Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey donates N2.3 million to Nigerian startup, DevCareer

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Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey, has donated £5,000 ($6,437) in Nigeria’s nonprofit software startup, DevCareer. The fund from Dorsey, who was in Nigeria last year, formed part of the £16,800 ($20,599) raised by DevCareer.

The founder of DevCareer, Sultan Akintunde, disclosed the Twitter founder’s interest in his startup, which offers laptops and software development training for free to interested individuals on Twitter.

“A big thank you to @jack for supporting the growth of budding developers in Africa through @dev_careers.”

DevCareer had begun through crowdfunding on Twitter, to buy laptops for aspiring developers in Nigeria. The reactions from the tech community encouraged Akintunde to further the ambition of DevCareer.

He requested to raise £10,000 (N4.6 million) to buy laptops for 20 upcoming developers who can’t afford it and a mentorship program to 30 extra upcoming developers. So far, the company has raised £21,000 (N9.8 million) including the recent £5,000 from Twitter’s Dorsey.

In his statement on Twitter, Akintunde said, “I know there’s a quote about setting goals and smashing it. I just don’t know what it is,” he tweeted while thanking the tech community for the support.

Since its inception, DevCareer has trained 22 developers across three states and raised £5000 ($6437) in its first cohort.

For its second cohort, trainees are expected to be selected based on the best performance in aptitude tests: Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Abuja and Rivers state. Now, the startup plans to train 50 people over the next few months, starting from March 2020.

Akintunde said the number was pegged at 50 in order “to keep up with the quality of the program and not just increase the number of candidates we train.”

He revealed that applications were received from African countries like Zambia, Kenya and Ghana, and five developers will be selected from each country while 35 will come from Nigeria.

DevCareer is currently pulling a cat out of the hat considering its competitors: Andela, Semicolon and Decagon, are not offering free services. While the test for entry is done physically, DevCareer offers free training online and provides resources like laptops for free. This makes it a non-profit startup in a competitive market that is capital intensive.

When asked if the free service is for a short-term or DevCareer is willing to continue for the long-term.

Akintunde said, “We have a sustainability plan but it can’t be related to business models like Andela and others. Short term and long term. We will continue to be a non-profit.”

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