Check I’m Here, a platform that helps colleges and universities track student engagement with campus activities, has raised a million dollars in a Series A round of funding to continue to grow its service. Now live at more than 80 institutions and reaching 400,000 students across 30 states and three countries, Check I’m Here’s advantage is that it’s not just collecting data on how many students attend a given campus activity, but helps the universities and colleges use that data to better involve students in the future, as well as increase retention.
Educational institutions have historically tracked student attendance at extracurricular activities, like leadership seminars, events hosted by student-led clubs and organizations, concerts and other activities, because student engagement is tied to the school’s retention rate — meaning the number of students who end up graduating.
Using the data collected, a school could learn which events have been shown to increase retention, and which students seem to miss those events, then change the way those events are marketed or advertised, accordingly.
They can also see things like which events the students who drop out attend, and how they might have missed reaching them with the events associated with higher retention.
Check I’m Here’s platform includes a variety of tools for the educational institution to take advantage of, including small devices for swiping student IDs when students show up at events; digital waivers; built-in event management systems (similar to Eventbrite); management features for creating, approving and customizing user access to events and their details; budgeting tools for tracking event efficiency and cost per student; marketing tools to engage students across web, mobile, social media and offline; communication and document sharing tools; custom reporting; and more.
Most schools pay for Check I’m Here using money they’ve already budgeted for student events. (Tuition tends to include an “activity and service” fee to fund this.)
In some cases, the schools are upgrading from more manual means of event management and tracking — like clickers and spreadsheets. In other cases, institutions are moving to Check I’m Here from rival systems, like Campus Labs or Orgsync.
What’s interesting is that schools seemed to have greatly preferred either Campus Labs or Orgsync, but both have now been acquired by Leeds Equity Partners, and are merging. That could leave room for Check I’m Here to switch over the schools who aren’t a fan of the new, resulting product.
“Major institutions have been using heavyweight management systems for years,” said founder and CEO Reuben Pressman. “But the majority of America’s 4,500+ higher educational institutions have not yet tried engagement software. With no existing solutions tailored for their needs, they were disadvantaged in a function that’s critical for every institution.”
“We’re coining ourselves an engagement platform,” he explained to us. “[Competitors] don’t do the data tracking that we do,” Pressman added.
Today, Check I’m Here has signed up a wide range of institutions, including larger schools with as many as 70,000 students to small, private colleges. It’s growing its customer base by 25 percent every quarter, and is currently boasting a retention rate of 98 percent, Pressman claims.
Based in Tampa, Florida, Check I’m Here’s Series A is backed by angel investors, including Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeffrey Vinik, Ronald Schlosser (the former Executive Chairman of McGraw-Hill Education and current board member) and 500 Mobile Collective.
The new funds will be used to go toward continued growth, including hiring. Currently a team of 15, the plan is to add another half-dozen in sales and marketing by year-end.