PitchFest 2016 Winners
Published on by

PitchFest 2016 Winners

We are pleased to share with you some of the wonderful stories from our PitchFest 2016 winners

1st Place Teens 4 Teen/ Priyanka Vatturi

  9
What school do you go to and how old are you?
I am seventeen years old and I go to James Logan High School in Union City, California.
How does your project contribute to society?
My project contributes to society because it focuses on increasing the graduation rates of my local public high school. Many a times, students were not given the help that they needed to succeed. With my project I wanted to give these “underdog” students the tools to move on and make a difference in their lives and their communities.
What would you have done differently?
I would have gathered more research and particulars about the data that I could use to refine my peer-mentoring program. Overall I am happy with the way my project turned out.
What do you plan on doing with your winnings?
I plan on using the money I won to purchase school supplies and other materials for the mentee students that cannot afford these supplies.
What was the biggest challenge on this project
The biggest challenge on this project was getting all the pieces together to fit into the “puzzle”. I had all of these great ideas, but I lacked the methodology to put them together in a coherent presentation. After a while, I got all the pieces to move together and it worked out in the end.
What was the best part of participating in this event?
The best part of participating in this event was being able to share my idea with a lot of like-minded individuals who wanted to change the world around them as well. I made so many new friends at this event and I am really excited to see these new ideas pan out into the future.
What do you in plan on doing in next 5 years?
In the next 5 years I hope to be attending a four year university, either in California or New York. I would love to go to Stanford University or UC Berkeley. My intended major is going into business, with a strong focus in communications or marketing. I am very interested in the social aspect of business and would also like to take a minor in journalism or public relations. Hopefully I can take my Teens 4 Teens idea with me onto my future endeavors.
What advice would you give to future contestants?
Some advice that I would give to future contestants would be to take any small problem and try to create a solution. Never give up and submit to the small talk of others. Also I would tell future contestants to veer off the traditional path to success and think outside of the box, because that is where the best ideas are created.

2nd Place Girls U Code/ Samaira Mehta

girls-u-code-workshopHow does your project contribute to society?

There is a gender gap in technology. Girls only represent one-fifth of all people in the STEM (Science Technology Engineering) field. Girls can bring more creativity to any projects including Software and Computer Science. So we need to bring more and more girls in technology. At the same time we need to get girls excited about coding at a very early stage. Especially so, for all those girls who do not have easy access to resources.That’s where Girls U Code comes in. Girls U Code is conducting free workshops to introduce the coding concept to the underrepresented girls in the world in a really fun way by using a board game CoderBunnyz.  The workshop teaches all of the logic of basic programming and coding under the guise of a playful board game. Within no time kids learn basic and advanced programming fundamentals while having family fun. Turns out all computer language like Scratch, Python, Java and C use these same concepts. So once a kid learns fundamentals with CoderBunnyz, it makes much easier for them to learn any coding language and start towards the path of becoming next generation technologist.

 

What would you have done differently?

 

What’s different in “Girls U Code” – Well we are spreading the love of coding among underrepresented girls in the world through the board game that I invented.The name of the game is “CoderBunnyz – The Most Comprehensive game ever!”. The current existing solution caters to girls in middle or high school and are unable to start early. Other solution for young kids means spending hours on a digital device. Girls U Code uses a board game to introduce coding to girls as young as age 4. Board game involves social interaction and learning that is unique and impact full. At the same time, I am reaching out to the community by actually conducting workshops at libraries, schools, tech events and other places. The passion I get from parents and kids from this workshop is something that brings all the difference to my work.

 

 

What do you plan on doing with your winnings?

Girls U Code plans to reach hundreds of girls in the community through the workshop. That would require making more CoderBunnyz game kits. That’s one area where the winnings would go. We would need to hire some individuals who could help conduct the workshops in various community areas and schools while I am at school.

 

We not only want to ignite the passion in these girls about coding, STEM, and computer science but want them to continue with reinforcement. Winnings will enable Girls U Code to supply these girls with game kits and future support so that they could continue on their learning path to become next generation technologist.

 

I would like to thank Think Tank Learning and Media Mahima for seeing through my vision and helping this effort.

 

What school do you go to and how old are you?

 

I am 8 years old and I go to California Distinguished Millikin Basics+ Elementary School in Santa Clara.

 

What was the biggest challenge on this project

There have been many challenges to the project. First from the invention of the board game to making the game a reality. That involved working with the graphics designer and making sure the idea gets conveyed to them properly.

Once the game became reality, coming up with the workshop and delivering workshop was my next challenge. Being an 8-year-old conducting workshop was such a learning experience. Some of my workshops have been covered by media like NBC, Sony, ZDF Germany.  All those were very exciting times in the project.

 

The next challenge was how to make more impact in the community by targeting underprivileged girls.  Overall CoderBunnyz and Girls U Code has been a very challenging but at the same time exciting learning experience.

 

 

What was the best part of participating in this event?

The best and most challenging part for me was competing in front of high schoolers and middle schooler and recognized for my work.

 

What do you in the plan on doing in next 5 years?

In five years from now, I will be 13. By then I want to see CoderBunnyz board game in hands of every kid in the world. At the same time, I want to build a big community around Girls U Code that would help the underprivileged girls to learn to code. My plan is to change the ratio of girls in tech from one in every five to at least two in every five.  That’s a 100% increase in the number of girl technologists in our community.

What advice would you give to future contestants?

I would ask them to start slow and build up their pace. I would ask them to be themselves and d whatever mind tells them to do. Be Creative!

Good Luck.

 

If you would like to know more about my project and keep in touch visit –

http://www.coderbunnyz.com/

http://www.girlsucode.org/

http://www.facebook.com/coderbunnyz

 

 

 

                                                             3rd Place Teen Task Force /Anvee Bhutaniimage1-2
What school do you go to and how old are you?
I go to Archbishop Mitty High School and I am currently in 10th grade.
How does your project contribute to society?
We connect adults who are simply to busy around to house to complete simple tasks, and teens who are willing to help others in their free time to earn some pocket money!
What would you have done differently?
We should have thought of our logo a little sooner, and make it a bit more creative.    What do you in plan on doing in next 5 years?
We plan on building an app, and completing our website to be in full working order. We also plan on buying insurance.
What was the biggest challenge on this project?                                                       The biggest challenge was making the website. It took a lot of time and effort, but we eventually finished!
What was the best part of participating in this event?                                            The best part about participating in the event is showing other people what I love best. It is a great experience for me and it is so much fun!
What do you in plan on doing in next 5 years?                                                        In the next five years I would be making my way through college. We would gradually build our company and start to function it in real life.
What advice would you give to future contestants?                                              I would advise future contestants to always go out there and have fun. Don’t stress about it and just have fun!