Iridescent's Technovation World Pitch Challenge is an opportunity for pre-college girls from around the world with an interest in technology entrepreneurship to win $20,000 in seed funding for their ideas.
About half of the competition's participants plan to major in computer-related studies, according to organizers.
Now in its sixth year, the event has collectively attracted 5,000 participants from more than 30 countries. Organizers say such efforts address a pressing need to increase the number of women filling computer-related jobs. The U.S. Labor Department forecasts the U.S. will add 778,000 computer-related jobs in the current decade, but the U.S. National Science Foundation estimates only 18 percent of bachelor's degrees in computer science majors are awarded to women.
The Technovation Challenge's organizers asked entrants to create mobile apps that address local issues, and the finalists' proposals targeted childhood obesity, sports concussions, drunk driving, water waste, and waste disposal. Brazilian middle-schoolers demonstrated a mobile game about water conservation, while a five-girl team from India showcased an app that connects waste producers to recyclers to generate revenue.
The United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization estimates women comprise 30 percent of the world's scientists.
From The Wall Street Journal
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