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IIE’s WeTech Program Celebrates Accomplishments of Young Indian Women in Information, Communication and Technology (ICT)

BANGALORE, July 17, 2015—Middle school and high school girls in India will celebrate their achievements in technology, entrepreneurship and innovation at the Women Enhancing Technology (WeTech) Graduation Pitch Event in Bangalore, India. The WeTech program, managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE), will host a July 18th event to recognize and showcase the hard work of sixty-five girls from Bangalore who aspire to be the next generation of leaders in information, communication and technology (ICT).

Participants at the Graduation Pitch Event will have an opportunity to observe pitches from each of the thirteen teams of middle and high school students, hear from executives in the technology industry, and be inspired by dynamic female leaders from various sectors across India. First, second, and third place awards will be given to the teams with the most innovative mobile app ideas and pitches, and all students will be presented with certificates.

The girls will be recognized for successfully completing a 12-week Technovation curriculum to develop ideas and plans for innovative mobile apps that address a social problem in their communities. In January 2015, WeTech selected and supported the teams to participate in a global competition to develop and pitch a custom mobile application. The girls were matched with volunteer mentors from sponsor companies Goldman Sachs, Target, and Qualcomm to motivate and support the girls during the mobile app building process.

When asked how her team came up with the idea for her mobile app, one student explained, “It started with defining prominent social issues in our community and then looking towards solutions, and as we narrowed down solutions, we came up with a structured idea as to what we wanted our app to do and what it was going to solve.”

The Graduation Pitch Event in Bangalore will also recognize two teams that recently returned from San Francisco, California, where they competed in the Technovation World Pitch Event as global finalists. The finalist teams took part in a transformative experience, with the opportunity to tour Silicon Valley, network with investors, and pitch their app ideas in front of an audience of hundreds.

Four WeTech Afterschool Program teams advanced to the semi-final round, and one team from each of the high school and the middle school categories were selected as finalists to represent their geographic division in the San Francisco event.

The middle school finalist team, Pentechan, mentored by Goldman Sachs volunteers, won the award for best mobile app in the Middle School division and received $10,000 in prize money to formally launch their app. The winning app by Pentechan is called “Sellixo,” which provides an online marketplace for users to buy and sell dry waste. The app incentivizes and encourages the proper disposal of waste by making it profitable for users. 

WeTech is a consortium of dedicated partners led by the Institute of International Education (IIE) to design and support a series of innovative activities that provide training, build networks and offer professional opportunities to help women and girls around the world enter STEM fields and succeed in technology careers. Launched at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in 2013, WeTech has engaged 26 companies, 115 mentors, 36 schools and 3,400 girls in 13 countries to date and was the subject of a video narrated by Chelsea Clinton in 2014.

As the Manager of the WeTech initiative, IIE is actively seeking new partners and resources to expand the program’s reach and impact. Individuals and organizations that wish to participate should contact IIE at WeTech@iie.org.


About the Institute of International Education

As WeTech Manager, IIE aims to expand the consortium of partners and grow its resources to $10 million over three years, in order to build out activities and expand to additional regions in Africa, India and the U.S. as well as to new countries, such as Brazil and China. IIE is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,200 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. Our vision is that educational, cultural and professional opportunities transcend borders to foster a peaceful and interconnected world where all people achieve their full potential; think and act as global citizens; and build inclusive, thriving communities.

Through its Center for Women's Leadership Initiatives, IIE provides opportunities for women worldwide to participate in cutting-edge training, professional development and exchange programs and pursue higher education. Through these programs, women develop and join networks of peers, mentors and experts and serve as effective leaders in the public and private sectors around the world.

Through its Center for Women's Leadership Initiatives, IIE provides opportunities for women worldwide to participate in cutting-edge training, professional development and exchange programs and pursue higher education. Through these programs, women develop and join networks of peers, mentors and experts and serve as effective leaders in the public and private sectors around the world.

About Goldman Sachs

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high-net-worth individuals. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world.

Goldman Sachs has been serving Indian clients since the early 1990s and established an onshore presence in India in December 2006 following a ten-year joint venture. Today, it serves leading corporate and institutional clients through corporate finance (investment banking), asset management, equity sales and trading, and fixed income securities businesses, as well as providing macro-economic and investment research. Goldman Sachs is also an active investor in India, deploying more than US$2 billion in capital since 2006. In addition, the firm's 6,000-person Bangalore office provides critical support and service functions for Goldman Sachs around the world. .

About Qualcomm Incorporated

Qualcomm Incorporated is a world leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies. Qualcomm Incorporated includes Qualcomm’s licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of its patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of Qualcomm’s engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of its products and services businesses, including its semiconductor business, QCT. For more than 25 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of digital communications, linking people everywhere more closely to information, entertainment and each other. For more information, visit Qualcomm's website, OnQ blog, Twitter and Facebook pages. Learn more about the work Qualcomm and its project collaborators are doing.

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Sharon Witherell
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Tel: +1 212.984.5380
E-mail: switherell@iie.org

Shana Childs
Public Affairs
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