Another Appapalooza has come and gone and this year’s turnout was a testament to how the Technovation Challenge is changing the face of the technology industry right here in Minnesota. Last year, there were over 50 teams of girls and over 50 judges at the Technovation Challenge, nearly doubling the turnout of the previous year. This year, 245 girls and 61 teams from 32 Minnesota schools participated.
These high school and middle school girls have spent the past three months and a combined total of 11,000 hours working on apps aimed to solve problems in their community. The teams came together at the Minneapolis Convention Center to “pitch” their ideas to judges, many of whom are local leaders and technology entrepreneurs. Apps were evaluated based on a judging rubric that included both objective and subjective scoring. Criteria included design, usability and functionality of their apps.
Following their presentations, the top eight teams were announced and will advance to the semi-finals where teams from around the world compete for the opportunity to present at Technovation Global Pitch Summit this summer in San Francisco. Check out this year’s winners.
In today’s rapidly growing and evolving tech industry, it’s more important than ever to advocate for STEM education, especially among young girls. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, “Engineers are the second largest STEM occupational group, but only about one out of every seven engineers is female.”
Shawn Stavseth helped bring the Global Technovation Challenge to Minnesota in 2014. Girls around the world between the ages of 10-18 learn to identify a problem in their community and are taught skills to build mobile app solutions that address the problem. The competition aims to inspire girls to contribute their essential voices to help make the world a better place through technology and entrepreneurship.