Philadelphia Tech Community Supports Tech Camp

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Grant from Startup PHL Call for Ideas and partnership with Philly Startup Leaders (PSL) University to expand nationwide opportunities for women entrepreneurs in tech industry

July 6, 2015 (Philadelphia) – TechGirlz, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering girls to become future technology leaders, will host its fourth annual Tech Entrepreneur Camp in Philadelphia from July 13-17, 2015. The only tech-focused, entrepreneurial camp in the country designed specifically for middle school-aged girls, TechGirlz’ Tech Entrepreneur Camp will host 25 girls, ages 11-15, who will work together to develop ideas, come up with a prototype and create a business plan.

This year’s camp also marks the first time that the Philadelphia business and entrepreneurial communities have joined together to help TechGirlz support women entrepreneurship in the tech industry with a grant from Startup PHL Call for Ideas and a partnership with PSL University. The grant will help expand the existing and successful TechGirlz’ Tech Entrepreneur Camp materials into shareable lesson plan formats that can be distributed to other groups nationwide who are interested in teaching the program to grade school girls in their respective areas, while PSL University has partnered with TechGirlz to identify and coach Philadelphia-area business leaders who will volunteer as instructors during this year’s camp.

“TechGirlz is making a difference by teaching real world business skills to a pivotal age group,” said Michael Riley, co-founder of Boxter and leadership team representative from PSL University. “I wanted to get involved because it’s important to me to help increase diversity in the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Camp attendees will be guided by some of Philadelphia’s most notable entrepreneurs and business leaders, selected and trained by PSL University, including:

  • Brendan Lowry, marketing director and founding team member for Curalate
  • Holly Flanagan, managing director at Gabriel Investments
  • Anita Garimella Andrews, vice president of client analytics services at RJMetrics
  • Ian Leibovici, co-founder of Boxter
  • Ken Rimple, Director of Education, Chariot Solutions

The camp is designed to address the fact that women lead only three percent of tech startups, according to the Kauffman Foundation. Additionally, the Department of Labor predicts that there will be 1.4 million new information technology job openings by 2020, but universities are predicted only to fill 29 percent of these openings with trained graduates, leaving 71 percent still remaining. Founder of TechGirlz and chief marketing officer at Chariot Solutions, Tracey Welson-Rossman, believes that camps such as this one will help to close the technology gap.

“TechGirlz’ Tech Entrepreneur Camp puts the tools and technology directly into the hands of middle school-aged girls,” said Welson-Rossman. “We allow them to take the lead in creating new ideas and building their own businesses in a supportive, team-oriented, professional environment. Our aim is to break the technology mold and encourage diversity in the tech space where women are not usually the majority.”

“We are proud to support TechGirlz and its Tech Entrepreneur Camp for young girls,” said Archna Sahay, manager of entrepreneurial investment at City of Philadelphia. “Our goal is to create opportunities for all Philadelphians to participate in the new technology-driven economy, so we are committed to helping provide these girls with the skills, experience and confidence they need to work in the technology sector, or even start a company, which will help further establish Philadelphia as a thriving startup city.”

During this year’s camp, the participating campers will develop and pitch their tech-based business ideas to a panel of experts in the “Dolphin Pool” (a la “Shark Tank”) on the final day of camp, Friday, July 17. Dolphin Pool judges include the following notable Philadelphia-area business leaders and personalities:

  • Stephanie Humphrey, on-air technology contributor for FOX 29’s “Good Day Philadelphia” and on-air spokesperson for QVC
  • Archna Sahay, manager of entrepreneurial investment at City of Philadelphia
  • Bob Moul, CEO of Artisan Mobile
  • Antoinette Marie-Johnson, CEO of At Media
  • Philip Moyer, managing director at Safeguard Scientifics

The fourth annual TechGirlz’ Tech Entrepreneur Camp is being sponsored by King of Prussia Rotary Club and the Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT).

Contact: Mason Luvera


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