Share bar

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Girls Innovating in California


Our Founder, Andrea recently was a judge at the Girls Innovate! Pitch event with Venture Capitalist Ann Winblad in Palo Alto, CA. We had the opportunity to hear Ann's inspiring story of how she started a software company at age 21 (during the same time Bill Gates was starting Microsoft), along with the pitches of girl innovators ranging from middle school to high school.

Girls Innovate Pitch Teams with Andrea Lo and Ann Winblad

Each team had their turn to pitch their big ideas - from building i-phone apps, launching a sporty clothing line, to creating a better way for students with slight learning disabilities to learn- it was a blast. Not only were the pitches incredibly well prepared, but the girls even answered difficult questions posed by the judging panel. The event was sponsored by Piggybackr and The Bay Area College of Nursing.



We here at Piggybackr have been so impressed by Girls Innovate! that we interviewed Uyen Le Kry, founder of Girls Innovate! to learn more about the movement and organization.


Founder of Girls Innovate, Uyen Le Kry

What is Girls Innovate?

Girls Innovate! is a California nonprofit seeking to impact the innovative capacity in women and girls. We believe that innovation can occur in any area (not just science and technology).


We call on individual girls, organizations and families to join us and and learn skills relevant to being successful and making a positive impact in a fast-changing, technology-driven, globalized world. We harness in-person opportunities (workshops, projects, events) that engage girls, parents and families in hands-on, collaborative ways and connect girls with real-life role models.

Why did you start it?

I started it because over the years I realized the importance of (a) being around people who inspire you to do great things and (b) developing character-building knowledge and practical life skills from an early age.

When I was seven, my parents put me on a fishing boat to escape from Viet Nam. They told me they were taking a chance on the opportunity of a lifetime – an education in the U.S. for one of their five kids. Growing up in Massachusetts in housing projects and on food stamps, I witnessed the struggles of immigrant families and vowed to do something for all those people and those left behind.

I went to college and law school with big dreams of serving the community and the world. The bubble burst, though, when I emerged from school and experienced real-life work.  I felt unfulfilled and experienced a lot of challenges having to do with not having the proper interpersonal skills.  Skills like how to develop relationships with others, work with people whose approaches differed from mine, and seek out mentors to build a support network.

When my daughter came into the picture, I thought things would be easier for her. What I realized when she started first grade, though, was that all of the above are not only still missing in public school education but now more needed than ever. But rather than outsourcing this learning to third-party providers, what if we were to try something different? 

What if, instead of outsourcing, parents got together – moms, especially, many of whom opted out of their careers to dedicate time to their children – and start bringing learning opportunities for each other? What if, instead of driving our kids to see success and happiness as deriving from successfully competing to get to the top of the food chain, we create opportunities for them to develop life skills that make the most of their unique personal qualities and allow them to take risks and try new things in a supportive community? 

Who can participate?  (geographic, age, etc)

We are presently focused on creating learning opportunities for girls (ages 8-18). Parents are invited to attend almost all events (an exception, for example, would be the teen brunches). Some events are geared specifically towards moms and girls.

Content can come from speakers who are both male and female, whether or not they are parents themselves. The only requirement is that speakers serve as role models and understand the value of (a) teaching girls important, fundamental 21st century skills; (b) welcoming and supporting parents to participate in the program; and (c) providing instruction in a fun, engaging and collaborative manner.

What are some example events & programs girls can participate in?

Spring 2013 events included innovation conferences of 100-330 attendees, organized and led by women and girls, where participants heard from speakers and engaged in workshops on topics relevant to 21st century skills. 

Programming for fall 2013 includes out-of-the-box workshops on learning to code, pitching ideas to a VC, developing your personal brand, financial literacy and the science of water. We will be holding mother-daughter hack-a-thons and picnics where moms can share innovative ideas in parenting and education while kids learn about art at the Cantor. We engage girls with speakers through a visionary talk with Ann Winblad, a rapid-fire Q&A with Sal Khan, and brunch with female entrepreneurs in varied fields such as healthcare, law and food artisanry.

How does a girl go about getting involved?

The best way is to join our mailing list and get a sense of our activities as they develop. If you are a girl who is passionate about organizing and leading projects, you should have your mom or dad reach out to Uyen directly. As soon as they are okay with it, Uyen will work with you to bring you on as a member of our Teen Committee. 

This committee is new, but already the teens active on it have been instrumental in recruiting speakers, speaking at events, organizing events, drafting emails and documents, writing in our newsletters and reporting on events through media.

Tell us more about the pitch competition.

The pitch competition started out as a talk with a very highly-regarded venture capitalist, Ann Winblad. When we realized it would be a great opportunity for girls to practice pitching ideas to an investor, we asked Ann and she happily obliged. We sought out sponsors who could donate a small prize to motivate the girls and provide a real-life learning experience. Thanks to Piggybackr, this is made possible!



What's next for Girls Innovate?

We are like a start-up in many ways. We are coming up with a new framework to engage girls and moms, with the support of all other community members, so most likely it will look very different from any community groups or educational programs you see out there.

Our model is also volunteer-based and crowdsourced, meaning opportunities are driven by community ideas and community efforts. Every time we do something, it looks different based on who is involved. We try to be as flexible as possible with our volunteers because we know families are very time-constrained; you can expect each event to be filled only by those who really want to be there.

Many parents love the opportunity to be present with their girls, and many girls would not be there if it wasn’t for their parents, so this model of parent engagement works. We very consciously try to create independent learning spaces for the girls, though, so you won’t see parents in the same room with their girls for very long. 

We are also building an infrastructure to support girls and moms to become project leaders so that more and more can engage with the community and take their ideas to the next level.  All of this requires time, effort and resources. We are always looking for involvement and support.

You can learn more about Girls Innovate by visiting their website.



25 comments:

  1. Girls are the drivers of progress. I support that 100%.
    dissertation writing help is a real proof of it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Young ladies are more astute than young men, Yes they can enhance innovation and thoughts. In California, the Kiara Sky Coupon know as excellent coupons with astonishing arrangements constantly it is the most ideal decision for women.

      Delete
  2. From this blog article you will get some info on how to write amazing essay on the American dream topic. Check it out as soon as possible

    ReplyDelete
  3. I hope we all will hear about their projects. You can share some info on https://justdomyhomework.com/blog/essay-about-yourself this page. Alright?

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. awesome article
    Take part in the DG Customer Survey and earn a mind-blowing $100 gift card which can be used at Dollar General! dgcustomerfirst.com is operated by SMG Imagine all the stuff the winner can buy at DG with that $100 gift card! (the possibilities are endless) A purchase is not required in order to enter from here

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's nice to find your webpage for me. Hope to see more posts here later. Bye!

    ReplyDelete
  7. We treat the evaluation process serious and don’t publish fake reviews. In this https://scamfighter.net/review/boomessays.com review you can learn all information about the company which you won’t find elsewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  8. AllAssignmentHelp.com having a great reputation among students, we deliver knowledge with full information. Our experts are pillars of our service. These writers are fully successful in their education that they strive hard to provide brilliant work on assignment writing.
    Programming Assignment Help
    Assignment Help

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi there. An interesting article. I love visiting various sites like this one https://bestwritingservice.com/essays/Analysis/huck-finn.html. I can find a lot of interesting information for myself.

    ReplyDelete
  10. According to experts of Cheap Dissertation Writing Service, girls are more innovative than boys in introducing new methods, ideas and products. My younger sister is 16 years old and I would be proud to have her in your organization.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You described a very interesting summit. I am glad that such a summit took place. Do you know how to detect plagiarism https://theplagiarism.com/articles/effective-ways-of-detecting-plagiarism-for-teachers? I want to help you if you are a student. I often use additional information for my training. I want you to use it too.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sounds good to hear that, Girls are taking part in the innovation and they are bringing new ideas and strategy to innovate new products and new goods. As I'm also a girl and the part of Dissertation Writers In Dubai who are one of the best writing service providers at cheap rates. By the way, this blog is very inspirational for other girls.

    ReplyDelete
  13. aBest of luck to “Girls innovate” for their journey, and hats off to Piggybackr for making it possible. That makes one thing clear; you don’t need a fancy degree to be innovative. It’s funny how people are running after the degrees and hiring University Essay Writing Services to help them go through the college. On the flip side, there are those who are making it happen without degrees.

    ReplyDelete
  14. An excellent resource of information I will certainly return to check on the latest posts. Are you not able to fix the problem with the Canon Printer? Just follow the steps which are mention on the blog to Resolve Canon Printer Printing Blank Pages issue. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Interesting article! Could not be written any better. Thanks for sharing! Check out the way to fix Error Code 550. Lean how you can fix it at your own or feel free to call our experts on our toll-free numbers or visit our website to know more!

    ReplyDelete
  16. It is something worth to read just like the available services of BTEC assignment help. Hats off to the writer for drafting such an impressive piece of work. To get such kind of content one should hire an assignment writing service.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am happy to be here and this wonderful blog. I have found here lots of important information for my knowledge I need. Thanks for sharing this amazing post. For instant support related to General Roadrunner Email Problems please contact our team for instant help.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hey, This young lady is making everyone proud and inspiring more youngsters like her or upcoming youngsters. All the kids and youngsters should look up to her, and try to be as innovative as she is. I always try inspire our kids at thesis writing service
    by sharing these kinda amazing stories of youngsters all over the world.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am glad to see this article, thanks for writing and sharing the valuable experience. I also write for Assignment Help UAE, and I hope one day I will also derive a successful career out of it. My passion is to provide best assignment writing services for students at cheapest possible price.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Provocative letter of recommendation writing service questions should be answered with restraint. These very "stupid" questions are asked in order to track your reaction and, on the basis of it, draw a conclusion about personal qualities. The HR manager will appreciate if your reaction is calm and confident and you can answer reasonably. I also want to say that the so-called stressful interview is not conducted for all professions, but only for those in which this very stress is present. In this case, it is necessary to determine how the candidate copes with such loads and how he knows how to find a way out.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I feel this is one of the such a lot significant information. And I am satisfied reading your article.
    Are you facing the problem with your AOL account or AOL Mail Not Working Error on your laptop or on the system. we can help you by providing step by step guidance.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Best Buy Geek Squad has been availing its clients an extensive range of excellent help and services for various devices and gadgets relevant to the customers. Our Geek Squad team comes into action when you reach us for the exquisite services of our technicians. Whether you need to install, just have to understand the working of or want repairing services for any of your home appliances or electronic gadgets that you might have purchased or used, we are your go-to experts. Speak to the Best Buy Geek Squad specialists to access the finest services of these qualified engineers and technicians working round the clock. We instantly come to your rescue when you face any type of technical issue with your appliances & cater to your requirements.
    geek squad chat

    ReplyDelete