The online school Kibo will provide students in Africa with a range of STEM degree programs. Further aiding its development is a USD 2 million seed investment led by Neo, a venture capital firm established by the co-founder of Code.org. Future Africa, Pledges, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Transcend Network, and other angel investors joined the round on June 21st, 2022. The company has now received a total of USD 2.4 million in funding after the pre-seed round last year.
What the founder has to say:
Ope Bukola- CEO at Kibo School:
“If only our educational system were up to the challenge, the continent might be the location for young technologists, given the large number of young people entering employment in the technology sector. Our goal at Kibo is to offer a superior substitute for conventional education.
Launching the degree program is the main objective of the seed round. We have been offering these brief courses, and we will continue to do so while going through the accreditation application process. But right now, recruiting students for our degree programs is our top priority.”
The story behind Kibo School:
Ope Bukola’s family moved to the US when she was ten years old, where she continued her education and eventually pursued a degree in Economics. She was exposed to the best education available at New York University and questioned how her friends in Nigeria and other talented students in Africa could obtain the same.
After graduating, she set out on a mission to make education more accessible. Keen to take advantage of opportunities in the American tech sector, she worked at Palo Alto Networks, digitizing textbooks before becoming the product lead at Google Classroom.
After years of preparation and market research, Bukola was joined by Keno Omu and Rob Cobb to create the Kibo School last year. By the time she left Google in 2019, Bukola had understood exactly what she needed to do to make great education available and affordable. While Cobb, a master’s teacher at Flatiron School, formerly served as a curriculum engineer at Make School, Omu is a former dean at Africa Leadership University.
More about Kibo School:
To facilitate sporadic meet-ups, Kibo has made the program available to students in six locations around Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana. To be eligible, applicants must reside at least 100 kilometers from these cities. Beginning next year, the school intends to expand its offerings and welcome new students every three months.
While most online courses are self-paced, learning at Kibo is regulated, and group projects are a requirement. Before graduating, they must complete internships and be connected with professional mentors. Additionally, the school has agreements in place with a number of businesses to provide its students with internships and part-time employment.
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