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Press Release

Bangalore Students Compete to Develop Innovative Mobile Apps to Address Community Problems

Senior leaders mentor girls to succeed in Information and Communications Technology careers

BANGALORE, July 18, 2014—A group of 60 middle school and high school girls will have the unique opportunity to present and pitch their own tech-savvy ideas for innovative mobile applications at the first ever WeTech Pitch Event, which is being held at the Ritz Carlton in Bangalore on July 19.

Women Enhancing Technology (WeTech) is a program helping more women and girls enter into and succeed in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) education and careers. Launched last fall at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting, this program is led by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and carried out with a consortium that includes Goldman Sachs, Google and Qualcomm Incorporated as lead collaborators.

For the past three months, 24 senior leaders from Goldman Sachs and Qualcomm have mentored female students to develop mobile apps and comprehensive business plans that will fuel economic and technological growth in India, utilizing curriculum by our partner, Technovation, which engages girls in 45 countries worldwide. With the support of their WeTech mentors, the students have invented a wide-range of creative apps that address community problems ranging from assistance with career planning and finding study buddies to organizing patient medical histories and creating doctor profiles. The students also participate in field trips and gain exposure to ICT role models and resources to lay the groundwork for the next generation of female ICT leaders.

Highlights of the WeTech event include:

  • Mr. Srivatsa Krishna, the IT Secretary of Karnataka, will deliver a luncheon keynote address discussing the Karnataka government’s emphasis on the steadily growing technology sector, and the importance of women in its development.
  • Corporate mentors will participate in a panel discussion about women and girls in ICT.
  • The top five teams of tech-savvy girls will pitch the apps that they have developed and their business plans to a panel of judges that includes Kumud Srinivasan, President of Intel India, Kavitha Santhana Lakshmi, Program Director of SAP, and Pradnya Karbhari, Software Engineer at Google.
  • An awards ceremony to announce the winners of the WeTech competition, along with a closing reception.

A large number of ICT professionals, as well as parents and teachers, will be in attendance.

"As a biology student who has never coded before, this was scary at first," said Shreya Jain of the NPS Koramangala School, and part of the Voyagers Team with Goldman Sachs. "But then I realized this is probably going to be one of the greatest experiences of my life."

"Goldman Sachs believes in gender diversity and takes pride in promoting and mentoring women in the field of technology," said Krishna Sudarshan, a managing director and head of Technology at Goldman Sachs in Bangalore.

The WeTech mentoring system works to create a channel for women to support, connect and inspire each other within and across generations, borders and cultures.

"With the accelerating growth of ICT jobs globally, engaging more women is critical to both bridging the growing talent gap and providing companies with the diverse skills and perspectives necessary to thrive," said Shawn A. Covell, vice president of government affairs, Qualcomm. "WeTech provides a positive platform for young women with a passion for engineering, and program leaders such as Dhana Kodithi, senior engineer for Qualcomm India, are excellent mentors who help these young women as they realize their full potential."

"There is a massive gender inclusion movement going on in the technology industry all over the globe and while the numbers in India are relatively higher, NASSCOM sees a huge opportunity in preparing women techies for co-founder roles in startups of tomorrow,” Rajat Tandon, Senior Director of the NASSCOM 10,000 Start-ups Program, a WeTech Pitch Event sponsor shared. “Under the aegis of Google’s #40 Forward campaign, we are looking at impacting/enabling 1,000 techies from India by the end of this year. It’s a pleasure to see technology corporations from a broad spectrum collaborating to mentor and support these teams and we are very impressed with the quality of the products that have been created."

WeTech is working with corporate partners to expand the opportunities for women and girls. NASSCOM has just joined WeTech, co-sponsoring the WeTech Pitch Event and supporting upcoming skills workshops and networking events for WeTech participants across India. WeTech partner Juniper Networks will offer scholarships and internships for women in India and the United States who are interested in careers in ICT. Mozilla has recently joined as a WeTech partner and is developing plans to provide workshops on open source software for college-age women in India, as well as for the teams who participated in the Technovation program. Wetech has also come on board to Mozilla's annual campaign Maker Party, which is a global campaign to celebrate making and learning, and to promote web literacy, connected learning and digital skills.

As the WeTech Manager, the Institute of International Education (IIE) is actively seeking new collaborators and resources to expand the program’s reach and impact. Individuals and organizations that wish to participate should contact IIE at WeTech@iie.org. For more information visit WeTech’s Webpage, Twitter and Facebook Page.  


About the Institute of International Education

As WeTech Manager, IIE aims to expand the consortium of partners and grow its resources to $10 million over three years, in order to build out activities and expand to additional regions in Africa, India and the U.S. as well as to new countries, such as Brazil and China.

 

IIE is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,200 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. Our vision is that educational, cultural and professional opportunities transcend borders to foster a peaceful and interconnected world where all people achieve their full potential; think and act as global citizens; and build inclusive, thriving communities.

Through its Center for Women's Leadership Initiatives, IIE provides opportunities for women worldwide to participate in cutting-edge training, professional development and exchange programs and pursue higher education. Through these programs, women develop and join networks of peers, mentors and experts and serve as effective leaders in the public and private sectors around the world.

About Goldman Sachs Group

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high-net-worth individuals. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world.

Goldman Sachs has been serving Indian clients since the early 1990s and established an onshore presence in India in December 2006 following a ten-year joint venture. Today, it serves leading corporate and institutional clients through corporate finance (investment banking), equity sales and trading and fixed income securities businesses, as well as providing macro-economic and investment research and asset management services. Goldman Sachs is also active in private equity and principal investing in India, deploying more than $2 billion in capital since 2006. In addition, the firm's 5,000 person Bangalore office provides critical support and service functions for Goldman Sachs around the world.

About Qualcomm

Qualcomm Incorporated is a world leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies. Qualcomm Incorporated includes Qualcomm’s licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of its patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of Qualcomm’s engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of its products and services businesses, including its semiconductor business, QCT. For more than 25 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of digital communications, linking people everywhere more closely to information, entertainment and each other. For more information, visit Qualcomm' website, OnQ blog, Twitter and Facebook pages. Learn more about the work Qualcomm and its project collaborators are doing.

About Technovation

Technovation is the global technology entrepreneurship program for young women, with over 1,300 alumnae from 19 countries. Middle school, high school, and university students work in teams to research, design, build, and launch a mobile app prototype through a 50-hour curriculum over 3 months, with guidance from dedicated volunteer teachers and female mentors who are professionals in STEM and business careers. They pitch their mobile app "startups" to investors via YouTube and compete for a chance to travel to Silicon Valley to make live pitches for $20k in seed funding toward further app development. No prior app development experience is necessary and it’s free to participate. Technovation is a program of Iridescent, a 501c3 non-profit organization in the United States. Learn more about Technovation.

About Mozilla

Mozilla is a global, nonprofit organization dedicated to making the Web better. We emphasize principle over profit and believe that the Web is a shared public resource to be cared for, not a commodity to be sold. We work with a worldwide community to create open source products like Mozilla Firefox, and to innovate for the benefit of the individual and the betterment of the Web. The result is great products built by passionate people and better choices for everyone. Learn more about Mozilla.

About Juniper Networks

Learn more about Juniper Networks.

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