Tekwill

Project:

Term:

Budget:

August 2015-June 2020-June 2022

Initial budget 4,000,000 USD 

Proposed Extension: Available funding 4,900,000 USD from USAID and Government of Sweden (commenced August 2019)

Donor

Goal:

USAID and Government of Sweden

Enhance Education, Promotion of ICT Career, Startup Ecosystem Growth, Support to value added services/products companies, increase Sector exports/value/sales/capacity

Future Objectives: 

  • Institutional development and capacity building for the Tekwill (Chisinau) Center and creation of makers space/fabrication laboratory (FabLab)
  • Continuous support for the Moldova ICT start-up community, integrating relevant ICT educational content and entrepreneurship activities
  • Develop Tekwill regional Centers through deployment of relevant ICT educational content and entrepreneurship activities in the regions (Chișinău, Bălți, Cahul, Comrat, and potentially Tiraspol)
  • Capacity development of the potential regional Centers’ governing bodies and management teams.

Background of the project

The Moldovan Association of ICT Companies (“ATIC”) is the action leading association and the voice of the Moldovan ICT industry that promotes the development of the ICT sector in the Republic of Moldova through viable partnerships between companies, similar organizations, government, state institutions and international organizations. The association was founded to represent the industry on different policy and legislative issues and to facilitate the exchange of best-practices between members. ATIC mission is to protect and promote the Association members’ interests as well as facilitate a more favorable ICT business climate.

The development of the first ICT Excellence Center in Moldova was started in September 2015, under a USAID project, together with a number of strategic partners. It aims to improve Moldova’s global competitiveness and its business and investment environment. Innovative, high-value technology products and businesses are essential for development of the knowledge-based economy. Science, innovation and technology are the key drivers of the sustainable growth and competitiveness.

Tekwill is created with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government of Sweden through Sida/Swedish International Development Agency in the framework of the project “Development of Moldova ICT Excellence Center” implemented by Moldovan Association of ICT Companies (ATIC) in partnership with Technical University of Moldova.

Tekwill was inaugurated on March 15, 2017. During the 5 years of implementation (as the project was fully operational even before the official launch of the Tekwill center), Tekwill project completed or supported 878 educational initiatives, and 499 entrepreneurship initiatives, transforming TEKWILL into one of the most successful initiatives in tech in Moldova and in the region. It has helped over 472 teams to reach better business, create opportunities and seek investment. Altogether it trained and oriented over 152,500 people.

Tekwill has been designed as a national public private partnership between the Government of Moldova, USAID, Microsoft, and IBM to answer the needs of the ICT industry to close the gap of the human capital shortage, as well as support the development of the entrepreneurship ecosystem. The initial goal of the projects to contribute to the extension of the Tekwill project as a sustainable network and deploy its programs on regional/national level. The project aims at determining the operation model of the network, determining business plans for the relevant created centers or partners in the regions, deploy scalable activities to connect an estimated of 150,000 people to ICT (school and university students, community, etc.), deploy entrepreneurship programs aiming at both scaling up existing programs, as well as create inclusive innovation platforms for the regions with their respective specifics and potential to absorb/apply ICT. We envision a minimum 10,000 beneficiaries/year for each direction (education and entrepreneurship). As a result of the project, 2 main outcomes of the project are expected: more and better qualified skills and workforce developed leading to a stronger ICT industry in Moldova, as well as creating the premises for a Startup Moldova program driving opportunities for companies seeking capitalization. The overarching goal of Tekwill is to ensure maximum impact on Moldova’s economy though enhancing the educational capacity and research potential of the higher education institutions in line with industry needs; hence achieving quantitative and qualitative increase in qualified IT professionals and ICT skills and nurturing successful technology startups based on modern ecosystem and world class sales and marketing force. The project will contribute to growing competitiveness of the ICT industry and of other economic sectors, overall, given the enabling role of technologies in economic and societal development.

Description of the project

The main vision of the IT Center of Excellence is to contribute to the economic development of Moldova by providing:

1. World-class education and training facilities, with up to date curricula, lecturers and laboratories 

2. Associated business development assistance

3. Relevant research and development capabilities

The main project objectives are listed below:

  • Mitigate the human capital gap identified as the major problem for the ICT sector
  • Expand successful Tekwill projects into the regions
    Impact the IT related educational system by contributing at nurturing STEM education
  • Develop curricular and extracurricular educational programs to be adopted nationwide in partnership with leading private ICT Companies
  • Expand existing Tekwill or Tekwill related/supported programs to be adopted in the regions
  • Assess the existing startup ecosystem and improve its investment opportunities
  • Create linkages between ICT and non-ICT businesses
  • Provide support to projects/startups in assessing the global market
  • Create premises for favourable investment instruments such as seed funding, acceleration programs, venture funding, etc
  • Encourage and support tech community events
  • Get affiliated to international hubs, innovation centers, camps (such as google campus, Station F, etc.).
  • Empower women/girls to participate in ICT educational programs and entrepreneurial activities
  • Provide access to Tekwill content and programs for talented kids from underserved and remote areas, supporting career orientation, STEM educational programs, etc.

2019 Results:

  • 676 enterprises benefiting from workforce development
  • 432 partnerships
  • 878 WFD initiatives
  • 796k hours of training
  • 124,156 beneficiaries WFD
  • 499 business development initiatives completed
  • 472 companies developed/ supported
  • 28,320 person participating in BD initiatives

2020 results:

  • 159 enterprises benefiting from WFD
  • 146 unique partnerships
  • 498 WFD initiatives completed
  • 375k hours of training
  • 105,282 beneficiaries WFD
  • 161 business development initiatives completed
  • 1017 companies developed/ supported
  • 10,400 people participating in BD initiatives