Month: March 2017

Calling Volunteers for Appapalooza

Guest post from Leib Yardley, Appapalooza Volunteer Coordinator

Appapalooza 2017 will take place on Sunday, May 7th from 2-5pm at the Minneapolis Convention Center. We will need many volunteers to pull off this year’s event as we are expecting over 290 participants and 750 attendees! If you are interested in volunteering, please sign up using the instructions below:

We’re using (the leading online signup and reminder tool) to organize our upcoming activity.

Please sign up for Technovation[MN]’s Appapalooza Event!

Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:

1. CLICK HERE to go to our invitation page on

2. Enter your email address. (You will NOT need to register an account on

3. Sign up! Choose your spots – will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy!

Note: does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.

Feel free to forward this email to others that may be interested in volunteering. The week of April 30th, you will receive additional information regarding your shift and responsibilities.

Thank you for helping us celebrate young women transforming the world one mobile app at a time!

Judges Needed for Appapalooza! – A Unique Opportunity


Technovation Challenge 2017 is nearing completion! The 54 middle school and 12 high school teams are busy polishing their mobile apps, creating demo videos, and for the high school teams, completing their business plans for submission by April 26. All of this learning and hard work will culminate in live pitches in front of panels of judges at Appapalooza on Sunday, May 7 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.   The top eight Minnesota teams will advance to the semi-finals where 12 teams from around the world will win the opportunity to present at Technovation Global Pitch Summit later this summer in San Francisco.

We are looking for business and technology professionals to be judges for Technovation Challenge 2017. Judges will score submissions and provide constructive feedback for up to six teams using an official judging rubric. Each judge will also participate in a panel at Appapalooza to score the live pitches by their assigned teams.

The time commitment is approximately ten hours during the week of May 1, six hours to score the submissions (May 1-5 at your convenience) and another four hours to participate in a judging panel at Appapalooza (May 7, 1-5pm at the Minneapolis Convention Center). Attendance at Appapalooza is mandatory to be a judge as this completes the feedback experience for the teams.

Becoming a Technovation[MN] judge provides a unique opportunity to:

  • Network with community entrepreneurs and business leaders,
  • Be seen as an industry leader and promoter, and
  • Most importantly, inspire girls to contribute their essential voices to help make the world a better place through technology and entrepreneurship.

Please complete the application below no later than April 10, if you are interested in being considered for this exciting opportunity to inspire a diverse new code-savvy generation! We encourage you to apply and will get back to you by April 17. All judges will be required to sign an NDA which will be sent to you on April 17. Judging panels will be selected to balance area of expertise and gender.



2017 By the Numbers

Guest post by Jean Weiss, Code Savvy, Executive Director, and Technovation Regional Ambassador

Another record breaking year for Technovation[MN] is in the making. In this, our fourth year, we again we have more mentors, more students, and more teams than ever before. We have teams across the Twin Cities, both urban and suburban and teams in SE MN from Rochester to Pine Island, to Chatfield, to Stewartville, to Dodge Center. The stats….

  • 143 mentors (93 from the Twin Cities area and 50 from SE MN) from organizations as large as IBM, Mayo, Amazon, Thomson Reuters, Delta, U. S. Bank, and General Mills and smaller organizations such as Mentormate, PeopleNet, Prime Digital Academy, Exosite, and many more. What an awesome group of mentors and mentor companies!
  • 290 motivated and enthusiastic girls from 32 schools rockin’ the curriculum. Can’t wait for Appapalooza to see the innovation they created!
  • 66 teams – 54 Junior Division (Middle School) and 12 Senior Division (High School)
  • Many parents, grandparents, siblings, and school faculty and administrators cheering on these fantastic teams
  • And this year’s sponsors so far – four Petabyte level sponsors($10,000); Amazon, PeopleNet, U. S. Bank, and Target, two Terabyte level sponsors ($7,500); 3Five and Mentormate, and one Gigabyte level sponsor ($5,000); MultiTech  supporting this free tech-entrepreneurship program for girls in MN.

How does this compare to the 2016 Technovation[MN] year – LARGEST EVER! Just one year ago, we had 107 mentors, 200 students at 26 schools, and 50 teams (40 MS and 10 HS).

So hooray for all of the Technovation[MN] participants! Coming May 7 is our lively and inspiring Appapalooza where you can experience the results of innovation in action!.


Inspiring as a state of mind!

Guest post by Karen Winkler, Technovation[MN] Board Chair, Mentors and Technology

I love math and I wanted my daughters to love math, so when they were in grade school I made sure they saw me in action as a ‘math-lete’ and enjoying the ‘game’. I’m also kind of a health nut, and I wanted my daughters to understand the importance of a healthy diet and exercise routine so I made fun, healthy meals, and they saw me going to the YMCA and train/participate in races.

When I was ready to change careers 20 years ago, I chose technology and never looked back. The jobs were plentiful, the pay was good and the work was and still is interesting and challenging. It makes sense then that when it was time for my daughters to begin considering future career choices, I find a way to help them see the possibilities in STEM, so I volunteered with Technovation[MN], first as a school mentor and then also as a board member. I was hoping to teach and inspire young women to consider their future as technology innovators. Little did I know that in return my own daughter would find a passion for innovation and the beautiful logic of coding, or that I would be inspired by young women on their journey to adulthood.

Tien VoNguyen inspired me last weekend when, during a Technovation hackathon at De LaSalle high school, I found out that she won an Honorable Mention for Aspirations in Computer Awards from NCWIT (National Center for Women & Information Technology). Tien excelled during her first season in Technovation building her first mobile app that helped students make healthy snack choices. Since that first year, Tien has been asked to be a student ambassador for Technovation Global, joined the board of Technovation[MN] and decided to pursue a career in technology; all before graduating from high school!

Feel like being inspired today? Watch the interview with Tien (thank you to the folks at MentorMate!) and if you would like to get involved with Technovation[MN] and be inspired by these amazing young women as they demonstrate their mobile apps, sign up to volunteer for our Appapalooza celebration here.