Surfing for Certification.

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IQ Destination had just concluded a company meeting. Centered in the mauve conference room, a ping-pang table showed signs of recent use. On the wall, a dartboard showed signs of heavy use. "I hadn't seen that 'til now," said President and CEO Brent Handler.

IQD's (www.iqdestination.com) informality contradicts its pursuit of being first-to-market -- potentially by only a few months -- in its niche. The company is basically an online middleman for finding educational products and services.

Its site lets users solicit bids for IT certification courses in their town by entering such data as the certification, a suggested amount and a geographic area, then sending it out. Centers registered with IQD can either accept or counter bid. The idea is a lot like Priceline.com, Handler said. Training centers want to fill seats; a discounted price is better than no price at all. Handler, who recently sold four Colorado ExecuTrain Corp. franchises, only works with vendor-authorized training centers for Microsoft Cisco, Lotus and Novell.

IQD also partners with companies that provide educational materials or services, but who don't want to dedicate the resources needed to reach Handler's market. DigitalThink.com established online certification courses, with tutors, which IQD then organized into an understandable online catalog and now...

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