Initial Vancouver Cohort of App Camp for Girls Gives Final Pitches

On Friday, July 10, the Vancouver cohort of App Camp for Girls held the final pitch session at the BCTIA offices for its three all-girl app development teams.

The camp is for girls in their early teens, and has a mission to empower girls by providing engaging and accessible educational programs in software development, working toward the vision of achieving gender equality in the software development profession.

A panel of three judges provided feedback on the apps and presentations.  The judges were Kathryn Loewen, Founder and CEO of management platform Control, Amy Rae, Principal at Vanedge Capital, and Angela Robert, co-founder of Conquer Mobile.  The emcee of the event was Katherine Reilly, Partner at law firm Mcmillan LLP.

Each of the teams pitched its app to the panel as though they were pitching for actual investment, covering value proposition, revenue model, competitive analysis, and marketing.

The three teams at the camp were named the Pink Flamingos, the Bad Bytes, and the Emojis.  Here’s a description of their pitches.

The Pink Flamingos, made up of the team Bani, Kaitlynn, Nola, and Olivia, produced a quiz app, with a revenue model that was based on in-app purchases. The panel supportively inquired into their expectations for numbers of free and paid users, whether data could be sold to third parties, and an examination of their marketing plan, moving away from traditional marketing in favour of metric-driven, digital advertising.

The team Bad Bytes, composed of Elena, Kaylah, Lioni, and Makayla, created an educational app providing insight into character and personality by collecting information and corresponding that info with traditional first nations spirit animals.  The panel complimented the team’s idea of integrating storytelling into their app, and inquired into the logic of the $2.99 price point, giving the team the opportunity to demonstrate that they had examined the competition and calibrated according to what they discovered in the market.

The final team, the Emojis, made up of Bettina, Clara, Gabby, and Michaela, also produced a quiz-centered app that categorized users into personality types, illustrated by emojis. The app did this by analyzing quiz answers.  The team had calculated their breakeven point, had targeted their users, and thought through a marketing plan that involved publicity stunts.

Each of the apps will be available in the App Camp for Girls Quiz Compendium in early fall.

The week-long camp brought the participants through the creative process, from ideation to coding and pitching, under the guidance of adult volunteers, developers, and advisors, and included a field trip to Electronic Arts.  This is the inaugural Vancouver cohort of App Camp for Girls, the organization that originated in Portland in 2013.

“We need to create opportunities and facilitate environments where girls can explore their creativity,” said Vancouver organizer Susan Taylor.  “The girls really took ownership of what they were doing.”

After the success of the first camp in Vancouver, App Camp for Girls will be searching for more sponsors and volunteers for the next cohort.

Organizer Briana Sim said, “Vancouver tends to really care about building communities, and I think there are great opportunities for people to get involved.  In hiring, people are constantly saying to me that there aren’t enough women developers, and it’s hard to find them.  People and companies can actually change the future of the Vancouver tech market by getting involved in App Camp, getting their women developers involved in volunteering full time, and sponsoring the week here.”

The organization recently raised $109,000 on Indiegogo, and is still accepting contributions.