How CyberActive saved dozens of businesses from bankruptcy during the Covid-19 pandemic
According to Global Entrepreneurship Observatory Report 2012, 69% of businesses in the United States are founded by entrepreneurs trying to meet either a personal need or a need they know is not being met. In 2000, Sharon Ourian, founder and CEO of Cyberactive, began his journey in a similar way. Twenty years later and now a successful businesswoman, Ourian’s drive to meet the unmet needs of others has led her to save dozens of businesses from bankruptcy during the Covid-19 pandemic of Last year.
CyberActive got its start when Ourian was still a college student and found that no company offered online courses in trafficking schools. At the time, Ourian was leading a team of software developers as executive vice president of TestMasters, a test preparation company. With the help of these developers, she set out to create software that could host online traffic courses and also track student data.
“In 2000, the world was still in the rudimentary years of e-commerce,” says Ourian. “Seeing an underdeveloped platform, I knew a lucrative business was on the horizon. It was then that I decided to start my own business and create CyberActive.
Ourian was simply filling a gap in an industry she understood well. However, what sets her business apart from the 90% of startups that fail in their first year is that CyberActive has found itself at the forefront of saving many companies from bankruptcy amid the impact. crippling from the Covid-19 pandemic.
After creating its online courses, CyberActive gained the approval to become the premier online driving education platform in California for teens looking for their first license. The business model that Ourian had conceptualized proved to be effective both for consumers who preferred to take the courses at home and for regulators who sanctioned the courses (such as the Department of Motor Vehicles). The success of these pioneering efforts was further proven when, under the leadership of Texas and California, more states in the United States began to adopt the online model for both their traffic schools and their programs. traffic education.
During the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, many traditional businesses, including driving schools, were hit hard by recurring blockages. As these companies were not able to offer their services face to face, it became a big challenge to maintain operations, and some companies were forced to shut down permanently. For driving schools in particular, adapting to an online setup seemed a long and daunting process. Typically, schools must seek program approval before offering online courses, which can take six to 12 months (not to mention the costly and time-consuming process of creating a school management system. e-learning).
Fortunately, Ourian had already gone through the painstaking process of approving their online courses for use either as a supplement or as a replacement for live courses. Since CyberActive’s traffic school courses had already been approved in more than 25 states, Ourian was able to partner with hundreds of high school and driver education programs, helping them to survive. pandemic by continuing their online programs.
In addition, Ourian has created a “white label” industry, which allows companies to offer its programs under their own brand. Indeed, once a student from a CyberActive partner institution visits the institution’s website, he or she can click on a link that will direct them to a course that perfectly matches the brand of the operation. Students then take the entire course on what appears to be the partner institution’s site, so the student will never even know that a transition has occurred.
“When the pandemic hit, our team created an emergency rescue plan,” says Ourian. “We contacted the driving schools and told them about our white label solution. We allowed them to start using the system we developed at no cost, at least until the blockages were lifted and classrooms could resume welcoming students face to face. Even when the bottlenecks were lifted, many schools that migrated to the CyberActive online platform reported higher student numbers and higher bottom lines.
Ourian’s most enduring passion has always been to increase the accessibility and affordability of education. The best part, for her, is being able to uplift her fellow entrepreneurs while doing what she loves. “When you do something you love, you don’t work,” she says. “And when doing something you love helps others in some way, or solves their problem so that they don’t have to, you feel even better because you’ve actually helped someone. ‘a.”
In the future, Ourian hopes to help even more businesses with CyberActive. His team has been inundated with physical driving schools and school districts that want to use CyberActive’s white label software to deliver their own online driving courses. Ourian responded to this new demand by employing more staff. She couldn’t be happier.