Rochester students advance to next round of Technovation Competi - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Rochester students advance to next round of Technovation Competition

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Left to Right: Bailey Klote, Audrey Whitney, Simran Sandhu, Anjali Donthi, and Alexandra Bancos Left to Right: Bailey Klote, Audrey Whitney, Simran Sandhu, Anjali Donthi, and Alexandra Bancos
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -

A  team of three middle school and two high school girls from Rochester Public Schools ranked highest at Technovation's fifth annual meet in Minneapolis on Saturday.

Each team in Technovation identified a community problem and provided a solution that can be coded as an Android App. Technovation is a 12-week program that mentors girls ages 10-18 how to develop a mobile phone app solution to address an identified problem in their community, and then learn how to communicate these ideas and translate them into a fully launched business.

The 5-member team, called B.A.S.I.C. B.A.L.S.A,  developed "Bridge," an app that provides resources for immigrants to improve their quality of life in a foreign community. Three of the girls' parents are immigrants to the United States. 

Each team had four minutes to pitch the app, and four additional minutes to answer questions from the judges. 

B.A.S.I.C. B.A.L.S.A, was one of the three high school teams to qualify at the State meet, the "Appapalooza," for the next round of the international Technovation Challenge in San Francisco. Last year, a different RPS high school team, SKeMAS, was runner-up internationally and awarded $5,000 in scholarship money.

The cell phone app also automatically qualified them as semifinalists for the Minnesota Cup business startup competition — the largest statewide startup competition in the country. 

"We will be working all summer to make this a real application," said Ginny McCright, co-chair for the Southeast region branch of Technovation. "We have been working with the Diversity Council and IMAA to design the application, and we will continue to work with them to get this on the app store and make it available to them before August."

78 teams comprised of 312 girls competed at the Appapalooza this past weekend. 

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