Our Furst Class Techies Team Travels to San Francisco

Our Furst Class Techies Team Travels to San Francisco for Technovation’s 5th Annual International Mobile App Competition for Girls. Finalists will fly in from Nigeria, India, Brazil, Mexico, and the US to compete for $20,000 in prizes.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – On June 24th, 43 young women from around the world, including the Technovation[MN] team, Furst Class Techies, from Kasson-Mantorville, MN will travel to San Francisco, CA to compete for $20,000 in seed funding in the 2015 Technovation World Pitch Competition.

Today, only 7% of technology entrepreneurs are women, only 4 in 1,000 female college freshmen want to major in computer science, and 50% of women who are in STEM careers leave the workforce. Technovation is helping change these statistics.

As a part of Technovation, teams of young women, ages 10-18, identify a problem in their community that they would like to solve, develop a mobile app prototype to address that community program, build a business plan on how they will bring their app to market and pitch the app to judges. Almost 50% of college-age alumnae intend to major in Computer Science because of Technovation (compared to the 0.4% of female college freshmen nationally).

Technovation is made possible through the generous support of its year round program sponsors, which include Adobe, Verizon, Intel, Oracle, CA Technologies, and Google. These sponsors make it possible for Technovation to impact thousands of girls across the globe for free.

This year, nearly 400 apps have been narrowed down to ten top finalists from Nigeria, India, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States (represented by teams from Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York and California). These ten apps address a range of problems as diverse as childhood obesity, improper waste disposal, sports concussions, drunk driving, and needless water waste.

Furst Class Techie’s app, called Mayo FreeTime was developed to help patients at Mayo Clinic find things to do between appointments. The app gives patients assistance so they can use their time wisely between appointments and helps them reduce stress, anxiety, boredom, sadness, or loneliness. Mayo FreeTIme could be adapted for other communities that have large medical campuses. A video of the K-M girls explaining their app is available on YouTube.

Furst Class along with the top ten teams will travel to San Francisco to amplify their impact at the 2015 Technovation World Pitch Events on June 24th and 25th. The event will include the pitch competition, half-day conference and final Technovation Award Ceremony. The events are sponsored by AVG, CA Technologies, LinkedIn, Rackspace and Yahoo.

On June 24th, the finalist teams will be joined by local Bay Area Technovation participants, coaches, mentors and volunteers at Yelp Headquarters in San Francisco to pitch live in front of a panel of judges from Google, Yahoo, Yelp, and more. “With similar initiatives in supporting women in tech and strengthening local communities across the globe, Yelp is thrilled to welcome these young innovators from Technovation.” said Rachel Williams, Head of Diversity and Inclusion. “We’re excited to see the diverse ideas that develop from this competition.”

The Technovation Award Ceremony will take place on June 25th. A larger audience of technology professionals, Technovation Teams, coaches, mentors, sponsors, and supporters will gather for networking, an App Expo, and the grand finale – an award ceremony to name the top middle school team and the top high school team, who will each receive $10,000 in seed funding to help make their apps a reality. The Award Ceremony program will feature a keynote by Tamara Lundgren, CEO of Schnitzer Steel.
During the day on June 25th, Technovation teams will participate in a half-day conference at the University of San Francisco.

“We are excited to host this year’s Technovation World Pitch Conference,” said Chris Brooks, associate dean for academic operations at the University of San Francisco. “USF has been very active in supporting and encouraging girls and women to explore careers in technology because it is critical that we develop women as leaders and entrepreneurs in the tech field. Technovation is providing important mentoring, support, and networking for these girls who will transform our world in the years to come.”

Workshops will be led by LinkedIn, AVG, Salesforce, Oracle, Akraya, Thoughtworks, Box, and more to help the girls develop the resources and skills to continue building their apps beyond the competition. A special keynote will be provided by Rebecca Parsons, CTO of Thoughtworks.

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 participate and $20k in awards will be distributed to two winning teams at the end of the 2015 season.

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.

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