IDB announces selected proposals of its "Bootcamps for Tech Fans” challenge

Fifty-seven proposals were submitted, and the entities selected will benefit people in Central America, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela.

IDB Lab, the IDB's innovation laboratory, has announced the two proposals selected to implement the best and most innovative Ready-to-Work Bootcamp models aimed at closing the skills gap of our future workforce in Latin America and the Caribbean, especially of people in vulnerable circumstances. Ready-to-Work Bootcamps are training programs that teach and place students without IT-related work experience in high-demand IT jobs in a short period of time. The goal is to end the skills gap and find good jobs for the workers of the present and the future.

In the mature bootcamp model category, entities needed to provide two years of data on job placement and graduate salaries and be ready to scale up and reach thousands of people, the selected entity was Dev.f.

Dev.f is the first Mexican bootcamp created in 2014. Eighty percent of the more than 2,000 people that have gone through the program find work, 10% create a business, achieving an average salary of  $900 to $1,350 per month. This initiative features an innovative campus model that allows it to be highly accessible and be present in various countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Colombia; and recently Panama. They plan to reach 17,000 students in three years.

In the incipient bootcamp model category, with an operational track record of at least one year and the goal of helping people who are vulnerable or hard to reach, the proposal selected was from HolaCode.

HolaCode is a bootcamp created in late 2017 for forced migrants, deportees, returnees and refugees from Central America and Venezuela. It is an intensive, on-site model, where the student pays for the bootcamp once they get a job and, besides teaching programming, promotes autonomy, self-teaching and financial management and boosts participants' resilience. Ninety percent of those who took the course found a job, with an average monthly salary of $1,700.

The challenge began in January and closed in April 2019, and looked in particular for models that benefitted people who are vulnerable or hard to reach because of their geographic location, poverty or other forms of exclusion: at-risk youths, indigenous communities, people with disabilities and women, among others.

A total of 57 proposals were presented, and they were evaluated according to the following criteria: learning and employment results, orientation toward vulnerable people, use of disruptive technologies, potential for scalability, financial sustainability, strength of the proposing entity, execution viability, and risks. These proposals were examined internally by a group of IDB specialists, and a short list was also evaluated by Accenture and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

About IDB Lab

IDB Lab is the innovation laboratory of the IDB Group, the leading source of development finance and know-how for improving lives in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

The purpose of IDB Lab is to drive innovation for inclusion in the region, by mobilizing financing, knowledge, and connections to co-create solutions capable of transforming the lives of vulnerable populations affected by economic, social or environmental factors.

Since 1993 IDB Lab has approved more than US $2 billion in projects deployed across 26 LAC countries. As of October 29, 2018, IDB Lab is the new identity of the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF).


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Elena Heredero
Lead Specialist, BID Lab


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