Skillz VP of Engineering, Miriam Aguirre, Judges Technovation’s Junior Regional Pitch Event!
Like a true Skillzian, our VP of Engineering is all about increasing diversity in tech and empowering women to disrupt traditionally male-dominated industries. A trailblazer in technology and gaming herself, Miriam had the awesome opportunity to judge Technovation’s Junior Pitch Event in the San Francisco Bay Area last week.
The Technovation Challenge gives young women the chance to work with Silicon Valley mentors to build their skills and experience in technology and entrepreneurship. Each team develops a mobile app and corresponding pitch to address a problem in their community, which they then have to present to a live audience and panel of distinguished judges. The top teams proceed to the semifinals where they compete against other teams from around the world!
Miriam was extremely impressed by many of the contestants’ apps, such as Super World, an app designed to make the world a better place by connecting anyone with a problem to others who can help them solve it. “These girls were only in second grade, yet their pitches were flawless!” says Miriam.
Miriam and the rest of us at Skillz were also particularly thrilled that a lot of the girls chose to build games as their proposed mobile apps – although we can’t say we’re surprised. With more than 2.6 billion mobile gamers worldwide, mobile is the most popular gaming platform in history and has proven popular among both men and women. In fact, now more than half of all Skillz players are women.
Society is slowly but surely starting to rethink the notion of gaming and eSports as a male-dominated industry. One of the most important ways we can counteract gaming and eSports industry stereotypes is by mentoring young women who are interested in gaming to really develop their skills and become gaming influencers and leaders in the future.
“There was a strong, positive energy around the event,” recalls Miriam. “It was a great way to get involved in helping increase diversity in tech.”
With industry leaders like Miriam as advocates and events like the Technovation pitch contest becoming more prevalent, we’re excited to see continued strides in female empowerment within the technology, sports and gaming industries!