The Rosalind Franklin Appathon ended on a high note with the Prize and Tech Day 2016!
Congratulations to the two Appathon winners- eSexual Health Clinic, an online clinical care pathway for Chlamydia and Amazing STEMM Trailblazers, a gaming app featuring STEMM heroines. STEMM Role Models, an app to improve the diversity of conference speakers, and FindMe, a gaming app for children with autism, took the runner up prizes.
Over 100 delegates gathered at Wayra UK, Telefonica O2’s startup accelerator, to hear some inspiring talks from our speakers and judges, watch pitches from the competition finalists and forge strong networks across the science and digital space.
The event opened with a talk from Professor Rachel McKendry, who led the Appathon, and was followed by a welcome address from UCL Provost Professor Michael Arthur, who spoke on UCL’s dedication to gender equality and wider diversity initiatives. We then heard a special guest talk from Rosalind Franklin’s sister Jenifer Glynn, who treated the audience to a very personal account of her sister’s life and work- a rare glimpse into the life of a remarkable scientist!
Next up were some talks from the judging panel. Baroness Martha Lane Fox highlighted the need and advantages of getting more women into tech and doteveryone.org, her initiative to champion UK technological innovation and put women at the heart of the tech sector. Google’s Andrew Eland demonstrated the role of advanced technology for the common good and Professor Dame Athene Donald gave a bold speech on why more needs to be done to facilitate women’s progression in leadership and STEMM roles.
The audience was shown video pitches from our app finalists and winners were announced. They took home awards, and funding towards developing and accelerating their apps.
Everyone finished the day feeling inspired, moved and motivated and feedback was very positive- “I feel more positive about being a female working in this arena, “eye opener” and “incredibly innovative ideas” were just some of the comments we received after the event.
We look forward to following the winners and finalists through their app journeys and seeing the impact of their fantastic ideas- watch this space!
A related article has just been published in FT, which looks at how academia in the UK and US is developing technology to support start-ups, and in particular looking at ways to help women entrepreneurs to succeed. The article makes extensive mention of UCL’s support of entrepreneurship and the reporter discusses how the Bright Ideas awards provide vital early-stage funding before companies can seek venture capital finance. UCL’s Rosalind Franklin Appathon is highlighted as an example of supporting technology development and helping promote female leaders in STEMM and special mention is given to Rachel McKendry as being instrumental in setting up the appathon.
For more information see www.rfappathon.org