The founder of South Africa’s education tool, The Invigilator app, was left in shock when he was announced as the overall winner at this year’s South African Institute of Chartered Accounting’s (SAICA) Top-35-under-35 awards.

Nicholas Riemer (32) was both surprised and humbled when he was announced as the winner of SAICA’s annual Top 35 under 35 awards which celebrate young Chartered Accountants who are not only excelling in their professional capacity.

Nicholas Riemer. Image: Supplied

“The CA(SA) qualification has provided me with the foundation to truly excel in the business world, and the competition brought like minded CA’s together to celebrate our success and build networks for future successes,” said Reimer.

“Winning this year’s competition will allow me to showcase what the qualification has unlocked for me, from a business foundation to my networks in Co-founding The Invigilator,” he added.

SAICA’s Top-35-under-35 competition was established in 2014 to recognise South Africa’s young Chartered Accountants who are not only game changers in their professional field, but who are also making a meaningful contribution to society.

Riemer made his contribution when he joined forces with his three co-founders to develop The Invigilator app.

At the beginning of the Covid pandemic, they were able to identify a huge gap affecting the education industry when institutions were forced to move to online assessments.

They then developed The Invigilator app to ensure that academic integrity would be maintained even if students wrote their assessments remotely.

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

Having only been founded in July 2020, the app has already successfully conducted over 1 million assessments.

The app was recently named one of the top downloaded education apps in South Africa.

It has come in handy for some of South Africa’s largest universities; in the past month alone, 350,000 students wrote their examinations using the application, which automatically flags and detects unethical behaviour, and ensures exam conditions are abided by, by replicating the in-venue exam experience from home.

Invigilating is intended to curb cheating and collusion in assessments, yet there has never been a proctoring system created specifically for the South African audience in mind.

Nicholas Riemer. Image: Supplied

This is why the founders developed technology that would work on even the most basic of smartphones, requiring minimal data and battery to operate.

The app does not require a constant internet connection and is affordable for institutions that often find themselves cash-strapped.