Techdalo: IT-Career Instead of Poverty
The Fintech industry in Colombia has grown over 200% in the past months. Digitalization in Latin America is on the rise and the pandemic has contributed massively to it. Tech companies are desperately looking for skilled workers but at the same time Colombia suffers a long-lasting social injustice and education crisis. The social start-up Techdalo is tackling both problems by offering financial support and an individual IT mentoring program to young people. Students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds get the opportunity to rise up to the middle class by pursuing a career in the IT sector. Techdalo won 3rd place at the Social Impact Award of the TUM Management Alumni e.V. and will reinvest the prize money into the project.
Bogota, the capital of Colombia, is considered the center of digitalization in Latin America. Many technology companies are in need of IT experts to design and implement numerous technical projects but cannot find qualified workforce. Meanwhile many young people lack a vision for their future because the socio-economic background of parents continues to have a strong influence on their future prospects. Many of them drift into crime after leaving school. Manuel and Andy, grew up in Colombia and are currently studying in Munich. They told their fellow students at TUM about the inequality in the educational system especially for children from low-income families. The team was motivated to do something about and evaluating different possibilities in order to offer support to the poor communities in Bogota. And this is how in 2018 Techdalo was founded.
Techdalo consists of 11 motivated students in Colombia and Germany. Four of the team members live in Bogota and are in direct contact with the schools and local partners. The team in Munich develops the concept, secures the financing and coordinates the long-term scaling. Their plan followed a three step approach: 1. Needs Assessment, 2. Business Model Testing, 3. Pilot Phase.
They started with a needs assessment plan, for which they worked closely with the local tech companies to meet their specific requests. In the next step, the business model was tested in short intervals and Techdalo developed concepts and presented them to companies and schools. The concept had to be adapted several times in order to meet the needs of the local partners such as companies and schools. Finally, the pilot phase has started in December 2020 with currently four students in training. Per student, this results in costs of about 1,050 €, compared to repayments with an expected value of 2,000 €.This margin allows to scale the project in the long run without external funding. Therefore, Techdalo is sustainably refinanced through a reverse generation contract. The students pay back part of their income to the project Techdalo, in order to fund the next generation of students. In addition, the project study has even succeeded in organizing computer donations for schools. Techdalo´s vision for 2021 is to support another 80 Columbian students in their IT education because a long-term improvement can only be achieved through education.
Techdalo is a project of Enactus Munich, one of the world’s largest entrepreneurship initiatives. The aim is to found independent non-profit organizations that solve social and ecological problems in an entrepreneurial approach. Enactus Munich contributes to the implementation of the 17 goals for sustainable development of the United Nations. Techdalo’s work meets four of the UN goals, which includes no poverty, quality education, decent work and economic growth, as well as reduced inequalities.
The members of Techdalo all met at Enactus Munich. Some team members study at TUM School of Management and others attended the Business Plan Basic Seminar by UnternehmerTUM. They were able to improve and validate their business model in a project study, which was issued in cooperation with the TUM Entrepreneurship Research Institute.
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