We're entrepreneurs, mentors, and educators looking to teach girls everywhere the skills they need to change the world with technology.
Technovation offers girls around the world the opportunity to learn the skills they need to emerge as tech entrepreneurs and leaders. Every year we invite girls to identify a problem in their community, and then challenge them to solve it.
Girls work in teams to build both a mobile app and a business plan to launch that app, supported by mentors and guided by our curriculum.
Technovation's curriculum takes students through 4 stages of launching a mobile app startup, inspired by the principles of design thinking:
If current trends continue, by 2018 the information technology industry will only be able to fill half of its available jobs.
Engineers are the second largest STEM occupational group, but 1 in 7 engineers is female.
-- US Department of Commerce
Technovation has a profound impact on students and mentors.
A five year look-back survey of alumni showed that while most students had little or no experience with computer science before Technovation, their experience with Technovation had a powerful effect. After participating in Technovation, participants were more interested in:
- Computer Science (78%)
- Entrepreneurship (70%)
- Business Leadership (67%)
Additionally, after participating in Technovation:
- 26% of alumnae in college major in CS. This is 65x the national rate of 0.4% of first-year female college students majoring in CS.
- 58% of alumnae enroll in subsequent Computer Science courses.
Impact on Mentors
One of the first women to graduate from YCombinator was inspired to apply because of her experience as a mentor with Technovation. As it turns out, Technovation helps professional women in some surprising ways.
After volunteering with Technovation1:
- 58% of mentors increased their technical skills
- 67% of mentors increased their knowledge about entrepreneurship
- 70% of mentors learned to be effective mentors
1 "Technovation Lookback Report: A Retrospective Survey of Five Technovation Cohorts (2010-204).
In the News
Tara Chklovski points out that only seven percent of tech startups are currently being founded by women. Her not-for-profit group Iridescent is urgently redressing this through the fantastic Technovation competition, featured in the movie CodeGirl (check it out on Netflix). Technovation 2016 attracted more than 8,000 entries from girls and young women around the world […] Read More
The Technovation Team
Madhavi is excited to design strategy and guide implementation for community projects in developing countries. Her project implementation approach is guided by the Human Centered design – creative problem solving and innovation. She has worked on many different projects related to initiatives for women’s empowerment, youth, and education.
Madhavi comes from a research background and has a PhD in International Relations from Jadavpur University in India. Her primary area of research was foreign and domestic policies of South Asian countries. She switched from a career in academia to international development as she enjoys the hands-on approach and loves to connect with people.
Madhavi enjoys cooking and spending time with her family. Her bucket list includes visiting one new country each year!
Cristal comes with a background in international political economy and public policy, and prior to joining Technovation spent 4 years in management consulting working on civil health and Federal early childhood education program implementation.
Cristal is passionate about being a good global citizen, and loves that her job involves bringing together and empowering girls from around the world to tackle today's most pressing social and economic challenges. She is a proud Mexican-American, California native, and UC Berkeley alumna (go Cal Bears!).
Technovation Global Ambassador
Anar Simpson is a technologist and entrepreneur. She founded Parallel Earth, a startup which aggregated and curated social media for events. Her career in technology took root in the Oil & Gas industry in Calgary, Canada after which she had several roles in academia with a technology focus until she moved to Silicon Valley. She is a member of the Advisory Committee for U.S. State Department TechWomen program and a member of the advisory board of Wired Differently, a citizen science initiative from MIT. She is the Global Ambassador for Technovation Challenge; a member of the Advisory Board for Resilient Capital, a VanCity initiative; Strategic Advisor for the IIE Centre for Women’s Leadership Initiatives; and was on the Organizing Committee of the C100 which connects Canadian technology entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley. She has also been a mentor with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. Anar has a Bachelors degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Communications from the University of Calgary and has completed the Program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.
The Iridescent Team
Tara brings STEM content knowledge and executive administration abilities to the effort. She has previously worked as the principal at a 300 student K-6 school in India. She has consistently and cost-effectively doubled Iridescent’s impact every year by heavily relying on technology, synergistic partnerships, rigorous evaluation and volunteers.
Motto: “Every day, in every way, I’m getting stronger and faster.” – Santilhano
Maggie helps share Technovation and the stories of its participants with the world. Maggie has been working with Iridescent since 2013.
Mentor Community Manager
Monica believes education should be accessible regardless of a learner’s location, internet connection, or wallet size. This is why she loves eLearning. It connects people to people and people to information that will empower them. She has developed more than 50 online courses and five online schools for adult learners. Monica has lived in seven countries as a student, educator and project manager.
Engineering Curriculum Developer
Alli is a curriculum developer at Iridescent. She started her work for Iridescent in 2014 while she was studying chemical engineering at the Cooper Union in New York City. Since then she's empowered families and children in the Bronx, Queens, San Francisco Bay Area, and South Los Angeles through hands on learning. She uses her experience working with children to make curriculum for Technovation and Curiosity Machine. Her passion for her work stems from her desire to close the achievement gap and give kids everywhere the tools they need to succeed.
Manager of Engineering Content Development
Rusty develops cutting edge curriculum based on the work of actual scientists and engineers for Curiosity Machine, with the ultimate goal of creating a shorter distance between students and scientists. Rusty also manages the Technovation Master Educator program, supporting educators as they help bring Technovation to more students more effectively.
Katy Santa Maria
Social Media Specialist
Katy Santa Maria
Katy believes that powerful work deserves to be shared in a way that is meaningful and can reach even more audiences. That's why she joined Iridescent in June of 2016 as its Communications Intern after similar marketing positions with Planned Parenthood and a Philadelphia-based non-profit called Entrepreneur Works. Today, as Iridescent's Social Media Specialist, Katy has the joy of continuing to share Technovation and Curiosity Machine's stories to the thousands of learners already involved and to the millions more who may one day join us to "imagine, invent, and engineer."
Post-Production Video and Design Specialist
Peter works on video and design projects for Iridescent.
Board of Directors
Technovation is a program of Iridescent, a 501c3 non-profit. Iridescent creates and delivers powerful science, engineering and technology education to help underprivileged young people develop curiosity, creativity and perseverance.