Audience Choice Award goes to Furst Class Techies at the World Pitch Competition

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA – June 25, 2015) Technovation[MN] team, Furst Class Techies from Kasson-Mantorville, MN, not only won the Audience Choice Award but also received Honorable Mention in the Middle School Division at the World Pitch Technovation competition in San Francisco.

This competition brings the finalists together from the Global Technovation Challenge, a technology entrepreneurship competition for girls. World Pitch recognized 10 finalist teams from India, Mexico, Brazil, Nigeria, and the United States.

Andrea Richard, Rylee Melius, and Lydia Mindermann’s app, Mayo FreeTime, was developed to help patients at Mayo Clinic find things to do between appointments, helping them and their families reduce stress, anxiety, boredom, sadness, or loneliness. The team was guided by Coach Sharie Furst, Kasson-Mantorville Middle School STEM teacher and Mentor Kris Kendall, Software Engineer at IBM Rochester. A video of the Kasson-Mantorville girls explaining their app is available on YouTube.

Lydia, Andrea, and Riley had this to say: “Winning the Audience Choice Award was empowering, energizing, and we were really proud. The whole World Pitch experience was awesome!”

Jean Weiss, Executive Board Member of Technovation[MN] was also recognized by Technovation for her outstanding dedication and leadership as a Technovation Regional Ambassador.

Technovation[MN] in only its second year brought together over 90 mentors from the business community, 25 coaches from 22 schools, and over 120 girls on 28 teams. They worked together over 12 weeks to dream up, design, code, promote and pitch a mobile app to solve a community problem. The teams presented and celebrated all of their hard work at Appapalooza, the MN State Pitch event, to over 400 guests, made possible by generous sponsors from the Twin Cities community. The top 3 Middle School teams and the top High School team advanced to the Technovation Challenge semi-final round. The Kasson-Mantorville team was then selected from 63 teams globally to become one of the 10 finalists to attend the Technovation World Pitch event.

Executive Director and Co-founder of Technovation[MN], Shawn Stavesth and Jacqueline Byrd, Board Chair, had this to say about the team’s success: “So incredibly proud of our Kasson- Mantorville team and all of the girls who competed. This is a great step toward changing the gender paradigm in technology.”

About Technovation[MN]
Technovation[MN] inspires the next generation of women technology entrepreneurs by bringing the global Technovation Challenge to Minnesota. We inspire girls in middle school and high school to dream up, design, code and pitch mobile phone apps that help their communities. Technovation[MN] is an initiative of Code Savvy, a non-profit catalyst with programs that inspire a diverse new code-savvy generation.

About Technovation
Technovation is the global technology entrepreneurship program for girls. Participants work with professional mentors to research, design, build, and launch mobile apps that solve real problems in their communities over the course of 3 months. It is free to participates and $20k in awards will be distributed to two winning teams at the end of the 2015 season.

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