From Classmates to Colleagues
In 2014, Javier Pérez, Gabriela Gaona, Jorge Ramírez, Vanessa Cañete and a few of her classmates entered and won a hackathon event. The $10,000 prize money went towards the formation of their company, Codium – a software engineering company that had its early roots working within the local market and government projects (e.g. the first open data projects in the government).
Vanessa played a managing role in driving the direction and growth of the company – from working on hiring and onboarding to bringing in new business. Additionally, Codium aimed to break into the American market to further its experience and revenue. That opportunity came in 2015 when a researcher at Berkeley University hired Codium to help with an experimental software that touched both software and social work. This was a project basis that lasted for about two years but played a critical role in Codium moving towards the American market – with most of the company learning English so they could appropriately work with American companies.
Finding the Right Partnership
In 2018, Codium had its first opportunity to work directly with a software factory established in the USA, providing a great number of Paraguayan developers. The deal came through the YLAI experience of Gabriela Gaona, another co-founder of Codium. This contract would, in a short time, become a partnership. Sadly, the client had a hard time collecting its fees, and the selling price was so low that after the revenue split, it was hard for Codium to justify the relationship.
As entrepreneurs, Codium knew they couldn’t completely shut off the potential opportunities based on that one experience. In March of 2020, Vanessa and the Codium directors – Javier Perez, Gabriela Gaona, Jorge Ramirez, Nahuel Hernandez, Rodrigo Parra, Gabriel Caroni, and Alejandro Arce – met two of WillDom’s directors, Andres Perea and Javier Ibanez-Padilla. Andres and Javier explained the mission, culture, and goals of the company, its ecosystem, and the clients that WillDom offered. Compared to other partnerships Codium had explored, WillDom offered tremendous growth and opportunity – specifically working with American companies. Vanessa and her co-founders believed working with WillDom would meet many, if not all, of the goals they had for their company.
The Birth of WillDom Paraguay
Vanessa and the other Codium founders signed the contract to become a WillDom branch in June 2020. Within the first year, WillDom Paraguay’s international client list accounted for 60% of its business and has grown to nearly three-quarters in 2022. Additionally, WillDom Paraguay has grown 2x internally and plays a pivotal role in WillDom’s Agile Teams service – working with clients to strategize and execute against an end-to-end plan to build and release their technology solutions.
Due to WillDom’s large network of professionals that can handle any type of technology project, large or small, the WillDom Paraguay team has been able to bring in more than 20 pieces of business since July 2020.
In considering the overall process of transforming from Codium to WillDom Paraguay, Vanessa was most impressed by the onboarding process. Here’s what she had to say:
“The onboarding process was very complete. In less than a month, I felt that I knew what to do and how to take advantage of the partnership. Also, the global team was there every step of the way, from hiring processes to role definitions, to our first sales calls. They taught us how to address new issues (new for us, not for them) in a way that we could solve future problems, making us all feel secure in our new positions.”