MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., April 9, 2015 – Minnesotans are invited to celebrate young women in technology by attending the Technovation[MN] Appapalooza event on May 3, 2015 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 Second Ave S. The Appapalooza event features young women participating in the Technovation Challenge, a global technology entrepreneurship program.
Technovation[MN], which launched the Technovation Challenge in Minnesota in 2013, inspires girls in middle and high school to dream up, design, code and pitch mobile phone apps that help their communities. The Technovation Challenge program is designed to attract and encourage the next generation of women technology entrepreneurs. Technovation[MN] is an initiative of Code Savvy, a non-profit catalyst with programs that inspire a diverse new code-savvy generation.
This year Technovation[MN] exceeded its own expectations with more mentors, schools, teams and students than last year. The number of mentors and coaches grew from 15 in 2014 to 120 mentors and coaches in 2015; from 11 teams with 40 students in 2014 to 40 teams with more than 150 students in 2015; and from five schools in 2014 to 25 schools participating and supporting the Technovation Challenge. The girls have spent nearly 10,000 hours working on new apps to improve our world.
Since February 2015, the teams of girls have imagined, designed and built their mobile apps to compete in the international app building challenge. Teams can choose to build an app for a non-profit or address a teen or womens’ issue.
The Challenge culminates with the May 3 Appapalooza event where participants will “pitch” their apps and unveil their work. Ten teams from the United States and other countries will then be selected to fly to Silicon Valley, CA to present their app ideas to real venture capitalists; the winning team will be awarded $10,000 to help commercialize their app.
“We’re working to close the gender gap in computer science by teaching girls across Minnesota how to code and how be successful entrepreneurs,” explained Shawn Stavseth, Executive Director of Technovation[MN]. “Designing mobile apps is real and tangible for these girls because their cell phones are something they use every day. We want girls to understand the powerful role that technology can play in solving world problems.”
The May 3 Appapalooza is free and open to the public.