India’s 14-Year Old Girls Who Code

Image source: http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-JC225_0624TE_M_20150625091624.jpg

Image source: http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-JC225_0624TE_M_20150625091624.jpg

Pre-college girls in India are designing apps to solve community challenges. Five of these girls recently visited San Francisco to pitch their app, which is a “mobile marketplace for waste” and recycling, at the Technovation World Pitch Challenge. This challenge hosted 10 global innovation teams made up of 43 girls and young women, with a prize of $20,000 in funding, in response to the shortfall of females in technology around the world.

The basic idea of these Bangalore girls’ app is to connect “waste producers with recyclers.” For example, people who sell tea can collect profits from the used plastic cups they give to recyclers. Their slogan is, “Why trash it when you can cash it?”

The app has both pay-as-you-go and subscription plans and they estimate that it could produce $24,200 in revenue in its first year alone.

Their project was inspired by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent campaign to address the trash problem facing many Indian cities.

Other teams tackled childhood obesity, water waste, and sports concussions with their apps. For example, a Mexican team made a fitness app and a Brazilian developed a game to combat drought.

In general, the competition was a friendly and inspirational environment, with different teams sharing and learning from one another’s ideas.

To see these and other finalists’ pitch videos visit Technovation’s website.

Source: Jeff Elder, Wall Street Journal