Steve Case-Backed Andela Launches to Bridge Global Skills Gap in Software Development

September 23, 2014

9:42 am

The Andela Institute, a talent accelerator that’s focused on closing the global skills gap in software development, has launched today. Andela looks toward the developing world to recruit promising top developers and then connecting them with top global employers. Today’s launch is held in synchrony with the announcement of the closing of a seed round of funding.

Andela has been operating in private beta since June, and they’ve raised a major seed round from very influential figures. Those included in the round include Steve Case, Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes, the Omidyar Network, Founder Collective, Rothenberg Ventures, Learn Capital, and Melo7 Tech Partners. And, while the company hasn’t disclosed the amount they’ve raised in this round, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the total investment reached amounts greater than $1 million (considering the participants and the type of initiative on which Andela focuses).

“The breadth of support we are receiving from so many seasoned investors is a testament to the value we can bring our partners, which include U.S. and European technology and service companies,” said Andela cofounder and CEO Jeremy Johnson, in a statement. “Andela recognizes that while aptitude is evenly distributed, opportunity is not. With the fastest growing and youngest population in the world, Africa is the largest market of untapped talent. Our goal is to tap into this brilliance to bring the world’s brightest minds to firms looking for quality developers.”

Johnson knows a few things about talent, and the importance that access to resources and institutions can have on improving the quality of life for people. In 2008, he cofounded 2U, an educational tech company that works alongside universities to offer online degrees to students. Blending together live classes, immersive course content, and various social engagement through the web, 2U currently works with top colleges in the U.S. to provide degrees in different fields, including Northwestern University, UC-Berkeley’s School of Information, Georgetown University’s School of Nursing and Health Studies. Through Andela, he can connect those in the developing world with the talent in coding and programming to top companies around the world looking to use that talent and push those individuals along in their careers.

According to Neil MacGregor, the CEO of Plum.io, an pre-employment assessment company:

“The caliber of talent at Andela ranks in the top 1% of all workers being assessed on our systems worldwide…Every Andela developer has a problem-solving ability in the top 5% of the workforce, making them among the brightest recruits anywhere. Simply put, Andela recruits are some of the most brilliant, driven, and detail-oriented developers we have ever seen.”

All of the developers that go through Andela’s program undergo continuous professional development, have a minimum of 1,000 hours of coding experience under their belts, and all specialize in the MEAN stack (Mongo.db, Express, Angular, and Node.js) of JavaScript. Andela’s inaugural class is made up of 28 developers – beating out nearly 5,200 other applicants to the program –  and is currently based in Lagos, Nigeria. For companies that manage to find themselves working with an Andela developer, they can be assured that he/she is at the top of their game, and can provide support during regular business hours.

 

 

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things.

Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in ‘Doctor Who’, Murakami, ‘The Mindy Project’, and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a “writer”. Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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