Last weekend hundreds of girls gathered to compete for Technovation[MN]’s Appapalooza international app-building challenge.

St. Louis Park-based Code Savvy, a non-profit that encourages kids and teens to explore computer coding, runs Technovation[MN] and the regional competition of the event. They reported record participation with 74 teams presenting their apps this year. Nine teams were chosen to move on to the semi-finals with the chance to advance to the global Technovation Challenge in San Francisco later this year.

Technovation is the headline program for Iridescent, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that introduces girls to engineering and technology fields. The competition culminates at their WorldPitch event August 6th in San Francisco.

U.S. Bancorp sponsored seven teams.  Those teams met a week before the event in the bank’s Minneapolis boardroom to polish presentations in front of senior U.S. Bank leaders including CEO Andy Cecere.

Three of U.S. Bancorp’s teams advance to the semi finals including two teams in the Junior Division from Falcon Ridge Middle School: Black Blitz and their app “Boxed In” an online marketplace for the exchange of cardboard moving and other boxes; and Cryptic Coder with “Virtual Vault” a cyber protection app that protects teen’s online presence.

The Comida Club & Co. from DeLaSalle High School moved on in the Senior Division with their app “UnderStudy” which connects students with student tutors within their schools.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the tremendous amount of participation we saw this year from teams across Minnesota,” said Shawn Stavseth, co-founder and executive director of Technovation[MN]. “There were many great ideas presented at Appapalooza and we’re very proud of the hard work put forth by all teams, mentors, judges and volunteers.”

Six teams advance from the Junior Division, the two teams from Falcon Ridge Middle School and teams from Yinghua Academy, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, Victory Elementary, and the Lighthouse School.

Three teams from the Senior Division advanced, the team from DeLaSalle, the Computer Glitz team from Eagan High School/Dakota Hills Middle School, and the B.A.S.I.C. B.A.L.S.A. team from Rochester Schools & BDPA which has automatically been entered in the Minnesota Cup, a statewide startup competition organized by the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

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