BENGALURU, August 16, 2016—Multinational corporations and local students are coming together in a grassroots effort to enable new opportunities and empower women in technology and entrepreneurship. Middle and high school female students will compete in the Women Enhancing Technology (WeTech) Graduation Pitch Event in Bengaluru, India, on August 20th. The WeTech program, managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE), will host the event to recognize and showcase the hard work of 90 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 eighteen teams of middle and high school students, hear from executives in the technology industry, and get inspired by dynamic Indian women leaders from various sectors. 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. Now in its third year, WeTech’s Afterschool Program has connected more than 200 girls in India with this unique hands-on learning and mentoring experience. This year’s event will draw a total of 18 teams, up from 14 in 2015 and 12 in 2014.
"Team Changers," the WeTech Afterschool Program's finalist team, traveled to San Francisco in July for the 2016 Technovation World Pitch Summit, where they earned second place and Audience Choice Award for their mobile app, "ChangeEd." The app allows users to donate the change they receive from monetary transactions to local NGOs in the education field.
The girls, who were mentored by senior leaders from Qualcomm India and Goldman Sachs over a period of three months using the Technovation curriculum, identified community problems and designed innovative solutions in the form of mobile apps. They honed their ideas by presenting prototypes to their corporate mentors, and further developed entrepreneurial skills by writing business plans.
One student, Simran Mercelina Raj, shared her motivation for joining the program, “I was inspired to join this program because it was the right platform to exhibit my skills and to learn more about leadership. The main aspect of ‘women being a part of technology’ really spoke to me!”
Dhana Kodithi, a WeTech mentor from Qualcomm, participating in the program for a third year, said “the WeTech Afterschool Program goes beyond just a particular niche of development; it teaches the full life cycle of a product, including pitching ideas, creating a business plan, developing and completing a product and marketing the final product. Through mentoring, girls realize their individual talents and weaknesses, then work as a team to become well-rounded. Growing these skill sets will, in turn, help them to build strong careers.
During the Graduation Pitch Event in Bengaluru, Team Changers will also be recognized for competing as a global finalist in the Technovation World Pitch Event recently held San Francisco, California. Mentored by Goldman Sachs volunteers, Team Changers came in second place at the World Pitch Event and also won the Audience Choice Award for their app, ChangEd, where users can donate the change they receive from monetary transactions to local NGOs working in the field of education. During their trip to California, they toured Silicon Valley, networked with investors, and pitched their app ideas in front of hundreds of people. Team Changers also had the opportunity to represent their geographic division in the San Francisco event, after competing with other five WeTech Afterschool Program teams from the middle school category.
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.
The Institute of International Education (IIE) created WeTech to help women and girls enter into and succeed in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) education and careers, as a core part of its commitment to empower women. IIE joined with corporate partners who share this vision to launch WeTech at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting. WeTech is led by IIE and its initiatives are carried out in India, Africa and the United States with a consortium that includes Goldman Sachs, Google and Qualcomm Incorporated as lead collaborators.
About the Institute of International Education
The Institute of International Education (IIE) is the leader in providing international education strategies and program services. Our international approach to education—diverse, borderless, impactful—is a proven way for governments and companies to invest in global talent and solidify overseas relationships. We work with policymakers, educators and employers across the globe to prepare students and professionals for the global workforce and equip them to solve the increasingly complex challenges facing our interconnected world. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide, including in New Delhi, and over 1,400 member institutions.
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. Our programs help women to 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),equity sales and trading, and fixed income securities businesses, as well as providing macro-economic and investment research. Goldman Sachs is an active investor in India, where the firm deployed more than $2.5 billion since 2006. In addition, the firm's 6,000-person Bengaluru 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 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 30 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.
Qualcomm India is a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, and has its presence in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai. Since 2000, Qualcomm Incorporated and the Qualcomm Foundation have contributed more than $240 million in combined cash donations, and are actively involved in various sustainable and philanthropic activities to develop and strengthen communities worldwide.