Technovation Challenge A Course In Entrepreneurship For High School Girls – And Their Mentors

picturesinvites

Words of wisdom from Technovation Challenge speakers, and invitation to Pitch Events.

By Jeri Countryman (Director of Curriculum & Assessment, Iridescent)

The Technovation Challenge is a program to promote women in technology by giving girls the skills and confidence they need to be successful in computer science and entrepreneurship by developing a mobile phone app prototype, writing a business plan and pitching their idea to a panel of venture capital and technology startup judges.

During the ten-week program girls are supported by high school teachers and female mentors in the technology industry. This spring over 500 girls are participating in programs across the country in the San Francisco, Mountain View, Berkeley, San Jose, Boston, New York City and Los Angeles.

“Professionally, this has been a great course in entrepreneurship. My favorite lecture was the Pitch lecture. I have been to many workshops and seminars in the past, and I think this one was top notch.” – Technovation Challenge Mentor

Iridescent, the science education non-profit that runs the Technovation Challenge, has invited guest speakers from leading technology startups to share their stories of a path to a career in technology and their lessons learned along the way. These videos and many more are available for you to learn from, on the Technovation Challenge website.

Words of Wisdom

Anu Tewary (Founder, Technovation Challenge) shared what inspired her to start the Technovation Challenge and that success is the journey along a bumpy road:

Janice Fraser (Founder & CEO, LUXr) talked about how being an entrepreneur is the ability to reinvent the world:

Eric Ries (Founder, The Lean Startup) discussed that programming is magic and how the Lean Startup can help find out if your idea is as good as you think it is:

Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief Women 2.0) encourages girls to get excited and make things. Her three tips for entrepreneurs are 1. Have a business model 2. Know your numbers. Math counts. 3. Try try again. No one gets it right the first time:

Leah Busque (Founder & CPO, TaskRabbit) shared her story of founding TaskRabbit. She tells the girls to follow their passion, trust themselves and be confident in what you bring to the table:

Pitch Events

The Technovation Challenge culminates with regional pitch events when teams of girls pitch their ideas to leaders from venture capital firms and the technology industry. The winning teams then move on the National Pitch Night. These events will include a poster session where the girls demo the phone app prototypes, a keynote speaker, pitches by the girls and questions from the judges, and the announcement of the Technovation Challenge winner.

Some of the judges and speakers include Ben Horowitz of Andreessen Horowitz, Adeo Ressi of the Founder Institute, Eva Ho of Factual, David Lee of SV Angel, Angela Benton of NewME Accelerator, and Sandy Jen of Meebo.

Regional Pitch Events will be held on Saturday, April 28, 2012 and National Pitch Night will be held on Thursday, May 3, 2012 from 6pm to 9pm. Register for these events here.

This work has been made possible because of the generous support of the Office of Naval Research.

Editor’s note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below.

About the guest blogger: Jeri Countryman is the Director of Curriculum and Assessment at Iridescent, a science-education nonprofit that helps engineers, scientists and high-tech professionals bring cutting edge science, technology and engineering to high school girls and underprivileged minority children and their families. Jeri is a graduate of Mills College Interdisciplinary Science program and has over a decade of experience encouraging girls to pursue science, technology and engineering careers.