NFTE Bay Area partners with SAP for new tech initiatives

November 13, 2013  |  7 comments

In the 2012-2013 academic year, NFTE Bay Area partnered with SAP to develop and implement our inaugural Technology Challenge. The goal of the challenge was to incentivize NFTE students to create businesses that utilized technology, such as ecommerce websites and mobile apps. All NFTE Bay Area students were encouraged to submit a video pitch of their idea, and the best pitches were chosen to participate in the Technology Challenge. SAP provided mentors and workshops to help our students complete their technology deliverable, which they presented along with their business plan. Throughout the school year, we provided students with technology workshops and both in-person and online-based coaching to support the new skill set they were learning.

In our successful inaugural SAP Tech Challenge, we had nearly 50 NFTE students enter and participate. The ten Technology Challenge Finalists competed at the Semi- Final Competition, and Jenny Wu from Galileo High School in San Francisco and Veronica Hernandez from Lighthouse Community Charter School in Oakland won best website and best mobile app, respectively, and each took home a first place prize of $1,000 from SAP.

Our goal for the 2013-2014 SAP Tech Challenge is to involve more students, to engage more volunteers, and to have greater programmatic impact. We are also creating a template for the Challenge so that other program offices can replicate the model.

To help kick off our SAP Technology Challenge, we invited high school students from all over the Bay Area to spend a day turning their idea for a mobile app into a reality with the help of engineers and designers from some of the top technology companies in the region. We partnered with PilotSF to host our inaugural High School Hackathon on October 12th at SAP's Palo Alto campus. Over the course of one day, students designed, created, and pitched their app for the chance to win prizes, including $1,500 for first place. We had nearly 100 students participate from 28 different Bay Area high schools.

This spring we will be training our teachers to use online-based website creation tools, so that they can make ecommerce websites a part of their curriculum. And like last year, we will incentivize students to make a mobile app for their business by providing them with workshops and mentorship throughout the spring.

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