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Fixing Silicon Valley's Gender Gap One Pitch at a Time


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mentor with female students

The Iridescent non-profit education group links mentors to students.

Credit: Iridescent

Teams of high school girls recently pitched Android apps and business plans to business leaders at Microsoft's campus in Mountain View, Calif. "Pitch Night" marked the culmination of the Technovation Challenge, an eight-week program that introduces girls to tech entrepreneurship. The contest worked with Girls in Tech, the Bay area chapter of Iridescent, to link 25 mentors with 45 girls, who were charged with developing apps from scratch and creating marketing plans.

"We wanted to expose them to high tech, connect them to mentors, and help them understand what opportunities are out there," says Technovation Challenge founder Anuranjita Tewary. "It's about confidence."

Team Zeal won the competition with an app called Mash, inspired by the classic childhood fortune-telling game. Team Creanova came in second with an application that teaches users how to play the piano using games.

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