Canadian girls win big at Technovation Challenge
The Technovation Challenge has announced three Canadian teams as winners of its 2019 competition. Two of the teams will receive $1,000 scholarships, while one team will now fly on to Silicon Valley for World Pitch, the networking support event for young women aspiring to change the world through tech.
Founded in Silicon Valley, Technovation is a 3-month-long challenge that teaches 10 to 18-year-old girls the technical and coding skills needed to help them develop mobile apps and launch their own businesses. Each week of the event, attendees work in different teams to solve problems that affect the community, in sectors such as health, education, and the environment.
During the Technovation Challenge, the girls’ teams are matched with representatives from global tech companies, who are on hand to help them move through four stages of launching a mobile app start-up:
- identifying a problem in the community
- developing a solution
- building a business plan
- taking the business to market.
Once their ideas are formed, the teams then go on to pitch their businesses and apps at pitch competitions in various cities across the world.
The Canadian winners from this year’s Technovation Challenge are:
This project aims to help children address social anxiety through a three-step process. First, users share their experience with Charlie, a friendly digital dog. Then, a trustworthy and supportive digital therapist listens, asks questions, and offers advice to address social anxiety. Last, the Resource Hub shares stories from people with social anxiety, and links to local and online resources. Cloud9 was a named a junior division finalist and will be flown to Silicon Valley for World Pitch for a week of networking, field trips, workshops, and the chance to win scholarships.
This team developed a social media app that aims to expand seniors’ social groups, enhance their cognitive abilities, and improve their overall quality of life. Seniors can interact with each other by messaging and video calling. The project won a $1,000 scholarship as a regional winner.
A.I.D. or Aid in Disaster (Kitchener-Waterloo):
This team created software that connects donors, emergency response organizations and governments after natural disasters to make sure survivors get the help they need. Victims share what they need and their location and response organizations can choose a region to focus on and access precise information about that region’s needs. Donors can see a list of needed resources. This project was also a regional winner and received a $1,000 scholarship.
Since 2010, more than 23,000 girls from over 100 countries have participated in Technovation. Technovation claims that 70% of its alumnae enrol in a computer science course, and 26% of its college alumnae major in computer science.