After five surgeries on one knee and two on the other, Elad Shoushan MBA '14 hung up his high-tops, leaving his Israeli professional basketball career for computer science. Now instead of making assists on the court, he helps students score more points on standardized tests. His company, LTG Exam Prep Platform, puts test prep on students’ smartphones and tablets. With $3.2 million in venture funding and 160,000 downloads, the Prep4GMAT app is number one in Apple app store search results for GMAT and MBA in the United States, India, and China.
After walking away from the court, he earned a bachelor’s degree at the Technion in Haifa in 2008. He worked first for Intel and then for GE Healthcare for three years, connecting radiology information systems with doctors’ cell phones. Traveling for GE inspired him to consider getting an MBA in the States, but he struggled with the admission test. “I’m a pretty good student, but the GMAT was a big challenge for me. It’s not aligned with how people think,” he says.
Shoushan applied to Sloan, and then he quit his job and spent six months coding a test-prep app in his basement. “It went live to market the first day I started at Sloan,” he says. Algorithms in his patented methodology highlight keywords in test questions; LTG stands for “Label the GMAT.” Shoushan explains: “We have a tech engine that parses questions. Users click on a button—we call it an x-ray—and suddenly keywords are highlighted in many different colors, so you can see what the question is trying to test.” The app is free, but users will eventually be charged for additional questions, features, and services.
LTG has released Mandarin Chinese and English editions of the app. A network of 100 tutors schedule free study sessions with users in English, Mandarin, and other languages. And the GMAT is only the beginning, Shoushan says: “The goal of LTG is to become the go-to test prep platform on mobile devices for all standardized tests.” The company released an SAT version in April 2015; GRE, MCAT, and LSAT versions are also in the works.
Why did he bother with business school given that LTG was already launched when he got to Cambridge?
“At the end of the day, the exposure, the connections, and the brand name of MIT are invaluable,” he says. When LTG got its own office space, he threw a party to say good-bye to the staff at Sloan’s Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, where he had been toiling around the clock from September to May of his second year at Sloan. “It felt like they were our family,” he says. “The company would not have gotten to this stage without me being at Sloan.”
Shoushan and his wife, Shelly, live in Kendall Square.
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2015 issues of MIT Technology Review magazine.