Over the past decade, the need for software engineers in the industry has increased as the world progressed in the field of technology. Though the average salary of a software engineer is around $92,824 per annum as per the reports, yet still many students still struggle to secure an opportunity in the technical domain. This has been mainly attributed to the massively outdated curriculum of STEM fields in Pakistan’s education system. As a result, students often resort to Coursera, Udemy, and CodeAcademy courses.
All these reasons lead to a major gap between academia and industry, leaving students with no sense of direction once they’ve completed their undergraduate degrees. While some do reach their ultimate goals through extensive research, a larger portion of such students is still left directionless in the fast-growing industry.
Understanding the need to bridge this gap and equip the students with valuable skills and education, DevNation came into being. DevNation is a startup started by three entrepreneurs based in the US and UAE with years of technical experience. The startup aims to disrupt the education ecosystem by providing students with hands-on training in software engineering while prepping these students for their respective careers in a few months’ time with zero upfront cost.
What is DevNation?
Established back in 2021, DevNation is an online tech accelerator for the top 5 percent of software developers in Pakistan that was founded by NYU alums Raheel Ahmad, Muddassar Sharif, and Hamd Bilal Tahir.
The company provides an intensive computer science course which is delivered through live lectures by tech leaders and subject matter experts, with the objective of the program being the enhancement of the skills of future software leads through the implementation of a modern curriculum with exposure to the latest technologies.
DevNation is on a mission to harness the technical talent of Pakistan and make Pakistan the software engineering powerhouse in the region.Raheel Ahmad, Co-founder DevNation
Background of Founders
Raheel is an alumnus of the NewYork University. He started his professional journey as a Business Analyst at the China-based firm Emerging Strategy. He has worked for a number of international companies and has co-founded the Shanghai-based firm, mltrons, NewYork-based explainX.ai.
Then in 2021, he co-founded DevNation along with his partners.
Mudassar is also an alumnus of NYU and graduated with a major in Data Science and a minor in Computer Science. In 2015, he co-founded the company MARC&CO that aimed at helping Chinese companies implement Business Intelligence Platform Sisense.
Over the years, he remained affiliated with a number of international firms and in 2019 became the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at mltrons. Finally, in 2021 he co-founded DevNation.
Hamd Bilal Tahir
Hamd completed his undergrad at NYU in 2018. He has remained affiliated with a number of national and international firms both before and after his graduation.
He started off as a research assistant and later pursued data in the capacities of either a Data Analyst or a Data Science Consultant. Then in 2021, he joined DevNation as one of the co-founders and CTO.
DevNation’s Value Proposition
DevNation is currently upskilling students in front-end development and looks to further train students in different domains later on. Students will get to learn the latest technological skills for free from the comfort of their homes.
Once the training is done, DevNation will then help their students land their dream jobs while providing further career-based mentorship. As soon as the student lands his or her job, the student will be able to pay later on.
The best part about DevNation’s initiative is that its program is open to all and welcomes students irrespective of their technical backgrounds.
Pre-Seed Funding: Raised $176K
In July 2021, DevNation closed its pre-seed round with an investment of $56,000. Then in October 2021, the startup secured another pre-seed funding of $120,000, in a round which was led by CrossFund. Multiple other investors also joined the round, including:
- Benjamin C.
- Davide Calì
- Jeffrey C.
- Katherine Lui
- Javier Sabas
- Marcos Parada
- Corrado Licata
- Giuseppe Tomasello
- Sherif Nessim, and Hassan Mughis.
All in all, DevNation is looking to skill up passionate and capable students of Pakistan with this five-figure funding to enable them to compete in the already competing market of engineers internationally instead of just landing an average job. The startup further informs that their programs will consist of key training sessions from notable global tech companies such as the likes of Google, Facebook, etc.
DevNation is ultimately on a mission to create 1 million software engineers in Pakistan by 2030, and this round of investment will surely contribute to achieving that goal.