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
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!
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.
Ophélie works with the Student Ambassadors and coordinates various Technovation events. She has a background in international development and is originally from France.
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 Chklovski is the CEO and founder of the global non-profit Iridescent. Her mission in life has been to transform the opportunities available to young people, especially girls, to reach their full-potential and impact their communities. Tara founded Iridescent in 2006 to create and deliver powerful science, engineering, and technology education to empower underrepresented young people. Iridescent has since grown to a community of over 7,000 mentors and more than 90,000 participants throughout the world through its flagship programs Curiosity Machine and Technovation. Forbes highlighted Tara in 2016 as “the pioneer empowering the incredible tech girls of the future” and she was prominently featured in the award-winning documentary Codegirl. Also in 2016, Tara was honored by Discovery’s Science Channel as the first inaugural CEO Science Super Star Hero for igniting passion for science and encouraging the next generation of innovators, problem solvers and game changers. A frequent speaker for her thought leadership in STEM education, she recently presented Iridescent’s work at the White House STEM Inclusion Summit and at the UN. Tara earned her BS in Physics from St. Stephen’s College and a MS in aerospace engineering from Boston University. Tara left her PhD program in aerospace engineering at USC to pursue her social entrepreneurship to found Iridescent and directly empower girls and children everywhere.
Amy Hee Kim
Maggie helps share Technovation and the stories of its participants with the world. Maggie has been working with Iridescent since 2013.
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.
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.
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."
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.