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Higher education analytics giant acquires Waterloo-grown 1Mentor

1Mentor leads the way in improving outcomes for students and higher education institutions using AI

By Jasmin English, Conrad School and Naomi Grosman, Velocity

January 18, 2024

Waterloo-based 1Mentor’s recent acquisition by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), the world’s largest global higher education network, underscores the urgent need for their platform and the data it provides higher education institutions.

1Mentor’s artificial intelligence (AI) enabledtechnology sifts through employers’ job postings to provide insights into employers’ needs and identify skills required for success. It also equips higher education institutions with the information they need to adjust programming to address the skills gap.  

It was a very real problem, identified during his time at the Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business, that led Esteban Veintimilla (MBET ’22, BMath ’18) to launch 1Mentor — a pioneering technology to transform the way higher education adapts to a rapidly changing world.  

While working at the Conrad School, Veintimilla supported students in finding their first work experience through the Bridging Entrepreneurs to Students (BETS) program. But he quickly learned that equipping students with the right skills to succeed in today’s new world of work was a real challenge. 

“I realized it’s not just a ‘me’ problem. It’s a systemic, global problem that I experienced first-hand. My role was student and employer-facing, so I could see both sides of the coin.”

By the time Veintimilla built 1Mentor, he was a part-time graduate student in the Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) program. “Everything I was learning had real and tangible outcomes — and I could really see immediate results.” 

Soon after, a Velocity business adviser — recognizing the veracity of the problem 1Mentor was set on solving — encouraged him to apply.  

That’s when he lived the importance of what he had learned, and practised a key founder skill — extracting actionable insights from customer discovery.

Esteban and his co-founders, Martin Serrano and Diego Robles, couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. QS has acquired the entire company and staff, and 1Mentor will grow as a new business unit for at least the next five years.  

“Being able to continue the 1Mentor journey with our entire team is fabulous, I’m really happy we can grow with the people who have trusted the vision from the beginning. That’s important to me and my co-founders.” 

Esteban Veintimilla, 1Mentor co-founder.
Read Veintimilla and 1Mentor’s full story on Waterloo News