Iowa Tech Award Winners Bring Jobs to Iowa

Apr 30, 2015

Alec Whitters was in his last year of dental school when he dropped out and decided to make a change.  

“Both my parents are doctors. I was in my seventh year of college, and I decided to drop out and go after this idea,” he says. “Everybody thought I was nuts.”

I was in my seventh year of college, and I decided to drop out and go after this idea. Everybody thought I was nuts. - Alec Whitters

His decision turned out to be a worthwhile gamble. Whitters is a co-founder and CEO of Higher Learning Technologies, a test preparation company that’s trying to make it easier for students to study for big exams.

“I was studying for the biggest test of my life, and I had this stack of 1,000 flash cards that cost me around $300. I thought, ‘There has to be a better way.’”

Higher Learning Technologies now employs more than 40 people and is working to create mobile apps to help students study for the ACT and the GED.

During this River to River interview, host Ben Kieffer talks with Whitters as well as Brian Waller, President of the Iowa Technology Association. Higher Learning Technologies was one of this year’s Prometheus Award Winners, awards granted by the Iowa Technology Association to the most innovative Iowa companies. Joel Harris of Harrisvaccines also joins the conversation to talk about how his company is innovating to stop the spread of animal disease.