Today's High School Girls Are Tomorrow's Mobile App Inventors

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Watch the top 11 teams of high school girls pitch their Android apps and business plans to investors on May 3 in Santa Clara at the Technovation Challenge National Pitch Night. By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)

What would the next generation of high school girls build if given the chance to build the next big startup? What would their Android mobile apps look like? What would their business models look like? How would their elevator pitches to top investors in the community sound? What do the young tech-savvy inventors of tomorrow look like?

Find out for yourself on Thursday, May 3 in Santa Clara, California at the National Pitch Night for Technovation Challenge as the top 11 teams from New York, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles high schools compete to have their innovative smartphone apps taken to market! The event open to the public - free RSVP here. Bring your school-aged children, nieces and nephews to watch these Technovation girls present - it will be an inspiring night! Each of the teams will present the Android apps and business plans they have built during the program, and field tough questions from a panel of investors. There will also be an app fair featuring all presenting teams (pictured above).

Why Technovation Challenge Matters To Startup Leaders

Before participating in a Technovation Challenge program (which teaches high school girls to build a business plan and Android app in 10 short weeks) - 61% of the students had little or no experience programming and 89% of the participants had never been mentored by a female scientist or engineer prior to the program.

After participating in a program, 66% of the girls have reported they would be interested in a career in computer science or engineering and 67% of the students felt confident that they could achieve a career in business or entrepreneurship. Especially encouraging is that 78% of the participants feel confident that they could be part of a team which starts a high-tech company in the future!

We are on our way to solving the problem of "Where are the women in technology and startups?" by supporting programs like Technovation, part of the Iridescent 501c3 non-profit which provides STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education for underserved and underrepresented youth in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Boston area schools.

Here is a quote from a participant of Technovation Challenge: "I am most proud of learning how to design an app for the Google Android. I think that is a really interesting and unique skill to have. I also enjoyed learning how to create PowerPoints and improving my public speaking skills."

Support The Girls

Technovation is still looking for corporate sponsors for the event. Each sponsor will be invited to table at National Pitch Night on May 3 in Santa Clara and will be acknowledged on our website and newsletter (reaching an audience of 1000+ tech-minded folks). Email annalise@iridescentlearning.org.

You can also support the girls by becoming a mentor in a future Technovation program.

About The Technovation Challenge

This spring 2012, over 500 high school girls from around the country took part in the challenge to build the most innovative mobile app using App Inventor for Android. Courses are hosted by Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Adobe, Twitter, UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

During the ten-week program, students utilize principles from the Lean Business Model and the Design Thinking process as they develop a prototype, do market research, write a business plan, and formulate a "pitch" for the final competition. Each team is supported by both a classroom teacher "coach" and a female mentor from the technology industry.

About the writer: Angie Chang co-founded Women 2.0 in 2006. She currently serves as Editor-In-Chief of Women 2.0 and is working to mainstream women in high-growth, high-tech entrepreneurship. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design. In 2008, Angie launched Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners, asking that guys come as the "+1" for once. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.