I continue to be inspired young high school girls during my Peace Corps service.
When I think back to when I was 14 or 15, I was definitely not as motivated or driven as many of the the young ladies I met last weekend. On Sunday, April 24 we hosted a big Technovation Challenge Moldova regional event where teams from all over the country came together to share their projects on ways to solve problems in their community through a cell phone app and business plan they created.
We had 9 teams from Moldova successfully submit projects and 8 teams presented their projects at the official regional pitch event where local teams competed for the opportunity to move to the semi-final round of the global competition. This is the 3rd year that Moldova has participated and each year the interest continues to grow.
Teams shared their projects and mobile apps in approaching solutions to issues in their communities such as tourism, reducing plastic bag use, teen suicide, corruption, and migrant workers.
We had a wonderfully diverse panel of judges who volunteered their time to come and learn about all these projects and to determine the winning semi-finalist Moldovan team. All of the girls were acknowledged for successfully submitting their projects with fancy Technovation certificates. Honorable mention, second place was awarded to team “Do it for Bunica” who has recently been making waves with their business idea in Moldova.
The “Do it for Bunica” team created an app that offers an online platform for migrant workers from Moldova to hire local youth helpers to assist their elderly parents with household chores. Recently they had also gone through another competition, Diamond Challenge where they made it to the finals and traveled to Delaware. They pitched their business idea and were awarded 1st prize and brought home $10,000 to help make the business idea happen!
Team HAI, composed of three high school girls from the capital city of Chisinau were awarded 1st place and a spot in the semi-final round of the Technovation Challenge. Their app, “Handmade Goods Moldova” is a shopping app, designed for social centers in Moldova to sell handmade goods produced by disabled persons. Socially-minded shoppers are able to browse photos of the products and proceed to buy them through the app.
As a surprise, we announced to them at the event that they will have the opportunity to travel to San Francisco to attend the Technovation World Pitch Summit in July! Currently we are in the crowdfunding phase of reaching our goal to raise funds so we can send the girls along with their mentor so they can attend workshops, showcase their project, network with other girls around the world and tour tech businesses in Silicon Valley. This is an incredible opportunity for these girls, who for some of them, this was their 2nd and 3rd time competing in this challenge.
Help make this a reality for these girls! Click on the campaign link below to support these girls. A number of fun perks are available for supporters. Plus, each dollar given will be matched thanks to our partner sponsors: Tekwill, Sun Communications, and Girls Go IT!
The more I continue to work with these girls and their mentors and see the impact it has not only on them as individuals but also in their communities, the more I am inspired to keep learning and encouraging others to do the same.
The journey has just begun, these girls will make a greater impact on those around them!