Technovation Challenge is the world’s largest tech and IT entrepreneurship contest for girls aged 10-18. The Technovation project aims to promote programming among girls, developing their professional skills in IT and advocating women’s leadership. This is one of the key initiatives, which guides girls through their role in society and breaks stereotypes about women in IT. Ukraine joined the program in 2016, and since that time more than 300 girls from 50 cities of Ukraine have taken part in the Technovation projects, and 10,000 have learned about the project and found it interesting.
“Today we face a prevailing social bias that programming is men-only sphere, and this is one of the reasons why serious imbalance and lack of talents hit the industry. Having 17 years of company experience in mind, I’m absolutely sure that gender has no effect on the quality of code. While addressing the challenges of the wider world, Apriorit is committed to creating a healthy environment within the company and around it. We are convinced that having business support the projects like Technovation will help us break the strong stereotype, contribute to the girls’ professional skills development and eventually ensure the comprehensive IT sector growth,” commented Apriorit CEO Denys Turpitka.
Since the project launch in Ukraine, 45 girl teams from all over the country have participated in two regional Technovation pitch events held by the Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF) and have developed mobile apps aimed to solve the community’s problems: environmental pollution, health, safety, inclusion, public utilities, education, domestic violence, homeless animals and even communication between parents and kids. Two teams, the winners of the regional pitch events in 2017 (from Zaporizhzhia) and 2018 (from Kremenchuk), made their way to the Technovation World Pitch Summit held in San Francisco, USA. The girls took a closer look at the Silicon Valley IT-giants, visiting the offices of Google, Microsoft, Adobe, and others. This year more than 250 girls applied for the contest.
“We are extremely pleased that such a large IT player as Apriorit stands by our Technovation project. Business support inspires the involved girls, giving them drive and desire to grow in IT and believe in their own strengths and opportunities. I am sure that Western NIS Enterprise Fund and Apriorit joint efforts in Technovation project will yield significant outcome both for girls and IT ecosystems in Ukraine,” noted Iryna Ozymok, Local Economic Development Program Manager at Western NIS Enterprise Fund and Regional Ambassador for Technovation Challenge in Ukraine.
Apart from the regional pitch events, the WNISEF and Peace Corps in Ukraine have set two summer camps in Lviv and Kharkiv for 50 girls from all over Ukraine. Girls worked in teams to develop mobile app prototypes with significant social impact on cities and communities. This summer, the Technovation Summer Camp will be held in Dnipro.
Globally, the program brings together around 20,000 girls from more than 100 countries. Over the last few years, Technovation has grown into a network of the best and brightest entrepreneurs, coaches and mentors from around the world, who are passing on their skills to a new generation to help create a worldwide web of tech-savvy, knowledge-hungry girls willing to learn, socialize, and create something to change the world.