Tuesday, November 24, 2020

5 high school girls develop NPO directory app


Every year Technovation offers girls around the world the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to become tech entrepreneurs. A group of female learners from Parklands College situated in Cape Town have collaborated with a mobile application development company called Mad Studios to release an app called TouchBase. The team came up with the idea for the app when they entered the 2019 global Technovation Challenge with the vision of ‘helping people help people’.

TouchBase is an end-user mobile application that lists any non-profit organisations (NPOs) that register on the platform. These organisations can then list their needs for volunteers and/or donations on their NPO profile. The interface consists of a world map that indicates your location and any registered NPOs close to you. If you are a volunteer or change maker you can use the app to get in touch with any nearby NPO to assist in any way.

Technovation invites girls to identify a real-world problem in their community and then challenge them to solve it using technology. Girls work in teams to build both a mobile application and a business plan to launch that application. The young girls are supported by mentors and guided by the curriculum which takes students through four stages of launching a mobile application startup, which is inspired by the principles of design thinking.

During the Technovation Challenge, six finalist teams are chosen from both the junior and senior divisions and flown to Silicon Valley for the world pitch where they present their ideas to potential investors. The winner receives funding from Silicon Valley. In the near future, the team plans to allow NPOs to list events which will appear at the top of a user’s newsfeed depending on their location, as well as release the app on the Android.

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