New York, 2018 a friend of mine was showing me one of WeWork’s coworking spaces. We went up the elevator to one of the floors and interacted with a bunch of technology and business professionals working on the next Google. Facebook and Microsoft. This was the moment I had an epiphany as only the past week, I had attended a Bootcamp in Lagos, Nigeria where I interacted with ambitious driven young professionals seeking to also build the next billion-dollar company. The key difference, entrepreneurs and professionals in one clime had better access to experiences that inculcate the required knowledge and skillset to succeed while the others didn’t.
Has the years have gone by and I have had the opportunity to interact with technology professionals across the globe, I have become further convinced that the potential to become truly outstanding engineers, designers, managers and entrepreneurs is present in everyone, regardless of background. Realizing this potential, however, requires access to crucial developmental experiences. This important factor which is required to be able to achieve this level is exposure to the right learning and work experiences. As a result of these realizations, and the need to further improve on the technology and business ecosystem in Nigeria, Onteres has been borne.
Onteres’ key mission is to provide these opportunities to technology enthusiasts in Nigeria. Our talent pipeline is essential to achieving this mission. We recognize that Universities are a hotbed of talent. As such, an integral aspect of our pipeline involves a partnership with Universities through Student Clubs. This partnership ensures that Onteres is actively involved in the development of young talents by providing access to internship opportunities, mentorship as well as key developmental resources.
The Onteres Hackathon is a flagship event for us at Onteres. One in which we are able to provide a platform for these talent to exhibit their creativity and skills. We invite participants from our partner universities who form teams to tackle challenges we have decided to highlight through our hackathon. By selecting challenges that capture prevailing societal conditions, there’s an incentive for exhibiting creativity.
Our partnership with Universities and University Students is the official entry into our talent pipeline. Unofficially, it even commences sooner. One level earlier is by getting involved with teenage Nigerians through the secondary schools. We regularly visit partner secondary schools to evangelize technology and the numerous opportunities it affords, further stirring the seeds of technology into the minds of young Nigerians. Upon joining a University, they are even more enthusiastic to join one of our partner student clubs, on an eventual pathway of joining us fulltime.
Our pipeline requires that talent keep up progressing. Progress for us involves exposure to internship opportunities at Onteres and assignment of a mentor from Onteres. This prepares our talents to be ready to key into the work and culture at Onteres. By investing these efforts to cultivate talents early on, we ensure that talents are ready to hit the ground running upon finally joining Onteres.
A talent’s growth does not stop upon joining, through our myriad developmental programs going on within the firm, we continuously ensure that talents are achieving their maximum potential. Exposure to world-class projects as well as sabbaticals with partner firms is critical to continuously expanding the worldview of our talents. Mentoring is essential to the growth of talent and participating in our robust mentoring program serving as both mentor and mentee is crucial to the growth of our talent.
This talent pipeline strategy, as well as our numerous talent oriented programs, are a cornerstone of the project we are building at Onteres. The talent pipeline is especially critical as it goes on to determine who eventually joins the firm, thus securing the long term success of this venture.