CEO & co-founder | imagiLabs
Nominated in the Category: Education
Short description of the company
At imagiLabs we make coding fun for teenage girls. We want girls to have equal opportunities in the future, and if technology is the future then girls need to be equipped with the skills to help shape technology and therefore the future! But today women make up only 17% of the tech workforce as well as university students in technology and there are no products targeting specifically teenage girls in order to spark their interest for coding. imagiLabs is tapping into this underserved market. Our product offering consists of a mobile platform, programmable accessories, and a community to teach programming. The mobile application pairs with the smart accessories and introduces users to coding in a fun, tangible and engaging way, removing a large barrier to entry. The app allows sharing and collaboration to retain users’ interest through a community platform where users can see what others create with code and can help each other. It also provides access to coding tutorials in the form of games. Girls learn a real programming language and apply it to change the color of the LEDs embedded in their accessory. What makes us innovative is that we are giving an intrinsic motivation for users to want to learn and improve their coding skills: the better the programming skills the cooler the designs on their wearables. The first physical product is imagiCharm, a programmable keychain accessory.
We sell our tools and premium access to our coding content directly to consumers as well as educational organisations and institutions and in the long run we will generate revenue through partnerships with brands and organisations who would like to tap into the community of female tech talent we are building.
How does digitization shape your/her career?
Digitisation and ensuring that digitisation provides equal opportunities to all genders is what has been the central motivation in my career. When I began my university studies I was aiming to become a brain researcher. Through my research and lab work I started to understand the importance and impact of the digital transformation, and I was soon required to develop digital and technical skills (for example running simulations, building models of brain functions, analysing and visualising data). It was exciting for me to understand that technology is really just a tool to solve problems. What is more, technology is enabling us to create solutions to the most pressing societal problems that are more effective than anything we could have created without digitisation. However, access to the “super power” of tech is not equal. I believe that women need to be just as actively involved with creating digital solutions for our future as men as we need diverse and equal perspectives for an equal future. This is why my career has revolved around inspiring and equipping young women with digital skills.
What makes you/her a digital female leader?
Most of my professional life has revolved around paving the way for equality for women in the STEM fields - initially through two student organisations I started (weSTEM at NYU Abu Dhabi and women@EIT) and for the past two years through my startup, imagiLabs. With imagiLabs my approach has been to create a digital solution that can get young women interested in coding and in creating with technology. By the nature of it, if we want to build a scalable solution and want to have a global impact today, we need a digital solution. This is why I have been leveraging other digital platforms and solutions to reach teenage girls, the next generation of female technologists and equip and empower them with the skills needed to be successful in our digital future. My hope is that in addition to the impact we create with imagiLabs I can also personally serve as a role model for other young women to start their tech-based / digital businesses.
What does leadership mean to you/her?
To me Leadership is about empowering and equipping others to most effectively work towards a shared vision, a vision that is larger than us, individuals.
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