Think.iT, founded by Mehemed Bougsea ‘17, is a program that connects talented, untapped, software engineers in North Africa with jobs in the tech sector.
Why We Love Think.iT
Think.iT is helping to fill the largest technology talent shortage since 2007 by investing in a highly educated youth and providing them opportunities to achieve their full potential in the tech sector. Think.iT is based in Tunisia where 57% are unemployed and where the local economy can not produce jobs in the fields that match student talent. Think.iT trains future software engineers and ensure that they stay one step ahead of the curve by focusing the curriculum on newer technologies such as AI, Cloud, and Blockchain. Graduates -- who come from all social classes -- are prepared for both today -- and tomorrow’s -- tech jobs.
Mehemed’s Entrepreneurial Journey
Mehemed co-founded Think.iT with Amal Abid and Joscha Raue. Mehemed grew up between Libya and Germany and was struck by the gap in opportunities for intelligent students, despite the same level of talent in both places. Mehemed says that the hardest thing about being an entrepreneur is finding the time and space to work on your idea. He also says it is important to accept when you are wrong and be bold enough to admit when something goes wrong and pay attention when numbers and statistics tell you so -- don’t push them aside. One of the best things about being an entrepreneur is that you can see directly the impact you are having on individual lives including your ability to help unlock their potential.
Running a High Impact Business
Mehemed measures the impact of his program in two ways -- 1) by the number of jobs placed and 2) the level of expertise his graduates attain. Further, their impact can be measured by the increase in engineers’ awareness of the problems in their communities that have yet to be solved. A lot of gadgets are created for the 1%. He hopes that the awareness they are building is an opportunity for engineers to solve more prevalent problems in our society.
Advice to Aspiring Entrepreneurs
I think the most successful entrepreneurs have a few practices in common -- one is meditation, the second is knowing how to work well with people and the third is being willing to get your hands dirty through grueling 70 hour weeks.
My advice is to spend 95% of the time familiarizing yourselves with the problem you are trying to solve and 5% of the time solving it. Sometimes time spent on the problem will force you to pivot. But if you did not pivot, you would have started something that did not really address the problem.
Favorite Place on Campus
My favorite place on campus was sitting in front of the Philosophy building across from the statue of The Thinker.
Learn more about Think.It: