Startup in the spotlight: CoVince

We need well-educated people to tackle all kinds of challenges, including those faced by the Utrecht region. Melanie van Halteren and Richard van Tilborg are strong believers in this. They want to make learning and skills development more fun, more efficient and more effective. Together, they have developed CoVince, a platform that allows users to learn and develop their skills ‘adventurously’ using the latest technology.


Develop new training courses quickly using new technology

Van Tilborg describes the platform as a 'one-stop-shop that you can use to create training courses quickly, using new technologies such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence in order to enrich the learning experience. We realise, however, that not everyone has VR glasses, for example. As well as advanced technologies, we therefore also offer great solutions for mobiles and laptops. The platform is free to download, so it’s accessible to all. You do need to pay for the training courses themselves, of course.'

Learn and create together

Van Halteren: 'We effectively focus on three groups: learners, creators of learning content and technology partners who can offer their solutions on the platform.' Van Tilborg adds: 'Think, for example, of all the amazing start-ups there are in Utrecht, who are working with Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality or EEG. They can use our platform to get their solutions to the market. Partners who create content for the platform can also resell their learning modules through the web shop we plan to set up, so content can be reused.'

Tried and tested methods and ongoing research

Measurements are taken in the platform on an ongoing basis, and the learning materials are adapted to the needs of the learners. Van Halteren: 'We believe it’s important that everything we do be based on tried and tested methods, so we look carefully at the results of research and conduct our own research too. Research tells us, for example, that senses, emotions and associations play a role in learning and remembering. You learn more when emotions are involved in an experience, like when you actually feel what it’s like to stand in front of a group to give a presentation, for example.' Van Tilborg also emphasises the role of research: 'Research also suggests that real-time feedback works better than retrospective feedback. Together with HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht and Utrecht University, we are currently researching whether this is also the case for VR.'

Presentation training at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht and more

One of the first organisations to work with the CoVince platform was HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht. HU delivers a presentation training course using the platform. Van Tilborg: 'Students can give their presentation in a virtual version of the Dutch chat show DWDD or deliver a pitch to Trump. Not only is this fun, it’s also effective.' Presentation training courses are just one example of the options available. Courses on safety in the construction industry are being produced as well, for example. Van Tilborg: 'People who work in construction and have to obtain a safety certificate can use VR to experience what it feels like to accidentally fall off scaffolding due to carelessness, without an accident actually happening. The emotions generated by the fall are far more effective in helping people remember what they did wrong.'

Significant interest in Netflix for learning

Van Tilborg: 'There is already a great deal of interest in this, even from abroad. Van Halteren: 'We are really looking forward to finding out what the CES in Las Vegas in January has in store for us.' Van Tilborg: 'We want to be the Netflix for learning. Here in Utrecht, people don't really voice their ambitions like that. We’re too modest, even though there’s a tremendous amount of great stuff going on. Let’s make our dreams a reality!'

CES Las Vegas

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) will take place in Las Vegas from 8 to 12 January. This leading technology fair has been held in January on an annual basis since 1967. Well-known names from the industry, start-ups and scale-ups come together to explore the future of innovation. In 2019, CoVince will be one of the many Utrecht-based partners to attend.

Join us on January 30th for the CES edition and find out what a big international event can do for startups (and what not). With CoVince, MiniBrew, TicTag and techie in residence Frank Everaardt (Tweakers) on stage. Hear about their experiences and the newest developments at CES. 

Register for the event