Teen Girls


Do you want to fix something, change something, invent something? Come join our community of over 87 teams in a 12-week long program that teaches girls how to build a mobile app that solves a real problem in your community.

With our community of over 300 mentors skilled in ideation, marketing, business development, user experience design, and software development, you will learn industry-relevant skills and the opportunity to compete in a global competition. At the culmination of the challenge, teams pitch and demo their app to a panel of judges of prospective investors and industry professionals at our state pitch event, Appapalooza. The semi-finalists compete on a regional level, and finalists are selected to fly to Silicon Valley where they pitch to Senior Executives from large and small corporations in the hopes of winning seed funding and help to commercialize your app.

Many of our Appapalooza winners will continue to refine their idea and app and go on to compete in other regional competitions such as the Minnesota Cup Youth Division and Minnedemo. Many teams have such a great time that they come back, year after year!

In middle school, 74% of girls express interest in STEM fields, but only 0.4% of female college freshmen plan to major in Computer Science. This lack of participation in such an important and growing field has serious consequences for the future of technological innovation. If women aren’t represented in technology, your ideas, concerns, and designs won’t be included when we create the cities, cars, infrastructure, medicines, communications, companies, and governments of tomorrow. Teach a girl to code she can create anything she sees missing in this world.


Participants– Teams of up to 5 girls in middle school or high school (up to age 18) Commitment– 40-60 hours: 4 guided hours per week from Feb through Apr Experience– No prior programming experience is needed Accessibility– The entire curriculum can be accessed online


Junior Division – Students between 10-14 years old as of August 1 compete to win seed funding to bring their app to market and a trip to World Pitch Night in San Francisco to show off their talent

Senior Division – Students ages 15 – 18 years old as of August 1 compete to win funding to bring their app to market and a trip to World Pitch Night in San Francisco to compete on the global stage.


Check out our school listing and find out if your school is participating in the Technovation Challenge. If you don’t see your school, drop us a note at @technovationmn on Twitter, or send us an email.


Get inspired by reviewing past regional winners and their demo and pitch video. 

An excerpt from Tien VoNguyen, Technovation[MN] participant and Student Ambassador. Read her whole post – If not us who, if not now when – here.

I grew up in a traditional Vietnamese family. We do not travel or do much outside of the norm. The only pieces of technology I ever knew growing up were the clunky tv, the boxy computer, and the annoying fax machine. I went to a predominantly white private school and didn’t fit in at all. Throughout school, I was ashamed of my culture and of my parents. I would hide in the corner when my parents attempted to speak English to my teachers or other parents. 

Through Technovation I met role models already in technology and made concrete what I wanted to work toward after high school. Everyone I met along this journey showed me how to be unapologetic, to be unapologetically female, to be unapologetically intelligent, to be unapologetically assertive, to be an unapologetic leader. My parents, especially, played significant roles in helping me be who I am today. They will forever be my role models and I can only hope to be half as persevering and hard-working as they are. I can truly say that I am proud to be their daughter. And now, I want to major in Biomedical Engineering, and work toward helping girls bridge the gender gap, particularly in STEM. Being here tonight makes me ecstatic for the future- seeing how many advocates we have for that goal.


Expanding on the Technovation Challenge and our partnership with Amazon, we are excited to share that we are working together to host an Alexa Skills Challenge this fall. The Alexa Skills Challenge: Life Hacks will be 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.

Learn more

Want to get involved? Be sure to visit our resources for girls.