Call for Ideas Recipient Spotlight: TechGirlz

The following post has been adapted from content provided by Tracey Welson-Rossman, Founder of TechGirlz. 

TechGirlz has been fortunate enough to receive two grants from the Call for Ideas from StartupPHL. The grants have allowed us to beta test and iterate on ideas that have allowed us to expand the reach of how we inspire middles school girls to be part of the innovation economy.

The first grant allowed us to put our undocumented and unorganized tech summer entrepreneur camp into an documented and organized fashion. Why is this important? For TechGirlz, it allows us to have more than the person who created the course to teach. It also allows us to feel confident about these courses to be used by others. They are now part of our TechShopz library. Since we have had success with this camp, we are working to have other groups utilize the materials to teach more girls about how they can be part of the tech startup economy.

The second grant allowed us to beta test a program to encourage more volunteers who are not tech professionals, but have tech skills – high school and college students. The school/student program allows us to partner with these secondary schools who are teaching tech courses and have their students, under the guidance of their teacher, instruct middles school girls. We spent the year putting the program together, creating relationships with schools and finally, beta tested the idea in March with Philadelphia Academies at Roxborough. Besides the obvious benefits to the middle school girls, there were some discoveries we made about the young adults. First, they were able to practice their new skills by teaching, they learned organizational and leadership skills and they were great role models for the younger kids. The outcome, we are currently working with 10 local schools to have TechShopz in the next school year. We will be tracking how many of these new instructors become instructors outside of their school environments and also how many of the middle school girls decide to take the tech classes at the high school level.

The StartupPHL Call for Ideas program funds innovative and exciting proposals that support Philadelphia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. You can apply for the fifth round of Call for Ideas online now.

StartupPHL Newsletter #40

Clusters, Nostalgia and a Moon Landing

healthhack

We were honored to be on a panel of judges at Jefferson University’s Healthcare Hackathon last weekend. Amazing ideas and teams! Learn more: @healthhackphl. Photo via @rschwartz001.

Your weekend reading is right here.

Community Matters When Building a Company

Clusters are the new garage. World Economic Forum lays out why clusters, not the mythical garage, help accelerate innovation around the globe.

Learn More, via World Economic Forum

Nintendo is Bringing the Nostalgia this Holiday Season

Throwback! Because who doesn’t miss staying up all Christmas night trying to save Princess Peach?

Deets, via Wired

TeamIndus Making Moves Toward a Moon Landing

The only Indian entrant into the Google Lunar X-Prize is working towards being the first private company to land on the moon.

Read About Their Progress, via TechCrunch

techgirlz
Previous Call for Ideas Awardee TechGirlz is helping to reduce the gender gap in tech. Find out how they used their Call for Ideas Grant. Photo via TechGirlz

StartupPHL Call for Ideas Application is Live – Deadline is November 13

Do you or your organization have an idea that supports or enhances Philly’s entrepreneurial community? We want to know.


StartupPHL is the City of Philadelphia’s platform for supporting entrepreneurship and startup activity.

All events and applications noted in this newsletter are for informational purposes only and not an endorsement. We encourage readers to perform due diligence for any programs listed here.

TechGirlz goes global

Volunteers in Paraguay, Ukraine and Canada are spreading the TechGirlz curriculum via the nonprofit’s open-source TechShopz in a Box program.

February 23. 2016 | Technical.ly by Rob Torres

Since 2013, TechGirlz has been empowering women in tech by getting a head start on things.

The Philly-based nonprofit has taught 3,000 middle-school-age girls how to build websites, record podcasts and embrace digital entrepreneurship.

However, over the past two months, the wealth of knowledge has gone beyond the local scene and spread to Paraguay, Ukraine and Canada — where 61 girls were given workshops from the group’s TechShopz in a Box program.

READ MORE

Mayor Nutter, Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger Announce New Startup PHL Call for Ideas Awards

PRESS RELEASE

Mayor visits Coded by Kids after-school program providing tech training to young people in Philadelphia

Philadelphia, May 7, 2015 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Alan Greenberger announced today a new round of Startup PHL Call for Ideas grants to organizations that provide programs and events to support entrepreneurship in Philadelphia.  The funding supports the goals of providing opportunities to young people in neighborhoods all across the city; increasing the diversity of Philadelphia’s technology sector; and fostering greater collaboration among universities and better connecting students to startups in Philadelphia.

“Through Startup PHL our goal is to create opportunities for all Philadelphians to participate in the new technology-driven economy,” said Mayor Nutter.  “Programs such as Coded by Kids, TechGirlz, and FirstHand are reaching into diverse communities throughout our city and providing the skills and confidence needed to work in the technology sector, or even to start a company.  This is all part of our commitment to establish Philadelphia as a thriving startup city with opportunities available to all.”

John Grady, President of PIDC, said, “We are proud partners in the StartUp PHL initiative.  PIDC is pleased to help support entrepreneurship in Philadelphia with this multifaceted initiative to increase the availability of capital and make Philadelphia an attractive place for entrepreneurs.”

The latest round of Startup PHL Call for Ideas grants provides funding to four organizations, bringing the total number of programs supported by this initiative to fourteen.  The programs funded in this round include:

  • University City Science Center FirstHand Program ($25,000) – a youth STEAM initiative serving Philadelphia youth from under-resourced schools and the teachers, professionals and families from their communities. The Startup PHL funding assists in lab equipment acquisition for the FirstHand Lab, a dedicated lab space for students.
  •  Drexel University, Regional University Business Plan Competition ($23,500) Startup PHL funding will help establish a multi-university business plan competition run by a new consortium of university-based entrepreneurship programs and incubators.  Drexel University’s Chuck Sacco, organizer of this initiative, commented, “A number of us at university-based entrepreneurship programs wanted to find new ways to have entrepreneurially-minded college students work across the region and build their networks at other universities and colleges and within the community.  A regional business plan competition will be a great way for that to occur”.
  • Coded by Kids Instructor Pipeline Project ($19,870) – Coded by Kids provides inner city children with free, engaging, challenging and creative tech education program. Startup PHL funding will establish an adult training program for instructors in the Coded by Kids workshops.
  • TechGirlz Entrepreneur Bootcamp in a Box ($10,000) – TechGirlz hold workshops and an annual entrepreneurial summer camp serving middle-school girls. Startup PHL funding will expand the existing and successful TechGirlz Summer Entrepreneur Bootcamp materials into sharable, lesson plan formats so other groups can teach the program.  TechGirlz founder Tracey Welson-Rossman commented, “This Tech Entrepreneur Camp is unique in this country and we are extremely happy to be partnering with the City to have more girls understand how they can participate in the tech and startup economy. Innovation is gender blind.”

Later today Mayor Nutter will visit the Coded by Kids after-school program at the Marian Anderson Recreation Center to see how this initiative is providing a coding-focused education program that would normally be out of reach for many Philadelphia residents and is preparing prepare both children and adults for careers in web development.

“Providing tech education opportunities to Philadelphia residents who have traditionally lacked access to these opportunities is critical to the social and economic success of our communities,” said Coded by Kids founder Sylvester Mobley.

Startup PHL is an initiative of the City of Philadelphia’s Commerce Department, PIDC, and First Round Capital to provide funding for early-stage companies and to support programs that develop the startup community in Philadelphia.  Through Startup PHL Funds and co-investments from First Round Capital eight Philadelphia startups have received more than $1 million in combined seed stage or angel investment since October 2013, and through the Call For Ideas Grants fourteen organizations have received almost $300,000 in funding to support entrepreneurship programming.

“Philadelphia’s emergence as a hub for startups and technology companies is one of the most exciting trends for the future of this city,” said Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development.  “This Administration, through Startup PHL and a range of other initiatives, is proud to support the work of entrepreneurs across Philadelphia who are building companies, developing exciting new products, and providing innovative, challenging job opportunities for the growing number of people who want to live and work in our city.”

With ‘boot camp,’ TechGirlz seeks to build future startup leaders

July 16, 2013 | Newsworks By Zack Seward

Just 3 percent of tech startups are launched by women. That stat motivates TechGirlz, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that aims to upend current statistics by getting a really early start. That’s why 19 girls, ages 11 to 15, spent last week in a tech entrepreneurship “boot camp.” “At the end of the day, what we are trying to show them is the possibilities of what they can do,” said TechGirlz founder Tracey Welson-Rossman.

READ MORE