Iridescent, a global STEM education nonprofit, is launching its 2018 season with Technovation Alliance partners: Salesforce.org, Google's Made with Code, Adobe Foundation, and Uber. This alliance is working to marshal the resources of multiple tech and innovation partners to make a deeper and more sustainable impact in inspiring and supporting female tech leaders across the globe. Technovation is the world's largest technology entrepreneurship program for girls aged 10-18. It runs across more than 100 countries, supported by UNESCO, Peace Corps and UN Women.
Every year, Iridescent invites girls to identify a problem in their community and then challenges them to solve it. The girls work in teams to build both a mobile app and a business plan to launch that app, supported by mentors – many from Alliance partners – and guided by our curriculum. "There are thousands of girls around the world who are creative, talented and motivated to change their communities and we want to provide them with the tools they need," said Michelle Crozier, Executive Director, Adobe Foundation. "At Adobe Foundation, we believe that creativity is the catalyst for positive change and the Technovation Alliance is one way in which we foster that change." Technovation's curriculum takes students through 4 stages of launching a mobile app startup, inspired by the principles of design thinking:
- Ideation – Identify a problem in the community
- Technology – Develop a mobile app solution
- Entrepreneurship – Build a business plan to launch the app
- Pitch – Bring the business to market
"For over a decade Iridescent has offered, innovated, and scaled the Technovation program and we are excited to have more partners join this movement," said Tara Chklovski, CEO and Founder, Iridescent. "Not only will these partners support this global phenomenon financially, their resources, mentors and strategic insights are invaluable for aspiring female tech entrepreneurs across the globe."
The support of the Technovation 2018 Alliance goes directly to helping local communities create global solutions from the ground up. In the villages of Bolivia or the slums of Mumbai, this Alliance is making it possible to overcome numerous challenges for young women to realize their dreams and build their confidence as leaders. Since the start of Technovation eight years ago, Iridescent has reached 15,000 girls around the world who are solving for a diverse range of problems including food waste, nutrition, women's safety and more.
"Through our 'Made with Code' Program we hope to get young women excited about learning to code and to close the gender gap in the tech industry," said Lauren Baum, Program Manager for Google's Made with Code. "By showing girls around the world how they can leverage technology in a way that improves their community, we can inspire them to create the technology of the future."
"We are a global business, operating in more than 600 cities across 78 countries. It's important that our workforce represents this diversity, which is why we're proud to join The Technovation Alliance to ensure the next generation of creators and makers emerges from everywhere," added Bernard Coleman III, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Uber. After girls take part in Technovation, Iridescent has seen drastic increases in STEM, Computer Science, Entrepreneurship and Business Leadership interest among participants, specifically:
- 78% of students were more interested in Computer Science and 58% of alumnae enroll in subsequent Computer Science courses;
- 70% of students were more interested in Entrepreneurship
- 67% of students were more interested in Business Leadership
"Salesforce.org is committed to creating a global workforce that is more equitable, more skilled, diverse, and prepared for tomorrow," said Ebony Frelix, SVP, Philanthropy & Engagement at Salesforce.org. "The world we envision will see more young girls enrolled in computer science and represented in technology careers, which is why we're extremely proud to support Technovation Alliance and future female tech leaders."
Iridescent is a science, engineering, and technology education nonprofit organization that empowers underrepresented young people to become self-motivated learners, inventors, and leaders. Founded in 2006 by CEO Tara Chklovski, Iridescent now has more than 66,000 children, parents, mentors, and educators who have participated in its two global programs: Technovation, the world's largest global tech entrepreneurship program for girls, and Curiosity Machine, a unique, open-ended, project-based learning program that inspires students, families, and teachers to solve science and engineering problems together. Iridescent has proudly trained more than 3,500 engineers and scientists to develop design challenges and/or mentor students and families. In recognition of its pioneering work for collective impact in underserved communities, Iridescent received the prestigious 2015 Excellence in Mentoring award, a US2020 White House Initiative.