Nigerian girls make it to final round of the world’s largest tech entrepreneurship program

Nigerian ‘Brain Squad’ girls make it to the final round of the 2019 Technovation Challenge (thetransverse)
  • A group of five Nigerian girls working as team ‘Brain Squad’ have made it to the final round of the 2019 Technovation Challenge.
  • The Brain Squad made the list of this year’s finalists with their unique app called ‘Hands Out’.
  • These impressive 6th graders will be representing the country at the World Pitch in Silicon Valley.

After successfully scaling through several rounds of the 2019 Technovation Challenge, five young Nigerian girls have made it to the final stage of the competition.

The team, called ‘Brain Squad,’ will be representing the country with their ‘Hands Out’ app at the World Pitch of the world’s largest tech entrepreneurship program in Silicon Valley.

At the Technovation World Pitch, which starts on August 15, 2019, they will have access to “a week of networking, field trips, workshops, and the chance to win scholarships.”

Brain Squad, which is the only African team left in the competition, will be competing against their fellow junior division finalists — Canada’s ‘Robot Unicorns’, ‘Young Inventor’ from the United States and other teams for Technovation People’s Choice Awards for girls. 

The senior division finalists are ‘CoCo’ from Kazakhstan; ‘D3c0ders’ from Albania; Spain’s ‘LPSN’; ‘Powerful Daisies’ from Brazil; ‘Team Uproot’ from the United States; and India’s ‘Tech Witches’.

What is the Brain Squad?

Brain Squad is made up of 10 and 11-year-old girls. The members, Ayomikun Ariyo, Ivana Mordi, Jadesola Kassim, Munachiso Chigbo and Pandora Onyedire, attend the Standard Bearers School in Lagos, Nigeria.

They came together to develop an app that would make it easy for people to make donations to help the needy pay for school fees, food, shoes, books, stationery, medication and more.

According to the young girls, they were inspired to develop the hands out app after the tragic collapse of a Primary School building in Lagos early this year. 

In their words, “On 16th of march 2019, the tragic news of a building which had a primary school within at Itafaji Lagos collapsed. Many children died and others were injured. The community was thrown into morning and the surviving children can’t understand why friends and relatives had to die. They need hope.”

Their goal is for this app to be an avenue for donors to help those in need and help more children access education. The funds raised will be handled by the team's alumni group and Stanbic IBTC Fund managers.


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