Girls Get IT: WNY girls invited to spend a Saturday with fellow techies, entrepreneurs

Registration is still open for the free April 14th event, which includes a documentary screening, demos, lunch and a conversation with female founders of local tech firms

Release Date: April 3, 2018

“It is imperative that we develop a pipeline of girls interested in tech careers — that they see that they have a place in this industry and that they can contribute their creativity. ”
Hadar Borden, program director
Blackstone LaunchPad at the University at Buffalo

BUFFALO — Girls with an interest in technology and entrepreneurship will have the chance to spend the day with likeminded souls at Girls Get IT, a free public event happening later this month.

Taking place on Saturday, April 14, at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library at 1 Lafayette Square in Buffalo, Girls Get IT seeks to inspire girls to become leaders in computing, technology and entrepreneurship. IT is short for information technology.

Two hundred participants are expected to attend.

The event, which lasts from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., includes:

  • A screening of She Started IT, a documentary on women tech founders in the U.S. and Europe.
  • A conversation with women who founded Western New York technology companies and organizations, including Christian Johnson, founder and CEO of Driver Watchdog; Venus Quates-Majors, CEO of launchTECH; and Lena Levine, founder of the Buffalo chapter of Girl Develop It.
  • Interactive demos, such as projects by Thimble, a company that sends monthly subscribers kits for building devices ranging from compasses to Wi-Fi robots; 3-D printing demonstrations by The Foundry, a small business incubator and community makerspace; and coding presentations by the Microsoft Store.
  • Lunch.

The program is designed for girls who are 10 to 16 years old or who are in sixth to 10th grade. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.

To register, visit

Organizers are asking participants to register by April 12, though walk-ins will be welcome if space is available.

“It is imperative that we develop a pipeline of girls interested in tech careers — that they see that they have a place in this industry and that they can contribute their creativity,” says Hadar Borden, program director for Blackstone LaunchPad at the University at Buffalo, lead organizer of Girls Get IT. “This is the first of what will become an annual event to encourage girls in Western New York to explore opportunities in tech and work toward gender equity in this field, where women are underrepresented.

“We found that there are actually very few programs in the region that focus specifically on encouraging girls to pursue careers in the tech industry, where a large proportion of the jobs of the future will be found.”

Blackstone LaunchPad at UB is a campus-based entrepreneurship program designed to introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career path.

Girls Get IT is a collaboration between Blackstone LaunchPad at UB, ACV Auctions, 19 IDEAS, the Allstate Foundation, the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, the UB College of Arts and Sciences, Delaware North, Driver Watchdog, The Foundry, Girl Develop It, Girl Scouts, Inspiring Future Engineers, Junior League of Buffalo, launchTECH, Lena Levine studio, the UB Office of Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships, the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE), WNY STEM and the WNY Women’s Foundation.

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Charlotte Hsu
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