For Beatrice Ionascu, Class of 2016 and Dora Palfi, Class of 2016, founders of tech startup imagiLabs, their genesis story dates to their first days on campus. In the fall of 2012, they were matched as first-year roommates, a fateful pairing that sparked a friendship and inspired a business.

From their residence hall they launched a student group to empower women in computer science, engineering, and technology.

Then, after graduating, they both studied in Sweden at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, where Palf’s research produced an epiphany: to inspire girls into computing, coding should be fun.

The result was imagiCharm, an illuminated smart accessory that can be programmed on a mobile phone. Sales are growing steadily, as is interest in the company’s workshops and trainings. “Technology is such a powerful force today and will be even more so in the future,” says Palfi. “We believe that the best way to empower women and to achieve more equality is by bringing more women into tech.”

Read more: Bridging the Gender Divide, One Charm at a Time

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Girls can learn to code with the help of this new smart keychain
imagiLabs CEO Dora Palfi wants to give girls coding "superpowers" to help close the gender gap in tech.

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