Seedstars is launching its first Seedstars Academy in Lagos. The 6-month programme will give highly motivated young people in Lagos the education and experience to become digital changemakers, while being paid for it.

The aim of the Seedstars Academy is to educate digital change-makers in Nigeria and enable them to spread the use of internet and digital technologies, to combat youth unemployment rate, which according to the Nigeria National Bureau of Statistics, affects over 5.5 million individuals who are unemployed and over 12 million who are underemployed.

Participants in the Seedstars Academy will gain a blend of transferable skills (entrepreneurship and soft skills), including effective communication, teamwork, project management, business modelling and innovation and vocational skills (digital innovation) which includes UI/UX, rapid prototyping, online marketing and analytics. It will also instill an entrepreneurial mindset needed for students to bring meaningful change with digital entrepreneurship.

Interestingly, the students taking part in the programme do not have to pay to attend. Instead, candidates who are selected get paid while learning to become entrepreneurs. This is a similar model to the Andela programme, where participants learn and acquire technical skills and get paid in the process. This ensures that people who cannot afford to pay for education or can’t afford to not be paid for 6 months can still attend the program.

Participants will get exposure to world-class mentors, who will share their experience building successful digital products around the world and what it takes to get there. The program will also boost boosts students’ employability by helping them expand their network and leverage Seedstars’ global community to either launch their own companies later on, continue in the companies they interned at, or join another organisation, creating a new tribe of disruptive innovators ready to take on the startup ecosystem in Nigeria and across Africa.

The participants will have access to 160 hours of power-packed and cutting-edge curricula built by world class educators with experience building programs globally.

The aim of this programme is to open doors to well-paying jobs for the participants, while they engage their communities and bring on the benefits of the knowledge they have acquired to society in Africa in general and Nigeria in particular.

Starting in Lagos, Nigeria in March 2016, Seedstars Academy will be expanding to 10+ key hubs this year. The candidates go through a rigorous selection criteria, with the acceptance rate in the single digits. Candidates will be tested on their tenacity, logical reasoning, storytelling and their ability to sell through a blended series of tests and challenges both online and offline.

The Academy is looking for a candidate with a clear entrepreneurial mindset and a strong drive, passion for technology, strong problem solving skills, attention to detail and fluency in English.

Find more details on the application here