Newcastle-based Cognassist is shaking up the adult education sector with its groundbreaking approach to identifying learning difficulties, providing an alternative to expensive, paper-based processes in the form of a specially designed 30-minute online assessment. The company enables prospective students to access bespoke learning programmes, and has assessed more than 70,000 people so far.

Cognassist, which won the education category at the 2020 Digital Impact Awards and the UK semi-finals of the 2020 Global EdTech Start-Up Awards, was founded in 2017 by its chief executive, Chris Quickfall, an entrepreneur who has advised the government on cognitive assessment in relation to disability. The firm has increased its revenues from zero to £3.5m in four years, and aims to double this every year.

Expanding the team and making inroads overseas

The business has secured an investment of £1m from BOOST&Co, which will be used to expand its team. As part of a drive to refine and develop its product, the company plans to hire at least ten new employees, including a head of people and a head of IT, as well as staff in areas as wide-ranging as operations, psychological research, data science, marketing and graphic design.

“Cognassist provides valuable opportunities for learners who may experience difficulties, helping them to realise their potential through skills training and development that is tailored to their needs,” says Ryan Sorby,  BOOST&Co’s head of the north and Scotland, who led the deal. “This is a really good business with really good people behind it, so we’re delighted to support its targets for growth.”

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