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Girls to explore worlds of information technology, startups at free event


Wed, Feb 19th 2020 07:00 am

‘She Started IT’ takes place March 7, giving participants opportunity to meet with women who are entrepreneurs, professionals in tech sector

By the University at Buffalo

Girls who dream of becoming information technology whizzes or starting a business will have the chance to learn from more than a dozen women who have succeeded at doing just that at “She Started IT,” an event designed to inspire and encourage girls to pursue careers in those fields.

The free, half-day event is based on “She Started It,” an acclaimed documentary that spotlights five female entrepreneurs in the tech industry.

Organizers of the “She Started IT” event include the University at Buffalo’s Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars and partners across Western New York.

This year’s “She Started IT” takes place from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library’s Central Library at 1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo. The program is designed for girls ages 10 to 16 (or in grades 6 through 10), but younger or older girls are welcome to attend.

Adults and parents are welcome, but not required to attend. Participants will be assigned to a group when they check in, and an adult chaperone/facilitator will guide them through the day. Lunch will be provided for all who attend the program.

Register for “She Started IT” at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/she-started-it-tickets-81747291349.

The event, now in its third year, attracted 125 girls in 2019, according to Blackstone LaunchPad Director Hadar Borden. Organizers hope to have 200 attendees this year, Borden said.

“In today’s world, it is very important to have different perspectives at the table to design the next tech innovations,” Borden said. “We believe our girls should be part of the conversation and, more importantly, they should be designing the future. We want to encourage them to consider tech careers, as well as be their own boss as an entrepreneur.”

“As a research university, it is UB’s responsibility to contribute to our local and global community,” she continued. “This is one small way that we are contributing to Western New York: Working with community partners to empower our youth to think like innovators and makers.”

For community members interested in the program, there are opportunities available for general event volunteers or tech industry facilitators.

To register as a volunteer, visit http://bit.ly/2E5nxdy

The planned schedule of events for “She Started IT” 2020:

•10-10:15 a.m.: Introduction and welcome by Tamara McMillan, award-winning lecturer, speaker, author and lifestyle coach, founder of McMillan Empowerment Enterprise

•10:15-10:30 a.m.: Video clip from “She Started It” film and discussion with female company founders

•10:30-11:45 a.m.: Ideation exercise led by WNY Invention Convention

•11:45 a.m. to noon: Stage Presence Workshop presented by Second Generation Theatre Co.

•Noon-12:30 p.m.: Lunch and facilitated discussion with female professionals in the tech industry

•1-1:45 p.m.: Interactive demonstrations and experiences

•1:45-2 p.m.: Closing remarks by Katie Krawczyk, CEO, 19 IDEAS

She Started IT Buffalo is a collaboration between the University at Buffalo Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars, ACV Auctions, The Allstate Foundation, the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Ingram Micro, The Foundry, Second Generation Theatre Co. Inc., Girl Scouts of Western New York, UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, McMillan Empowerment Enterprise, Buffalo Rising, 19 IDEAS, WNY Invention Convention, and WNY STEM.

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