MEST Portfolio Company CodeLn Wins Launched In Africa Pitch Competition At Social Media Week Lagos

Nosa Omusi | Monday, February 18th, 2019

On the 8th of February 2019, Social Media Week Lagos held the Launched in Africa Pitch Fest. Considered one of the highlights of Social Media Week Lagos, the competition is a platform for promising African-led early-stage startups to showcase products and services that are disrupting industries across the continent.

At the end of a keenly contested event, MEST portfolio company CodeLn emerged winners, with another MEST portfolio company, VesiCash, coming in at second place. CodeLn are the second MEST portfolio company to take the star prize in a row, as last year’s winner was MEST portfolio company Aidahbot.

We caught up with CodeLn CEO Elohor Thomas, a champion of software developer empowerment, to learn about their recent success and their plans for the future.

CodeLn CEO Elohor Thomas with judges after the winning at Social Media Week Lagos

Tell us a bit about your company CodeLn?

Codeln is an end-to-end Technical Recruitment platform offering the best approach to recruiting Software Developers by automating the entire process, thereby cutting down technical recruitment time. We understand that recruiting Software Developers is a hectic and time-consuming process, and if not properly conducted, the company risks having a bad hire. Employing a wrong fit slows down technical productivity rate. We make recruiting Software Developers a fast, reliable and easy process for companies.

What was the motivation behind CodeLn?

In 2017, I worked with the Lagos State Government to train over 70 Graduates in Software Development as part of the Lagos Study program. Sadly, after many months of intensive Training, only a small number could be employed. I empathized with them because I had watched them work very hard to be given a job opportunity.

This made me think deeply about the problem of unemployment and underemployment amongst programmers. I decided to focus on connecting skilled programmers to employment opportunities so they could build successful careers. Fortunately, I met my co-founders, three smart people with a similar dream, at MEST, and together we are reshaping the tech hiring process and connecting African Programmers to their dream jobs.

Big congratulations on winning such a hotly contested event. What was the secret sauce?

Before I went for the competition, my co-founders and I discussed how we could build our pitch around the stories of African developers. Surprisingly, I found out that the theme for Social Media Week this year was centered around storytelling. Storytelling is a powerful tool, and I believe it helped the judges identify with CodeLn and the importance of our mission.

Have there been any positives from your win? If yes, what have they been?

Yes it definitely has been a huge positive! It has given us the chance to seek funding from organizations such as the Lagos Angels Network and given us a lot of exposure. Several international businesses have been reached out to us to explore potential partnerships. It is a truly exciting time for us.

The CodeLn Team

What is next on the horizon for CodeLn?

We intend to keep chasing our vision to become the global go-to marketplace for verified and certified African Developers. We are doing this one step at a time, and I believe that we are getting closer to achieving this by the day. Winning this competition has given us further validation that what we do is very important, and we are determined to work even harder.

What are your predictions for the future of the African developer ecosystem?

The future is very promising for the African developer ecosystem. I see the ecosystem growing in size and capacity and rivaling successful developer ecosystems such as India. Our Developers are proving themselves daily and collaborating with teams across the world to find global solutions with built with technology.

The emergence of a strong developer community in Africa will contribute immensely to achieving rapid economic growth and advancement.

Here’s to the continued success of CodeLn and the growth and development of the African developer ecosystem!