Teen Girls Awarded $20,000 in Seed Funding for Best Business Plans and Technology Solutions at the 2016 Technovation World Pitch

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World’s Largest Tech Entrepreneurship Program and Competition from Iridescent Inspires Young Women to Innovate and Lead

Technovation, a program developed by Iridescent

Technovation is all about helping young women develop a diverse set of skills such as critical thinking, initiative, adaptability, and grit that will prepare them to become leaders and problem solvers.

Today, two teams of young women are celebrating entrepreneurial success after being awarded $10,000 each in seed funding for the development of mobile apps at the 2016 Technovation World Pitch Summit. They joined other middle school and high school finalists from Cameroon, Canada, India, Kenya, and across the United States at the University of San Francisco (USF) last night as they graduated from Technovation, the world’s largest global technology entrepreneurship program for young women developed by science and engineering non-profit Iridescent.

Now in its 6th year, Technovation students uniquely learn the fundamental skills of computer science and leadership to emerge as entrepreneurs and leaders while developing business plans on mobile apps that address problems in their communities. This year, more than 8,100 young women and 1,600 mentors worldwide registered for Technovation and developed 800 business plans, ranging from fighting crime to reducing food waste. Following are details of the winning teams:

  • High School — $10,000 went to a high school team from Zapopan, Mexico, for the mobile app OOL, which connects would-be volunteers with local organizations that most need their help.
  • Middle School — Students from Redwood City, California, received $10,000 in seed funding for Loc8Don8, an app that simplifies the process of finding donation centers for a variety of materials.

“Technovation is all about helping young women develop a diverse set of skills such as critical thinking, initiative, adaptability, and grit that will prepare them to become leaders and problem solvers,” said Tara Chklovski, founder and CEO, Iridescent. “Only .4% of first year female college students major in computer science. Yet, through our technology entrepreneurship program exclusively for girls and support from female mentors, an overwhelming 70% of the 10,000 Technovation alumnae are more interested in entrepreneurship and 58% have gone on to study computer science. We look forward to see those numbers continue to rise as more young women enter STEM careers.”

About the 2016 World Pitch Summit

  • This year, 18 student alumni (now ambassadors) and 40 master educators from around the world joined the finalists at the summit. They also went through intensive training on how to lead the Technovation Program in their communities and support girls through the Technovation curriculum.
  • Keynote speakers: Debbie Sterling, founder and CEO, GoldieBlox; Anu Tewary, director of Product Management, Intuit, and founder of the Technovation Challenge; Drew Houston, CEO and co-founder, Dropbox.
  • Summit sponsors: Adobe, Intuit, Salesforce, USF, Yahoo!.
  • During the weeklong visit, finalists attended program workshops and heard speakers at Autodesk, Facebook, Intuitive Surgical, Microsoft, and Twitter.

About Technovation

  • Technovation is free to women ages 10-18 and includes an open computer science curriculum taught by nearly 3,000 mentors and coaches worldwide.
  • Since 2009, over 1,700 mobile apps have been created by Technovation participants.
  • Technovation and its students are featured in CODEGIRL, the award-winning documentary from Leslie Chilcott (An Inconvenient Truth and Waiting for Superman).
  • Two of the Technovation 2015 teams presented their apps to President Obama at the White House Science Fair in May 2016.

About Iridescent
Iridescent is a science, engineering and technology education not-for-profit organization that empowers underrepresented children to become self-motivated learners and inventors. Since 2006, more than 60,000 children, parents, mentors, and educators have participated in its two global programs - Technovation, the world’s largest global tech entrepreneurship competition, and Curiosity Machine, a unique, open-ended, project-based learning program that inspires students, families, and teachers to solve science and engineering problems together. Iridescent has proudly trained more than 3,500 engineers and scientists to develop design challenges and/or mentor students and families, and received the prestigious 2015 Excellence in Mentoring award, a US2020 White House Initiative.


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Melissa Rossiter
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