Join us on April 29th, as we team up with one of Toronto’s largest tech groups, Hackernest, for a special event. Together, we want to make this event pretty damn special by giving gender stereotypes a kick in the face and pushing hard for a 50:50 male-to-female ratio! We feel there are finally enough women in the tech industry to warrant equal representation on tech panels, at the conference table, and at events. Together, we can make this vision a reality. But it starts one event at a time, so please come help be a part of making history.
In addition to a celebration, the event will feature two rockstar speakers – Judy Sims from Shopcaster and Chris Ye from Uken Games.
In case you missed it, this past Wednesday was a very special day for Girls in Tech Toronto. Teaming up with Google Canada, we held one of the world’s first female-centered hackathons, where guests were invited to hack a solution to a problem facing people in Singapore and Southeast Asia.
We wanted to take the time to recognize all those that attended, innovated, hacked, and presented their ideas. The following is a summary of the incredibly complex problem at hand, and the incredibly innovative solutions developed to tackle it.
Finding a way to make society in Singapore and surrounding countries more comfortable transacting online. Currently, only 0.4% of all retail transactions occur online, as shoppers have many concerns around security and privacy. The local retail industry is still incredibly based on bricks-and-mortar.
Why is this IMPORTANT?
This is critical for entrepreneurs, to develop successful high-tech companies
This is critical for developed and developing countries, to stimulate innovation and develop innovative business models that leverage online payment and impact the greater society
This is critical for women, who are career minded yet cannot work outside the home and may wish to pursue an entrepreneurial career path
Presenting the SOLUTIONS:
Team: A HARD DAY’s HACK
CheckIt was the solution presented by this team, which provides education and awareness to shoppers to encourage them to shop online. The site entails a crowdsourced ratings & reviews section, where existing payment gateways (i.e. PayPal) and merchants are verified for security and privacy. And the company works with merchants to deliver shipping best practices. Apart from the online portal is a CheckIt call-in number, which users can also use to verify the safety of vendors.
TEAM: CUSHY SOCKS
The story used by this team when presenting their solution was, how can you leverage digital devices to purchase cushy socks from a local flea market? Essentially, the purchaser – following negotiations of course – would SMS a purchase price from their phone to a merchant, who in turn would SMS an acceptance price back. A matching price would complete the transaction, depositing top-up money from one phone to the other. Or, a merchant could blast a price announcement to customers via SMS, and an SMS back would again complete the transaction. The idea was to harness the millions of micro-transactions that take place in Southeast Asia everyday, and get people comfortable using digital devices for small purchases to start.
TEAM: MANGO TANGO
A fresh and juicy approach to shopping! This team’s solution was a top-up card, which was only compatible with retail site Mango Tango. Knowing the card is issued by their local Bank, consumers are alleviated of any security and privacy concerns they have when shopping online. Merchants are able to promote their goods through the Mango Tango site, thus eliminating the need to develop their own e-commerce platforms.
TEAM: REBEL ALLIANCE
Presenting Orchid Circle, a wearable wristband that syncs with a secure payment app, to ensure security and privacy, and keep track of both online and offline purchases. The wristband is not only a fashion statement, but also accumulates points after every purchase (even in-store), which can then be redeemed online. An analytics component also tracks a user’s spending habits.
Doesn’t this team have the best name? The HackHers created what they call an ‘umbrella’ website, which allows users to advertise any transactional good through the site. Alternatively, users can connect via the site to others in their community, and start projects together – for example, a seamstress can connect with a fabric supplier to develop and sell dresses. By creating a community-driven and trusted platform, users will feel more secure transacting online.
TEAM: THE NIGHT’S WATCH
Introducing Style.ID, an e-commerce site featuring only the most prestigious brands. Users are first asked to complete a style profile, adding in elements from their wardrobe and style preferences. The website then recommends matching pieces, and enables purchases to be made directly through the platform. Because of the high-end nature of the website, consumers feel confident that their transactions are 100% secure.
So who won?
We’re not telling! We want you to guess. Provide your comments and feedback, and guess who the judges selected as having the most innovative, realistic, and impactful solution. The winning team will be announced next week.
You know the drill! 3 women in tech share their inspirational stories of all they’ve accomplished, how they accomplished it, and what they have yet to accomplish! If you haven’t been to a Power Hour yet, you’re missing out. The events are laid-back, fun, and provide an easy forum through which to meet other women (and men!) in tech.
Our goal is to make it easy for you (an awesome woman in tech) to share your work and to build a network of peer advocates who support you and all the fabulous things you do. Think: bigger online footprint, enthusiastic fans, and a pay-it-forward attitude.
If you are interested in showcasing your work, please message us @gitdot or submit an entry on our website here.