About Us

Technovation[MN] inspires and empowers girls to leverage technology to make an impact on their communities.

We are a non-profit that brings technology and entrepreneurial programs to girls to spark interest, build technical knowledge and develop confidence. Our Technovation Girls and Amazon’s Alexa Skills Challenge programs are for young women ages 10-18.

Technovation-Girls, formally Technovation Challenge, is the largest and longest-running global technology and entrepreneurship competition exclusively for young women to inspire the pursuit of STEM. Through an intensive 3-month, 50-hour curriculum, teams work together to develop mobile apps that solve real problems in their community. At the culmination of the program, Technovation[MN] hosts a celebratory event, Appapalooza, where we congratulate all teams on completing the 12-week curriculum.

The Amazon Alexa Skills Challenge involves writing skills for Amazon’s Alexa. Teams of girls develop Alexa skills that solve everyday problems. They write code in multiple professional coding languages that will be run in the cloud and be used by anyone with an Alexa-enabled device.

Participating in any Technovation[MN] event is free for the girls, thanks to our awesome volunteers and mentors, and our generous donors and sponsors.

INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION OF TECHNOLOGY ENTREPRENEURS

Technovation Girls, formally Technovation Challenge 

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

Technovation Girls 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 Girls, Technovation[MN] hosts a celebratory event, called Appapalooza, where we celebrate and congratulate all Minnesota Technovation Girls 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 Girls. 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.

Alexa Skills Challenge: Life Hacks

The Alexa Skills Challenge: Life Hacks is an opportunity for students to get direct, hands-on application of creating a voice-enabled Alexa skill to help make everyday tasks faster, easier, and more delightful for users. What is an Alexa Skill? Alexa is Amazon’s voice service and the brain behind tens of millions of devices like the Echo family of devices including Echo Show and Echo Spot.

The Life Hacks Challenge invites you to build Alexa skills that can reduce workload, streamline tasks, support self-improvement, or improve lifestyle and health. Alexa defines a life hack as any trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method that increases productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life. This can range from skills that help customers get a better night’s sleep, save money, drink more water, or cultivate a healthier mindset, to MacGyver-style expedient solutions to everyday problems, and more.

Life hack skills can be in any category, as long as they improve an element of a user’s life. Submissions to the Life Hacks Challenge can be an improvement to an existing skill or an entirely new skill.

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