own plan to meet this challenge,” added Epitek CEO Matt Scott.

A few months later, Epitek was born. The platform includes e-learning, e-assessment and learner management system functionality. It aims to promote a culture of lifelong learning among its users and has been designed with local educational structures in mind. And because the system was created for Africans by Africans, Burditt said it takes into account local needs and disadvantages. To date, the start-up has worked with major accredited and non-accredited training providers to bring education and training to their existing and new customer base.

An amplifier for education

“Epitek’s mission is to ensure that our edtech solutions will act as an amplifier for lifelong learning, improve learners’ essential skills, which will ultimately lead to an increase in the number of employable individuals in the country and on the continent,” Scott said.

Plus, the benefits of an online learning platform like this are endless. They allow training providers to get rid of a large part of their fixed costs and eliminate many restrictions for learners, including getting to class on time with a reliable mode of transport, while taking into account their working hours.

“Epitek not only equips the learner with essential skills to grow in their respective careers, it enables them to make those decisions with ease.”

“We understand and recognize that technology must meet the needs of all South Africans, regardless of background, and we strive to do so with our platform. Epitek not only equips the learner with essential skills to grow in their respective careers, it empowers them to make those decisions with ease,” Burditt said.

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