Photo of Ilana Milkes

Internet & web

Ilana Milkes

95% of the students from her digital skills workshops have found work within three months

Year Honored

Latin America

Hails From

"In a world that relies more and more on technology with each passing day, those who know how to use it hold an important advantage. The problem is that training in specific technological areas like programming and digital marketing is inaccessible for many people. The Colombian Ilana Milkes decided to change this through the design of a system intended to ""technologically empower people."" To this end, she founded World Tech Makers, a company that offers omnichannel technological training, both on-site and online, and this has led to her recognition as one of MIT Technology Review, Spanish edition´s Innovators Under 35 Colombia 2016.

Upon finishing her university degree in the United States thanks to a soccer scholarship, Milkes began her relationship with technology at a private investment firm. She soon realized what it means to understand what is behind technology, and she decided to learn programming. During these studies, she learned about the bootcamp model, on-site workshops centered on teaching technological knowledge like programming and design quickly and without the need for prior experience.

This blend of technology and education had an enormous potential to improve conditions in Colombia, and this convinced her to import the model to her native country. She began to teach workshops, but soon she decided to extend her services to online bootcamps in exchange for a monthly fee. World Tech Makers offers training, both classroom-based and digital, in four areas which Milkes considers essential: programming, design, business development and digital marketing.

But her teaching mission is not limited to adults. With her sights set on the youngest students, this young Colombian has developed, a training app designed for children. Thanks to basic programs based on games, in which the user advances by achieving goals associated to rewards, students acquire technological skills.

During the two years since the launch of the project, over 500 people have been trained through on-site bootcamps, 3,000 children have learned through and 300 users have participated in digital bootcamps in Mexico, Brazil, the United States, Chile, Ecuador and Colombia. According to World Tech Maker´s data, 95% of the people trained through her workshops have found work related to these technology studies during the following three months.

In Milkes´ opinion, the success of her project demonstrates that ""anyone who wants to learn can,"" and she adds, ""Technology allows you to start with very little and make great gains."" The price scale for her courses ranges from 10 dollars (approximately nine euros) per month for a digital subscription to 2,800 dollars (approximately 2,600 euros) for a three month on-site training course. In the opinion of the general director and founder of Conectando Empresas and jury member for the Innovators Under 35 Colombia 2016 awards, Félix López Capel, World Tech Makers is ""a great project which strives to generate social impact and reduce unemployment in Colombia"" and ""an excellent concept that will bear fruit."""