On Saturday, June 1, Talenvo, which provides real-world experience for tech talents, hosted its beta launch event. The platform created by Temidayo Adefioye and a world-class team of professionals, is designed to improve employment for tech professionals by providing them with opportunities to get work experience. The platform helps tech talent go from just acquiring knowledge to actually applying that knowledge, building real solutions, and gaining experience. 

According to Adefioye, “At Talenvo we’re solving three major problems for the ecosystem. First thing, a lot of talents have the knowledge/information but don’t know how to translate that knowledge into meaningful work experience,” he said at the beta launch. “The second problem is many talents do not have the validation for their knowledge that comes with applying what you’ve learnt to real scenarios. Number three is that companies want you to dive into projects the minute you join the team and you need experience for this.”

The closed event, which was held at Café One in Yaba, Lagos state, was attended by representatives from global enterprises such as Google, Microsoft, Omnibiz, SeamlessHR, and Moniepoint, including leaders from global tech communities like DevCareer, Synthera, ProductTank, and many more. The event was anchored by  Joke Akintara,  head of growth at Talenvo, and opened with a speech from Tosin Adimula, head of product at Talenvo. 

In her opening speech, Adimula expressed her gratitude to those who have backed Talenvo so far and spoke about what inspired the creation of the platform. According to her, what inspired the idea was a common problem, that of bridging the gap between fresh talents and recruitment agencies. “Despite the fact that there are a lot of opportunities and vacancies, recruitment is slow and people aren’t applying for jobs. We found out that the reason for this is a lack of experience,” she said.

This opening speech was followed by a panel session titled, “Forging employability pathways in Africa”. The panel was anchored by Joynels Ogbogu the co-founder of UX Writers Africa and it featured Adefioye; Franklin Ali, chief human resources officer at Interswitch; and Victoria Oladosu, the founder of Product Hub Africa.  The panel discussed employment and employability in Nigeria and solutions to tackle these issues. According to Nelson, online job listings contradict youth unemployment complaints on social media. She asked the panel about the causes of unemployment, and without mincing words, Ali identified a “laziness mindset” as a huge factor. He quipped that if this mindset is not addressed platforms like Talenvo will not help. “There is a body of knowledge that is missing between school and what the work environment actually needs. To make people employable you need to fill this gap,”  he added.

Temidayo agreed with Franklin, noting that a lack of discipline hinders a lot of job seekers in the tech ecosystem. “If you are ever going to be employed you have to be consistent and put in a level of discipline to get what you want.” 

L-R: Franklin Ali, chief human resources officer at Interswitch; Temidayo Adefioye, founder/CEO of Talenvo; Victoria Oladosu, founder of Product Hub Africa, and Joynels Ogbogu, co-founder of UX Writers Africa

On the question of how educational institutions and training programmes can better equip students with the skills and practical experience valued by employers, Oladosu shared some personal insights. Drawing from her “trial and error” experience, she implored educational institutions to stay in tune with trends in the tech ecosystem. “Teachers and institutions need to stay on top of trends, work on their curriculum, know what recruiters are looking for and improve their existing strategies to meet that. They should also seek collaborations with companies for internships for students to use what they have learnt and get ready for the job ahead,” she said. 

The panel ended with the group telling job seekers to resist jumping on fads. There are problems still unsolved in the tech ecosystem and the problems a job seeker might be best equipped to solve may not be the trendiest problem right now. According to Adefioye, Talenvo is interested in building problem solvers. 

The panel was followed by a demo of the Talenvo platform by Temidayo and Iboro Inyang, engineering manager at Talenvo. According to Adefioye, the platform is run on three principles: growth, validation, and discovery, and with these principles, users can go from potential (knowledge and learning) to kinetic (applying the knowledge and gaining experience). 

For interested tech professionals seeking experience, you can join the platform by registering. There is a quick assessment in the registration process. After this, users can start taking on real-world challenges to grow their skills and experience. 

The event ended on a high note, with attendees asking questions, getting answers and networking.  

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