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TechGirlz Camp Gives Young Women Hands-On Experience in Tech-Based Entrepreneurship

Camp Designed to Encourage More Girls to Pursue Technology Careers and Leadership Positions June 10, 2012 (Philadelphia, PA) – TechGirlz, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering girls to be future technology leaders, today announced that it will be hosting its first annual Entrepreneurship Camp in Philadelphia July 9-13, 2012, in conjunction with DreamIt Ventures and Startup Corps. During the week-long day camp at the University City Science Center in Philadelphia, twenty girls, ages 11 to 16, will go from idea generation to presentation of their prototype and business plan under the guidance of some of the country’s leading startup executives and developers, as well as graduates of the Startup Corps program. The camp is designed to address the fact that only three percent of all tech startups are led by women, according to the Kauffman Foundation.

“There is a major disconnect between the market and the tech industry today,” said Tracey WelsonRossman, founder of TechGirlz and Chief Marketing Officer at Chariot Solutions. “Women are starting half of the nearly 10 million businesses expected by 2018, but those founding tech-based businesses are a tiny fraction. Pair with that the fact that women control 70 percent of online purchases worldwide, and the reality is mind boggling. Young girls need access to hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math education more now than ever before. And this camp is the one place they can get the experience they need to change the trend. The ideas and innovation we’ve seen from them already is incredibly exciting. I’m really looking forward to what they’ll do during camp.”

At a pre-camp event held in June, the girls had an opportunity to pitch their tech-based business ideas. Those that were selected to be developed by teams of girls and mentors include:

 Custom e-cards website

 Custom designed t-shirts website

 Trading card website for kids under 13

 Pet sitting app for sitters and clients

 Food app that will locate food products in nearby grocery stores

Over the week of camp, they will be brought to life with the help of software developers and then presented to a panel of mentors and experts, including:

 Brigitte Daniel – Executive Vice President at Wilco Electronics; former Officer with the City of Philadelphia’s Minority Business Enterprise Council

 Lucinda Duncalfe-Holt – serial entrepreneur; current CEO of Real Food; former CEO of TurnTide (sold to Symantec); blogger at CerealCEO.com

 Joanne Lang – technologist and entrepreneur; current CEO of AboutOne; former executive at SAP Labs; blogger for HuffingtonPost.com

 Bob Moul – serial entrepreneur; current CEO of AppRenaissance; former CEO of Boomi (sold to Dell); President of Philly Startup Leaders

 Skip Shuda – technologist and entrepreneur; current CEO of Philly Marketing Labs; former CEO of Team and a Dream; mentor at Philadelphia Academies

“I can’t wait to make my own business,” said Hayley Visser, 9 year-old camper. “At camp, I’m going to work with professionals who actually do this work. They’re going to help me—for real! TechGirlz classes are always great!”

TechGirlz Entrepreneurship Camp is also being sponsored by Chariot Solutions, Alliance Global Consulting, DevNuts, and The University City Science Center, which is hosting the camp. “DreamIt is excited to help lead the TechGirlz Entrepreneur Camp.

In out startup accelerator programs, only about 20% of the companies have women on the founding team. We’re thrilled to help girls get interested in technology entrepreneurship at a young age and look forward to seeing them again in the future in our accelerator programs”, said Kerry Rupp, Managing Partner DreamIt.

“We are delighted to host the inaugural TechGirlz Camp,” said Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA, President & CEO of the University City Science Center. “The STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and math are key to America’s future global competitiveness. By introducing girls to technology and entrepreneurship today, we’re positioning them to be tomorrow’s tech leaders.”

Interested media can participate in one or more camp sessions July 9th – 13th, at University City Science Center, 3711 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA, by contacting Brian Loschiavo at (610) 592-4153 or bloschiavo@slicecommunications.com.

About TechGirlz

TechGirlz is here to inspire young women to shatter the statistics. Our aim is to help adolescent girls understand that a future in technology does not necessarily equate to “a boring computer job,” but instead transcends the cubicle into nearly every field imaginable. By encouraging women to participate in science and technology today, as well as providing a solid foundation of peers, mentors, and positive role models, we hope to spark innovation, exhilaration, and motivation in young women to become tomorrow’s tech leaders. www.TechGirlz.org

About DreamIt Ventures

DreamIt Ventures is a pre-seed stage accelerator, with the goal of helping great people with great ideas build great companies. DreamIt provides the aspiring entrepreneurs that it selects with pre-seed funding, services from leading law firms and accounting firms, mentoring from seasoned entrepreneurs, access to capital, and a creative, rigorous environment to bring innovative business ideas to market. Since 2007, DreamIt has launched 65 companies including SCVNGR, SeatGeek, Postling, Notehall (acquired by Chegg), CloudMine, Parsely, AppAddictive, TidalLabs, Let’s Gift It, Spling, LearnBop, Easel, ElectNext, MindSnacks, SupplyHog, Take The Interview, and Adaptly. DreamIt accelerates companies in Philadelphia, New York City, and in a new Israel-based program. More information about DreamIt Ventures is available online at www.DreamItVentures.com and via email at info@dreamitventures.com. Read More

Media Contact:

Kristen Fitch

Kristen Fitch

Director, Marketing