Technovation Challenge LA – high school tech girls

26 03 2011

As some of you are aware, my big project for the past few months has been being a mentor for high school girls in Technovation Challenge, run by Iridescent, a science and technology education nonprofit. This program is designed to encourage and expose women to computer science, entrepreneurship, and business. The students are broken in to small teams and have been challenged to come up with ideas and create a mobile phone app (for Android phones using Google’s App Inventor)

It’s been so fun so far! I have three girls in my group and they are doing an excellent job! They have decided to build a concert finder app (We don’t have a name for it yet – any ideas?). We’ve started writing our business plan and haven’t actually started doing the coding for it yet (We’ve been doing tutorials to learn about programming each week, so that we can give them some technical skills before they start on their project).

I’ve learned so much. I didn’t think that I would be learning this much, as a mentor. However, I only took one programming class in college (Visual Basic). It was enough so that I understand the concepts, but not enough to really make anything. I was a MIS student: Management Information Systems. We were trained so that we could manage programmers, and be the business side of the IT department and still know what’s going on. However, I’ve jumped to the technical side. Yes, I still think in terms of the business way of thinking, however I really enjoy the technical parts. Tuesdays we do programming tutorials and then on Thursdays we do brainstorming and business planning. I love Tuesdays. Maybe I should have been a programmer?
I’ve also learned how to interact with high school students. I haven’t really ever worked with high schoolers before – mostly just college kids. They’re so cute! It’s interesting how different the freshmen are from the seniors!

In about 5 weeks, we’ll be having the final competition night. The girls are competing against the other groups in front of a judge of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. One group will go on to the Nationals competition at Google Headquarters. The girls will present their business plan and the prototype of their app. I’m really excited for this. I think they will do a great job.

If you would be interested in being a part of this special night for my team, we’d really appreciate it. On April 28th, they will be presenting their apps and business plans to a panel of judges at a Pitch Night, and we would appreciate your sponsorship of this event. By making a tax-deductible donation to Technovation Challenge LA, you invest in the future of girls and women in technology and business! This is something that I’m really passionate about!

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