The “Big 3” Triangle universities—Duke, UNC-CH and NC State—are all accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Accreditation is the process of universities and colleges meeting quality standards based on criteria set by the government and organizations like the SACSCOC. Schools want to be accredited for many reasons, with a major one being the U.S. Department of Education mainly provides federal financial aid to students who attend accredited institutions.
XComP Analytics is an EdTech startup and SaaS platform that helps universities streamline the accreditation process. It’s a spin-out from East Carolina University and led by Triangle-based CEO Alex Bloom, a longtime veteran of the Triangle tech scene including a stint as COO at Appia.
Founded in 2017, the startup eliminates the need for a large team of people filling out accreditation reports and helps professors grade their students in clinical evaluations. Students also benefit by receiving feedback faster from their teachers.
XComP is focused on competency-based education and helping schools with the long and expensive accreditation process. The startup works mainly with health science education institutions such as dental, medical, nursing, and more. Bloom, the CEO, said XComP reduces costs for these institutions by simplifying the jobs of school administrators, streamlining the work of the faculty and providing transparency to students.
“It’s a data and analytics platform that does predictive analytics that delivers required reporting for schools,” he said.
Some schools are spending over a million dollars a year on the accreditation process that usually occurs every seven years for most dental schools, for instance, according to the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).
“With our ability to bring in all of the assessment data in real time, we actually make those accreditation reports and data available,” Bloom said.
There is a shortage of over 12,000 dentists in the United States, according to data from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The scarcity of doctors is even worse. By 2034, the Association of American Medical Colleges estimates in an article that there will be a shortage of up to 124,000 physicians if current trends continue.
Using data, analytics and real-time grading, the XComP platform addresses this issue. The startup not only helps schools prove their competency for accreditation purposes, it does the same for students.
In health science education there are tests and essays, and also clinical testing where a student practices on a patient. Professors in the past would usually evaluate a student using hand-written notes, but through the platform they can have an easier time grading students’ performances.
This will help more health science students improve on their weak areas. And with the reduced workload of administrators and instructors, they could potentially take on more students.
“There is this huge opportunity to help schools produce more high-quality graduates,” he said.
The five-person team is currently working with three schools in the health sciences field and are currently in talks with multiple others.
Bloom said he aims to raise somewhere between $3M to $5M in capital during his Series A round during Q3 of this year.
XComP’s commercial launch was in March of 2023. The startup is charging schools to use their software with an annual licensing fee.
Angel investors from East Carolina University’s Pirate Entrepreneurship Fund invested in the company last year. The Triangle Tweener Fund has also invested in XComP.
Bloom has mentored founders of approximately seven startups through the Venture Mentoring Service (VMS) led by the Center for Entrepreneurial Development (CED). While the VMS program is no longer available to founders, Bloom said it was a great service to the Triangle community. He has also mentored through CED’s GRO Incubator in the past.
He said the GRO Incubator and VMS program were beneficial to new founders with little experience in the entrepreneurial scene.
“CED is a great advocate and resource for those of us in the startup community in RTP,” Bloom said.