Posted Thursday 16th April 2015

Celebration of Digital and Entrepreneurial Talent of Young Women

Digital Jersey in partnership with Jersey Coders, celebrates the success of the first Jersey Technovation Challenge, sponsored by F3 and JT, as part of the global Technovation Challenge, the world’s largest and longest-running tech competition for girls.

Celebration of Digital and Entrepreneurial Talent of Young Women

The Technovation challenge takes place annually with participants from across the globe. Its aim is to address the underrepresentation of girls and women in tech, through reframing technology for girls by emphasising its wider social impact. This year, participants are challenged to “solve a problem in your local community” using tech solutions.

Jersey is representing 4 out of the 9 teams entering this year from the UK. The Jersey teams, composed of pupils from local secondary schools, presented at the local pitch event at the Digital Jersey hub yesterday. Each team identified a problem, created an app to solve it and built a company to launch their app in the market, having been mentored over the 12-week period by business professionals and technical experts from Jersey coders. The Jersey event was a chance for the girls to have experience of pitching and was not a part of the Technovation selection process. All 4 teams will take part in the official regional pitch event next week, competing with the UK teams. The winning team from this will go to San Francisco to take part in the global pitch.

Last night’s judging panel consisted of local tech entrepreneurs and business leaders, with all attending deeply impressed by how much the girls had achieved in 3 months. The apps built were an anti-bullying app for schools, the safest route to a designated location app, a survivors app for rape victims and a gift away app focussing on recycling.

The winners were the “JCG Techno” team with their anti-bullying app, which enables pupils to report incidents of bullying digitally to the anti-bullying committee of teachers. Students can also seek support through the app from other students in the chat room function, with professional guidance available in the advice and story pages. The team has won the opportunity of a day trip with their mentor to London to see a number of Tech HQs, including Twitter, Facebook and Google.

The Technovation Challenge is one of the 4 school programmes that form a crucial part of Digital Jersey’s skills availability and development work stream, ensuring skills meet current and future needs of local businesses and community.

Carla Harris, Director of Digital Jersey commented:

“It was an outstanding night, showcasing the entrepreneurial talent in our young people. The support from the community - including schools, parents, mentors and local businesses - has been overwhelming; it simply could not have happened without them. I particularly want to thank Melissa Chester who is regional ambassador for Technovation and the vision behind Jersey’s participation in this competition and all the mentors for volunteering considerable amounts of their time to help the girls throughout the process. Following on from the event, the tech community and Digital Jersey will continue to support the teams to develop their apps, and I look forward to seeing the next steps of the young female entrepreneurs in the tech world.”

Gwyn Garfield-Bennett, Chairman of Jersey Coders, added:

“Jersey Coders were delighted to host the Technovation Challenge teams, and the hard work the girls have been putting in has been really inspirational. All four teams have great ideas and to have worked through the whole challenge is a huge achievement in itself. We’re hoping many of the Technovation girls will choose to continue coming to Jersey Coders on a Wednesday, realising that coding and being a digital entrepreneur is definitely not just for the boys!”