Technovation Challenge encourages girls who are in primary, secondary and higher education to create, develop and launch a mobile application that can solve problems related to their communities. The girls have 12 weeks to develop a prototype of the application, going through the whole process, from the identification of the problem, the creation of ideas to solve it, the elaboration of a business plan and development a real digital product to be launched onto the market and the presentation to the investors.
The regional pitches of Technovation Challenge Brasil took place in June and July 2014, in Recife, Santos and Porto Alegre. Participants showed their local projects to a committee consisting of businessmen, people in charge of Technovation and even possible investors.
The pitches were supported by Thoughtworks and by different entities, such as: UFRPE (Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco) supported Recife’s pitch; Fundo Social de Solidariedade de Santos supported Santos’s event and Senac-RS (Serviço Nacional de Aprendizagem Comercial do Rio Grande do Sul) supported Porto Alegre’s event. During all the regional events, the participants presented the applications developed by them and talked about their experience in participating in a project like this.
What training is involved?
During the 12 weeks, the girls received a mentor’s support who became a role model for them, since she guided the project and provided insights on how to work in the Technology and Computer Science field. Besides this support, a tutor, who was generally a teacher who worked at the school the girls studied, also helped them. They also received supporting material provided during the selection process. Since this material was in English and most of the girls don’t speak English, we invited some Thoughtworkers and friends from the technology community to help us. They conducted lectures remotely and each one of them focused on the topic of the week (see list below):
The Technovation Challenge is a recent initiative in Brazil. In 2013 we only had 1 Brazilian team participating in the events, but, this year, there were 74 teams. Thoughtworks Brazil contributed directly to this expansion and development by advertising it in several cities and by having one person from the company specifically focused on Technovation.
Each office in Brazil was involved in a distinct way: Porto Alegre helped with the internal organization and also carrying out the selection process in Brazil and Recife tried to create a team with mentors from Thoughtworks. Unfortunately, the team formed by the girls chosen in Recife gave up the project, but we could still participate in this city supporting another team, and, consequently, participating in such an incredible project!
One of the very interesting aspects about bringing them to carry out the project in Thoughtworks was the fact that they could see how our organization works very clearly and we could show them how incredible it is to create and develop! We can be an inspiration for them and for other young girls.
Then you might think: “Everything is so inspiring! How can I be part of this?”
Help is always welcomed! Since the girls have been going through the whole process, they need help in all areas and anyone can be a mentor. Have you ever participated in a similar event (i.e. teaching technology to kids)? Tell us a bit about this project in the comments section, maybe we can help you, too!
Finally, it is important to thank everyone who participated in this initiative, believed in it and made the Technovation Challenge a success!
The event happens annually. Are you ready for next year?
Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Thoughtworks.