Technovation is a global tech education nonprofit that empowers girls and families to become leaders, creators and problem-solvers. It offers two programs - Technovation Girls and Technovation Families - which bring kids and adults together to solve big problems in their communities.
Thursday night, a sea of flags from various countries proved the world is connected through tech. The event brought together 12 groups of girls between the ages of 10 to 18, who used their phones to fix faults at home.
#TONIGHT Nearly 50 girls from around the globe are tackling real-world problems with tech. Twelve groups, girls 10 to 18-years-old, challenged with identifying an issue within their own community and creating an app to solve it. Wow 🤯 Don’t miss it at 11p #abc7now #BetterBayArea pic.twitter.com/B1SWlogoJi— Amanda del Castillo (@AmandaABC7) August 16, 2019
The Senior Division welcomed girls ages 15 to 18. The Junior Division welcomed girls from 10 to 14-years-old.
Technovation Founder and CEO, Tara Chklovski explained the teams invited Thursday night were flown in from around the globe, "Cambodia, Albania, Kazakhstan, Brazil, Bolivia, and of course, from across the U.S. as well."
"If you want to create technology that is going to change the world," Chklovski said, "You do want to listen to people from all around the world."
ABC7 News Reporter Kris Reyes served as emcee for the event, as each group pitched to a panel of judges and investors.
Chklovski said the groups were challenged with identifying an issue within their own community and creating an app to solve it.
"It's always very different from what Silicon Valley thinks is relevant and critical," Chklovski added.
The task uncovered topics like opioid addiction, pollution, water and women's safety, among other issues.
.@technovation World Pitch Day brought a night of networking, and celebration of the global community of young women in tech and business. So ridiculously impressive! Can’t say I was inventing apps to change the world at age 10-18... you? #abc7now #BetterBayArea pic.twitter.com/3Aam1CRYHQ— Amanda del Castillo (@AmandaABC7) August 16, 2019
A full list of teams and their identified problems, solutions and goals could be found here.
A group from Canada took on social anxiety.
"We realized that it wasn't only girls that faced this problem," 11-year-old Tito Akinlosotu said. "It was boys and kids everywhere, of all ages. So, we thought that this would impact a lot of people."
In front of a packed house, the group detailed how app users could maneuver through the "Cloud9" app to achieve mental clarity.
Within the senior division, conflict in Ukraine led teens from "Team Prove IT" to model their business plan around homelessness in the country.
"There are a lot of homeless people in our country because there is a war," Varvara Ovcharenko told ABC7 News. "So the number of homeless people, it grows and grows."
Their "Meal for Will" app would connect restaurants with any leftover, quality food to those struggling to find a food source.
The night of networking brought on the celebration of the global community of young women in tech and business.
Here’s a look at a few problems, solutions and goals identified by those groups of young women. They flew in to #SiliconValley to pitch in front of a panel of judges and investors. Details at 11 pm #abc7now #BetterBayArea pic.twitter.com/mHKbcl8AjY— Amanda del Castillo (@AmandaABC7) August 16, 2019
"When else would you get an opportunity to listen to young girls from all around the world, from countries that you would never think are leading technology innovation," Chklovski asked.
"Every year, we see more and more interesting ideas and higher technical content," she said. "And higher technical innovation because these girls are capable of so much."
Chklovski said the event is a call to the tech industry and educational institutions to think a bit bolder and move beyond simply teaching people the skills of technology and coding.
"The workforce of the future is one where humans are working alongside machines," she said. "So we really need to understand and constantly reevaluate our skills and creativity, bringing core values to innovation."
Winning teams took home up to $15,000 in scholarship money.