We’re Plataforma Impact

We're Plataforma Impact

A Startup Preparing Low-Income Youth for a Career in IT

Technology is changing at an unprecedented rate, and it’s creating record level talent shortages worldwide. Today, people with IT skills are in higher demand than ever before.

The digital revolution presents us with tremendous opportunity to build tech professionals at the base of the pyramid, where substantial untapped talent exists. This is the belief Plataforma Impact was founded on.

We’re on a mission to prepare 20 students from Brazil’s largest favela for a career in IT by the end of the year. In this way, we break the cycle of poverty while serving the needs of the market.

The Problem

In Brazil, more than 14 percent of the population is unemployed. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of local IT jobs remain unfilled due to a shortage of qualified professionals.

The Rocinha favela, where our training center is located, has an estimated 180,000 people. A lack of public investment has left families with open sewers, violent criminal gangs known for recruiting children, and little access to quality education. For decades, residents have had to creatively engineer complex solutions to a myriad of challenges. In the favela, innovation is all around.

Despite their potential, people living in favelas are unlikely to escape the conditions they were born into. Most work low-skill positions and earn an average monthly income of US$200. Without access to opportunity, the cycle of poverty often continues.

Consider Wolgrand, self-taught English speaker, a degree in mathematics, and full of potential. However, he was stuck working six days a week as a mechanic’s assistant before discovering Plataforma Impact. As our first scholarship recipient, he’s now thriving at our training institute as a top performer and team lead.

Wolgrand is one of over 110 million people in Latin America who live in an urban slum. It begs the question; how much untapped talent is really out there?

The Opportunity

We started Plataforma Impact with a single goal in mind; use technology to connect people hungry for opportunity to a market hungry for talent.

With technology as an enabler, quality educational content is increasingly accessible through online learning platforms like Khan Academy and Udacity. Even before the pandemic the edtech sector was booming. By 2025, it’s expected to be a $350 billion market.

Giant tech companies like Google and Apple are also shaking up traditional education by dropping degree requirements and instead opting for alternative programs designed for the development of specific IT skills (Google’s Career Certificate Program is one example).

These initiatives are reshaping traditional pathways for building a lucrative career in tech. And as conventional barriers to entry begin to fracture, new opportunities open up to build talent in areas that have been historically underserved.

The Solution

Plataforma Impact provides high potential youth with quality job-market training via a program that combines (1) proven, online curriculums, (2) collaborative project-based learning, and (3) guidance from mentors with industry experience. Free of charge.

Our admissions process is rigorous. We look for evidence of responsibility and commitment through a series of interviews. Once admitted, students join small groups organized by team leads (advanced students referred to as “Jedis”) who oversee coursework, facilitate teamwork, and uphold organizational culture and values.

Within the first week, students are writing their first lines of code. By the end of the month, they’re presenting their first group project. Along the way, they receive English language instruction, social emotional support, and ongoing mentoring sessions with industry professionals.

As they advance, both opportunities and responsibilities increase. Students gain experience working on real projects, mentoring others, and delivering client solutions in a way that stimulates ownership and responsibility. As we grow, revenue generated from projects is reinvested into Plataforma’s ecosystem to cover overhead and expand our impact.

By taking a flywheel approach to capital, mentorship, and training, we maximize the utility of every dollar and minute invested in our program.

At the end of their training, students have built a demonstrable portfolio of work and developed both the hard skills and the soft skills required to be successful in the market. They then receive support curating their CV, practicing interview techniques, and connecting to job opportunities with local and international employers.

Plataforma graduates have the opportunity to earn +300% above “low-skill positions” in Brazil, and +1000% internationally.

Plataforma Impact’s program not only sets students on a trajectory that changes their lifetime earning potential, it creates a multiplier effect that lasts generations. In this way, we empower our students to rewrite their own story.

Clear, Achievable Goal

To hit our goal of preparing 20 students for the job market by the end of the year, we need to fund our program as soon as possible. Providing a student a life-changing skillset is only $4,900 — giving us a clear, achievable fundraising goal of $98,000.

We Need You

We can’t keep writing this story without you! Help us prepare 20 students for a career in IT by the end of the year. Together, we can build a legacy that uses technology to empower low-income youth around the world.

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