University Hosts Regional Program that Inspires Girls and Young Women to become Technology Entrepreneurs
Carleton University opened its new Accelerator for student entrepreneurs on Saturday, Jan. 17 as it hosted 45 girls and young women, between the ages of 10 and 18, for App Development Day to kick off the Technovation Challenge.
The Accelerator is Carleton’s latest contribution to an extensive suite of entrepreneurship initiatives – a state-of-the-art facility for students working to launch and grow their businesses. It is fitting that its first project is hosting the Technovation Challenge, an intensive three-month curriculum that leads teams of young women through the process of imagining, designing and developing mobile apps and then pitching their startup businesses.
“Carleton is delighted to support the effort to bring the Technovation Challenge to Ottawa,” said President Roseann O’Reilly Runte. “We are committed to increasing the number of young women in technology and entrepreneurship.’’
The Technovation Challenge is run by Iridescent, a not-for-profit group in California with a mission to inspire and educate girls and women to solve real-world problems through technology. The contest has been running for five years, and last year it attracted participation from 45 different countries.
The Ottawa Chapter of Women Powering Technology, a not-for-profit created to inspire, support and empower women in technology, brought the Technovation Challenge to Ottawa.
“The goal of the Technovation Challenge is to address the issue that women are vastly underrepresented in technology and entrepreneurship,” said Jennifer Francis, principal of Cafe Noir Consulting. “We have partnered with Carleton University’s Technology Innovation Management (TIM) program, IBM and Shopify, as well as the Ottawa Carleton District School Board, in order to create an Ottawa regional program.”
Carleton has a history of innovation and collaborating with the private and public sectors to promote economic development and sustainability of communities. We have long embraced the need to mentor people with innovative ideas. For the past decade, we have been leaders in encouraging and facilitating entrepreneurship among our students and alumni, and within the community.
Our award-winning programs include Lead to Win and Global Start, which have helped launch hundreds of technology companies. Our academic programs at the graduate level include the Technology Innovation Management (TIM) program, which helps talented individuals with engineering, science, and business degrees launch and grow technology companies. The Sprott School of Business offers aMinor in Entrepreneurship and the Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) Entrepreneurship concentration.
Carleton has launched more than 185 startups since 2010. In 2012, R&D projects at Carleton generated more than $1.8 million in commercial activity.
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