Twelve finalist teams traveled to Silicon Valley to pitch mobile app solutions tackling pressing issues like sustainability and domestic violence
Aug. 16, 2019, SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Technovation (formerly known as Iridescent), a global technology education nonprofit, announced that two teams of girls – from Albania and India – were awarded nearly $30,000 USD in scholarships at its 2019 Technovation World Pitch Summit that took place August 13-16. The main pitch event, hosted at Oracle’s Santa Clara campus on August 15, was the culmination of the annual Technovation Girls program in which 7,200 girls, ages 10-18, from 57 countries are tasked to develop a mobile application to solve an issue they’ve identified in their community.
More than $50,000 USD was awarded across all finalist teams to put towards bringing their product to market or to fund further education in STEM.
The winning teams are:
First Place Teams:
Senior Division Team: D3c0ders
App name: GjejZâ
GjejZâ helps women who are survivors of domestic abuse, by providing information about domestic violence, offering legal, psychological and medical consultation options, and connecting users with an SOS emergency hotline.
This team received $15,000 USD.
Junior Division Team: Social Relay
App name: Baton
Baton maximizes the impact of initiatives started by social work interns or students in underserved communities after internships end by transferring incomplete projects to other NGOs.
This team received $12,000 USD.
Second Place Teams:
Senior Division Team: Uproot
App name: Uproot
Uproot helps identify and control invasive weed species negatively impacting California agriculture by making use of machine learning technology.
This team received $10,000 USD.
Junior Division Team: LiterTree
App name: Naeng-Norng
Naeng-Norng, translated as ‘rhyme and rhythm’, is a platform dedicated to preserving Khmer poetry which is at risk of being forgotten due to its massive loss during the Khmer Rouge Genocide.
This team received $5,000 USD.
In addition, team Brain Squad (Nigeria), was named this year’s People’s Choice award recipients for their app, Hands Out, following a week of online voting.
Finalists came from all over the world, including Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Spain and Kazakhstan. Similarly, their projects ranged in mission—while Brazilian teens created an app for suicide prevention, their Indian counterparts sought to increase social and mental well-being in their community by connecting orphans and senior citizens in old-age homes. Four Canadian youth created an app that helps children address social anxiety through a 3-step process, and an American finalist used image recognition to identify opioid addiction.
“Every year we are blown away by the dedication and cognizance of girls around the world tackling issues concerning the environment or mental health with such creativity and agency, and this year was no different,” said Tara Chklovski, CEO & founder, Technovation. “This competition has always been much more than an avenue to promote STEM education — it is a platform that empowers young girls to make an impact in their communities and foster their entrepreneurial spirit.”
While the computing industry is currently creating jobs at a rate three times the U.S. national average, research shows that women will only hold 20% of computing jobs by 2025. Through its girls program, Technovation has empowered more than 23,000 girls from 100+ countries to change these statistics and see themselves as changemakers who have the power to solve problems in their communities using technology. Technovation partners with leading community and corporate supporters, including those from Oracle, Uber, Adobe, and Salesforce to bring opportunities and access to girls everywhere.
“Real change takes place when we invest in our future women leaders, beginning with education that equips them with the knowledge, skills and resources they need to make an impact in society,” said Justine Sass, Chief of the Section of Education for Inclusion and Gender Equality at UNESCO, who was also the keynote speaker at the Technovation World Pitch event. “Technovation has given girls a platform to develop a sense of ethos and a drive for innovation that will close the gender gap in the innovation economy.”
“It is no surprise that in the tech industry, we discuss the gender gap and its implications as an urgent and widespread problem stunting the progress of innovation,” said Colleen Cassity, Executive Director of the Oracle Education Foundation and Oracle Giving & Volunteering. “Technovation creates lasting, meaningful change by empowering girls, and we are proud to support this mission.”
Team D3coders, First Place, Senior Division
Team Social Relay, First Place, Junior Division
Team Uproot, Second Place, Senior Division
Team LiterTree, Second Place, Junior Division
Technovation (formerly Iridescent) is a global tech education nonprofit that empowers children and adults to become more confident leaders, creators and problem-solvers. Technovation offers interactive learning programs in which young people ages 8-18 and adults in their community learn how to use AI and app-based technologies to solve real-world problems. Technovation partners with leading organizations like UNESCO and UN Women, and with mentors from companies like Google, NVIDIA and Adobe to reach children and families in more than 100 countries. To learn more, visit technovation.org.
Bateman Group for Technovation