INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION OF TECHNOLOGY ENTREPRENEURS

Technovation[MN] brought the Global Technovation Challenge to Minnesota in 2014. The Technovation Challenge is the largest and longest-running global technology competition exclusively for girls to inspire the pursuit of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

The Global Technovation Challenge is a technology entrepreneurship program and competition for young women. Through an intensive 3-month, 50-hour curriculum, teams of young women work together to imagine, design, and develop mobile apps, then pitch their “startup” businesses to investors. 1,374 young women from 19 countries have completed Technovation’s curriculum already, thanks to dedicated local volunteers on the ground worldwide. The program theme challenged young women to develop an app to solve a real problem in their community. Because Technovation’s curriculum teaches both technology and entrepreneurship, the program is accessible for beginner computer science students yet still challenging for advanced students and even adults. The program awards $20k in funding to winning teams for further app development. No prior programming experience is necessary for students or for teachers. The program is free to all participants.

At the culmination of the Technovation Challenge, Technovation[MN] hosts a celebratory event, called Appapalooza, where we celebrate and congratulate all Minnesota Technovation Challenge teams on completing the 12-week curriculum and submitting their work to global.

Technovation[MN] also hosts App Days in the Fall and early Winter to enable teen girls to build mobile apps, and to inspire them to participate in the Technovation Challenge. Since the launch of Technovation[MN] we have hosted multiple App Days where we trained over 500 teen girls and mentors from all over the Twin Cities area.

WHY IT MATTERS

If current trends continue, by 2018 the information technology industry will only be able to fill half of its available jobs.
– NCWIT, Women in IT: The Facts

The fraction of women among bachelor’s graduates decreased in CS this year, from 13.8 percent in 2009-10 to 11.7 percent in 2010-11.
– Women Computing Association, Computing Degree and Enrollment Trends

Engineers are the second largest STEM occupational group, but only about one out of every seven engineers is female.
– U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration