“I was mentored, and now I’m becoming the mentor for other students. Hopefully they can continue the cycle and we can inspire generations to come.”

-Meenakshi Nair
Student Ambassador and Technovation Alumna

At 15 years old, most adolescents aren’t thinking about closing gender gaps or establishing a community focused on mentorship and the positive change they can cause for generations to come. Meenakshi does, though. It’s hard to believe she’s so young, given her accomplishments and drive to support other girls to learn how to use technology and make positive impacts on their communities.

Over the past two years, Meenakshi has supported over 40 girls to create technology solutions to real community problems through the Technovation Girls program. She’s collaborated with an international network Student and Chapter Ambassadors, and facilitated several informational sessions for girls worldwide, including workshops on ideation, coding, and pitching. She’s also founded her own STEM and AI education organization, RiseToAI, and launched an app development course on Udemy—all while also managing a demanding academic workload!

Growing up in California, Meenakshi was interested in technology from a young age, but it wasn’t until she first participated in Technovation Girls in 2020—the height of COVID pandemic lockdowns in the US— that she realized how much impact she could have by creating technology to solve problems she saw in the world around her.

With the help of two friends, Meenakshi developed a mobile app, CO2 Sensei, over the course of the Technovation Girls program. The app aimed to help businesses safely reopen and recover from COVID impacts. Features include bluetooth, a CO2 sensor, AI image recognition, and alerts to notify users of dangerous CO2 levels as a proxy for poor ventilation. With the help of their mentor, the app was launched in 2021. The team was invited to pitch their app at Technovation’s annual World Summit event as a finalist team selected from over 2,700 teams and went on to win the Technovation Girls Junior Division Grand Prize.

After completing the Technovation Girls program, Meenakshi wanted to find a way to share her experience with more girls. “I was very interested in [Technovation] and it’s program and it’s mission” she explains. After becoming a Technovation Student Ambassador, she found that helping other girls learn how to create technology was something she found passion in as a way of empowering them to help their communities. “We have a lot of great discussions about problems in our community, and how we can use technology to solve these. That’s what’s motivating me to continue as a Student Ambassador…helping more girls get into not just Technovation, but the STEM field in general.”

Help make technology education and mentorship accessible to more girls around the world. Learn how you can support Technovation or get involved.

Meenakshi is an upcoming high school junior from the San Francisco Bay Area. 

She is the founder of risetoai.org through which she is conducting events and coding workshops for teens interested in STEM, AI and programming. She recently published a free Udemy course for Mobile App Development on Thunkable.  She loves all things about entrepreneurship and computer science, and  she aspires to be a tech entrepreneur, connecting AI and communities. Visit her website risetoai.org/technovation-for-girls to learn more.