Pull out your mobile phone, type in a few simple programming codes, and voila: a pink heart-shaped design shows up on the square LED panel of your electronic charm accessory.
This is imagiCharm - a fun electronic accessory that encourages young girls to learn computer programming from their mobile phones, no experience required. The product, developed by two NYU Abu Dhabi alumnae and a third female partner, teaches Python programming in an easy, visual, and creative way, and includes a charm that users can wear as jewelry, on their backpack, or however they wish to express themselves.
The education technology startup targets users aged 12-16, with the aim of making coding fun and accessible. The founders of the product believe that once young women gain more confidence in coding, the possibilities of coming up with new designs are endless.
The startup was created out of a desire to level the gender playing field in the technology sector, said CEO and co-founder Dora Palfi, who studied biology at NYUAD. Currently, she says, only around 18 percent of the tech industry consists of women.
During their undergraduate studies at NYUAD, both Palfi and Beatrice Ionascu, an electrical engineering major, co-founded weSTEM, a student interest group that aims to increase interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics for women. The group was formed due to a lack of female students and faculty in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and female students’ need for role models and peers.
Their new company is getting off to a good start. Palfi, Ionascu, and Edstrom successfully raised funds through crowdfunding for their first pre-order of the imagiCharm, the first step to helping girls shape the future with technology.
You can learn more about imagiCharm here.