A Chat with Esther O’Callaghan OBE, Founder and CEO at Skills Platform: hundo

Esther O’Callaghan

hundo.xyz is the first skills platform to validate and verify qualifications and micro-credentials on-chain to replace the CV/resume with a skills wallet.

We augment mandatory education with the employability skills needed across frontier tech in partnership with educators, employers and governments to rebuild the broken link between education and employment.


How did you come up with the idea for the company?

The COVID pandemic galvanised our decision to build hundo, because it highlighted the breakdown of the pathway from education to employment for young people. Typically, young people are in entry-level jobs in sectors like retail or hospitality. During the early months of the pandemic, they lost their jobs far faster than people in any other age group – but at the same time, companies were struggling to fill tech roles across the piste. Hundo is a response to this problem.

It’s a personal mission for me, too: I know all too well the broken the journey from education to employment is in Britain. I grew up on free school meals and I left school at 16 because I had to get paid work. There is a growing structural and systemic breakdown between education systems and their ability to deliver the skills every young person needs for the workplace at the scale and pace required. I believe that innovative technology is creating new opportunities to level the playing field and helping children and young people who come from backgrounds like mine to find better-paid work.


How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

We’ve gone from two founders to a team of 35, closed an investment round and built a world first, category-defining company to tackle the problem we set out to solve. It’s been a ride so far! Made possible by one of the most dedicated and hardworking teams I know.

What can we hope to see from hundo in the future?

Our mission is to onboard one billion learners to the platform by 2030 to match the one billion frontier tech roles required.

hundo’s CareerCon22 marks the launch of our on-demand content stream to equip young people, parents, educators and employers to discover the future of learning and work.

We are now onboarding our waitlist of educators and employers and will be launching our first masterclasses and academies through 2023.

Our partners increasingly recognise the need to make an upfront strategic investment in their future workforce rather than relying on job boards and contingent recruitment and being passive observers of education rather than getting out in front of their future talent needs.