Austin, Texas was hopping this week for SXSW (South by Southwest), the annual film, music and tech conference that draws attendees from around the world. Geek Girl Rising was there, on the ground, soaking up live music, eating shrimp and grits, and “soft” launching our upcoming book, Geek Girl Rising, which comes out on May 23. It was exhilarating to read from our book for the first time in front of an enthusiastic crowd! One audience member told us that he got teary-eyed when we heard about the many amazing opportunities available for women and girls in the technology world today and how excited he was to introduce his two young daughters to the host of strong female role models featured in our book. The day before our talk, Shelley Zalis and The Girls’ Lounge hosted a Geek Girl Rising panel in which Shelley, entrepreneurs Maci Peterson, Jill Richmond and Sarah Kunst joined angel investor Adam Quinton to discuss the funding crunch for female startup founders and how more women can help by becoming angel investors. Thanks you for the opportunity to share our book and our mission! You can pre-order Geek Girl Rising today.
From self-driving wheelchairs to digital personalized help for addicts to predictive data analysis for doctors to virtual travel agents, the fourth annual Women Startup Challenge showcased women venturing into emerging areas of technology. The competition, hosted by Google in New York City, offered a $50,000 prize courtesy of the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund. The night drew more than 200 spectators, including investors, founders and techies, who watched the ten dynamic finalists pitch their cutting edge companies.
“We’ve received many hundreds of submissions from female entrepreneurs whose product ideas are often brilliant and disruptive, and a few that could even be the ‘next big thing.’ We’re just scratching the surface of the pent-up talent, as you see from the caliber of today’s winners,” said Allyson Kapin, founder of Women Who Tech, the organization that runs the Challenge.
Didimo of Clayton, California took home the grand prize. It’s a tool that transforms the image from a single photo into a 3D virtual character that can speak, move and represent a user in a 3D world. Runners up were Spirit AI and Addicaid, both located in New York. Each will receive $10,000 in legal services from Paul Hastings LLP. Kudos!