TECHNOVATION CHALLENGE

Do you want to fix something, change something, invent something? Come join our community of over 650 girls, 140 teams, and 40 schools in a 12-week long program that teaches girls how to build a mobile app that solves a real problem in your community.

With our community of over 300 mentors skilled in ideation, marketing, business development, user experience design, and software development, you will learn industry-relevant skills and the opportunity to compete in a global competition. At the culmination of the challenge, teams pitch and demo their app to a panel of judges of prospective investors and industry professionals at our state pitch event, Appapalooza. The semi-finalists compete on a regional level, and finalists are selected to fly to Silicon Valley where they pitch to Senior Executives from large and small corporations in the hopes of winning seed funding and help commercializing your app.

Many of our Appapalooza winners will continue to refine their idea and app and go on to compete in other regional competitions such as the Minnesota Cup Youth Division and Minnedemo. Many teams have such a great time that they come back, year after year!

In middle school, 74% of girls express interest in STEM fields, but only 0.4% of female college freshmen plan to major in Computer Science. This lack of participation in such an important and growing field has serious consequences for the future of technical innovation. If women aren’t represented in technology, your ideas, concerns, and designs won’t be included when we create the cities, cars, infrastructure, medicines, communications, companies, and governments of tomorrow. Teach a girl to code she can create anything she sees missing in this world.

Participants– Teams of up to 5 girls in middle school or high school (up to age 18)
Commitment– 40-60 hours: 4 guided hours per week from Feb through Apr
Experience– No prior programming experience is needed
Accessibility– The entire curriculum can be accessed online

TECHNOVATION COMPETITION DIVISIONS

Junior Division – Students between 10-14 years old as of August 1 compete to win seed funding to bring their app to market and a trip to World Pitch Night in San Francisco to show off their talent

Senior Division – Students ages 15 – 18 years old as of August 1 compete to win funding to bring their app to market and a trip to World Pitch Night in San Francisco to compete on the global stage.

Check out our school listing and find out if your school is participating in the Technovation Challenge. If you don’t see your school, drop us a note at @technovationmn on Twitter, or send us an email.

An exerpt from Tien VoNguyen, Technovation[MN] participant and Student Ambassador. Read her whole post – If not us who, if not now when – here.

I grew up in a traditional Vietnamese family. We do not travel or do much outside of the norm. My parents are immigrants and have to work much harder, which I never realized until I got older. My mom especially, as she works 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. The only pieces of technology I ever knew growing up were the clunky tv, the boxy computer, and the annoying fax machine. I went to a predominantly white private school and didn’t fit in at all. Throughout elementary school, I was ashamed of my culture and of my parents. I would hide in the corner when my parents attempted to speak English to my teachers or other parents. I would lie to my friends and teachers to make it seem like I was on the same level as them, materialistically. In middle school, I received my very own cell phone. It had 3 buttons and a pressure-based touch screen and with it I called to update my parents often after school. I was embarrassed speaking Vietnamese in front of my friends.

Through Technovation and Aspirations I met role models already in technology and made concrete what I wanted to work toward after high school. Those doubts are no longer in my mind. Everyone I met along this journey showed me how to be unapologetic, showed me what it means to be unapologetically female, be unapologetically intelligent, be unapologetically assertive, be an unapologetic leader. My parents, especially, played significant roles in helping me be who I am today. They will forever be my role models and I can only hope to be half as persevering and hard-working as they are. I can truly say that I am proud to be their daughter. And now, I want to major in Biomedical Engineering, and work toward helping girls bridge the gender gap, particularly in STEM. Being here tonight makes me ecstatic for the future- seeing how many advocates we have for that goal.

Watch some of the pitch videos from our Twin Cities teams to get inspired. Finally be sure to visit our resources for girls.