Vancouver, B.C, May 15th,  2022AlphaS Data Science Inc., a startup in incubation at Empowered Startups, launched two research projects within Canada and the United States to understand the math abilities and needs of high-school students. The support of the University of Canada West (UCW) and the University of Georgia will equip the founder, Dr. Ivan Lau, with the insights needed to kickstart the product development for AlphaSMath.

The pressure on high-school students to get into university is rising
Having a four-year degree has become almost compulsory, a transformation that is caused by the infusion of tech in new areas of the labour market (Morgan). Manjari Raman, director of Harvard Business School’s project on Managing the Future of Work, describes a degree gap where workers without college degrees retire, and companies aim to replace them with candidates that have a degree. An excellent example to illustrate this shift can be found with production supervisors in 2015, where 67% of job postings ask for a university degree, while only 16% of workers within that position had one (Morgan). This evolution showcases how students will be increasingly under pressure to pursue a college or university degree.

Why good grades and standardized test scores matter
One of the factors that will be assessed when applying for university in Canada is the GPA. The GPA is usually one of the metrics used to identify possible candidates. For example, the average GPA of students admitted to the Bachelor of Commerce program at the University of British Columbia is 92%. It is fair to assume that achieving such a GPA is related to hard work and strategy (Allen Cheng). Universities in the United States do assess GPA, however, SAT plays a more significant role related to their admissions requirements. Therefore, getting a high SAT score can be important for students to get into their dream college. It is recommended for students to study between 10-20 hours per week for 2-3 months to get a good score (Kaptest).

Initial research that guides product development
The University of Canada West (UCW) collected over 4,000 data points related to high schools in Canada during their research. Data has been collected in British Columbia, Calgary, Ontario, and Quebec since the eventual solution from the venture will be most needed in these provinces. The dataset will be a vital asset to analyze potential customer profiles. The University of Georgia has conducted further research to understand where American students need support to feel prepared for the SAT or ACT. Most students indicated that they feel the least comfortable with geometry and lengthy word questions. Further analysis also illustrates that students need help with time management, different problem-solving approaches,  and how to get the correct answers quickly without a calculator.

“Our research revealed a broad range of math capabilities based on schools. I am glad that my students could be part of the solution by supporting Alpha Data Science with the market research needed. I believe that students should have the opportunity to improve their math skills in an unbiased environment. Alpha Data Science’s learning platform can be a vital resource to close this gap.”

Mazyar Zahedi-Seresht, Ph.D., M.Sc., MBA, CIFC – Faculty University of Canada West

Why these collaborations are important
The extensive data set collected by the universities lays the groundwork for the content of the training section of AlphaSMath. The findings will be enhanced with assessment and artificial intelligence to create an adaptive learning experience.

About AlphaS Data Science
The AlphaSMath platform will firstly provide a personal intake assessment, which will be used to define their initial setup for students based on their abilities. The assessment reports will help identify individual strengths, weaknesses, and learning patterns. The ultimate goal is to develop an affordable learning tool that is flexible, customized, and effective, allowing students to gain confidence in their abilities. Like a math tutor online, just quicker, cheaper, and always available.

About Empowered Startups
Empowered Startups is an Innovative Startup Incubator and foundry headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. With offices in Canada, France, and Portugal, we train/mentor/ and network entrepreneurs to successfully launch new businesses in diverse markets. As a foundry we also conceive, build and launch our own products and solutions. Empowered Startups is recognized by the Canadian Government as a designated start-up business incubator and is known internationally for growing ideas into sustainable businesses using both a virtual and on-site model. Our training tools and mentorship are used and recognized by leading global university labs, Startup incubators, and innovation hubs. To apply for the Canada Startup Visa Program, visit:

Dr. Ivan Lau – Founder and CEO – [email protected]
Address: Unit 420 – 744 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1A5

Photo by Max Fischer