SAN FRANCISCO, June 4, 2015—Two teams of middle and high school-aged girls, who took part in Institute of International Education’s (IIE) WeTech India Afterschool Program in Bengaluru have been selected as 2015 Technovation finalists and will present their mobile apps in a competition at the Technovation World Pitch Event in San Francisco on June 24th.
The finalists were among 14 teams of middle and high school-aged girls from Bengaluru, who were matched through WeTech with Qualcomm, Target, and Goldman Sachs volunteer mentors in January for the 12-week Technovation curriculum. The teams developed ideas and plans for innovative mobile apps that addressed a social problem in their local community. During each weekly session, mentors guided students in learning the technical and business skills needed to build their own mobile app and to design a business plan showcasing their app ideas. At the end of the project, teams submitted their finalized pitch and demo videos to the global Technovation competition, along with business plans and app descriptions, competing with other teams in the Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia division to make it to the next round.
Four WeTech Afterschool Program teams advanced to the semi-final round, and one team from each of the high school and the middle school categories were selected as finalists to represent their geographic division in the San Francisco event.
The X-Women team of high school girls, mentored by volunteers from Goldman Sachs, addressed barriers to employment opportunities by creating a career development app for differently-abled people. Their innovative mobile app, called “CAppAble,” helps individuals develop professional skills to secure jobs while connecting job seekers with a wide range of employers.
The middle school finalist team, Pentechan, also mentored by Goldman Sachs volunteers, advanced to the final round for their app “Sellixo,” which provides an online marketplace for users to buy and sell dry waste. The app incentivizes and encourages the proper disposal of waste by making it profitable for users.
“Early guidance to young girl students is not only critical to bridging the talent gap in the field of technology, but also goes a long way in bringing diverse perspectives, which is an imperative to Goldman Sachs. The WeTech afterschool program, through the Technovation Challenge and with mentors from Goldman Sachs, provides an excellent platform to help young students realize their full potential,” said Joanne Hannaford, a managing director at Goldman Sachs.
WeTech is a consortium of dedicated partners led by the Institute of International Education (IIE) to design and support a series of innovative activities that provide training, build networks and offer professional opportunities to help women and girls around the world enter STEM fields and succeed in technology careers. Launched at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in 2013, WeTech has engaged 26 companies, 115 mentors, 36 schools and 3,400 girls in 13 countries to date and was the subject of a video narrated by Chelsea Clinton in 2014.
As the Manager of the WeTech initiative, IIE is actively seeking new partners and resources to expand the program’s reach and impact. Individuals and organizations that wish to participate should contact IIE at WeTech@iie.org.
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 an active investor in India, deploying more than US$2 billion in capital since 2006. In addition, the firm's 5,400-person Bengaluru office provides critical support and service functions for Goldman Sachs around the world.
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 San Francisco 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.