IIE’s WeTech Launches 2015 Afterschool Program

BANGALORE, January 16, 2015—Professional mentors from Goldman Sachs and Qualcomm Incorporated will provide hands-on training in technology and business to 60 girls from Bangalore as part of the Women Enhancing Technology (WeTech) Program. Starting with an opening event on Saturday, January 17th at the Goldman Sachs Bangalore office, the 2015 WeTech Afterschool Program will bring the middle and high school girls together with their mentors to embark on a 3-month process of learning to build mobile apps that solve critical community problems.

The Afterschool Program incorporates tech talks and field trips linking girls with role models and career information, in addition to building programming skills. Building on the success of the first year of the WeTech Afterschool Program, the students will have the opportunity to invent a wide range of creative apps that respond to needs in the local community using the Technovation curriculum, with continued support from Goldman Sachs and Qualcomm. Technovation is a technology entrepreneurship program and competition for young women. At the close of the program, the girls and their families attend a graduation event where the girls pitch their apps to a large audience, competing for prizes and gaining valuable real life experience. In 2014, the winning apps filled needs ranging from providing assistance with career planning and finding study buddies to organizing patient medical histories and creating doctor profiles.

Technology continues to be a key source of growth and employment in India, and over the past decade an increased number of women pursued degrees in technology fields and entered tech jobs. However, the gender gap persists, particularly at premier institutions like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs)—the primary recruiting ground for leading tech companies—and at senior management levels. The more the current and rising young women can be sustained in the field, the greater potential they will have to serve as role models and contribute to building a healthy pipeline.

“WeTech is an important initiative that addresses the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math through the mentorship and development of high school girls. Goldman Sachs is proud to once again serve as a partner for the betterment of the local community, where we all work and live,” said Krishna Sudarshan, a managing director and head of Technology at Goldman Sachs in Bangalore.

“Qualcomm is pleased to be a part of the 2015 Afterschool Program and proud of its continued success as it strives to help young women excel and derive the economic benefits associated with technology jobs,” said Shawn A. Covell, vice president of government affairs, Qualcomm.

WeTech, a consortium led by the Institute of International Education, will use Technovation’s unique open source curriculum to:

  • Identify problems in the community and design mobile apps to address the issues
  • Create business plans and video pitches for the app to develop entrepreneurial skills
  • Submit pitches to a global competition held in the San Francisco Bay Area each summer
  • Participate in networking events, workshops and field trips to gain exposure to additional role models and resources to inspire them about career possibilities in tech

“I think it is a great opportunity for young girls like us to get exposure to technology and business,” said 2014 program participant Nikita Menon. “It gives us an insight into this field and helps us figure out what it would expect from us in the future, helping us understand if we would want to enter this sector in the future. Also, it's tons of fun.”

The teenage girls are part of the growing movement in 30 countries to use the Technovation curriculum to inspire and educate girls and women to solve real-world problems through technology. One of the 2014 teams Benign Enterprising Technological Innovation (BETI), attested to the value of the program in building new female tech leaders, saying, “Technovation is turning out to be an amazing roller coaster ride for all of us. It teaches us to work as a team and come up with effective solutions to problems we may encounter. It provides us with an amazing platform to showcase our creativity and skills. Thanks for this marvelous opportunity.”


About WeTech

WeTech helps more women and girls enter into and succeed in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) education and careers. Launched 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.

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

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), asset management, equity sales and trading, and fixed income securities businesses, as well as providing macro-economic and investment research. Goldman Sachs is also active in private equity and principal investing in India, deploying more than US$2 billion in capital since 2006. In addition, the firm's 5,400-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.

Launch Event Information

Additional contacts from WeTech, Goldman Sachs, and/or Qualcomm are available for interviews or quotes upon request.