Waterloo-linked team among winners at Technovation Girls global tech competition

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Ellen Brisley and Leya Oommen of Aiuto Solutions
A regional team linked with the University of Waterloo was named among the winners of the global Technovation Girls app development competition.

Aiuto Solutions was awarded the first-ever COVID Economic Recovery prize, recognizing their work to develop an app to connect donors and charities. The app provides a means of forging stronger relationships in the not-for-profit and NGO sectors. The name Aiuto means ‘help’ in Italian. 

Teams in Technovation Girls make apps that address a specific social need. As part of the program, students learn about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), promoted by the United Nations. SDGs have categories for human health and well-being, climate action, poverty reduction and gender equality.

Team Aiuto consists of Ellen Brisley and Leya Oommen, both high school students from Kitchener-Waterloo. The two have been working together on app development and with Technovation Girls for some four years.

In a previous interview, Brisley said that a major part of the team's motivation comes down to helping the community and making a difference.

“I like how wholistic is it,” said Brisley. “It’s not just about the coding, and that’s what differentiates it from a hackathon. You’re not making an app for no reason. You have a purpose, and you can see how you can impact your community.”

Aiuto Solutions is supported by the Technovation Girls Waterloo chapter, which is an initiative of the Women in Computer Science (WiCS) committee at the University of Waterloo. The chapter includes students from Cambridge, Guelph, Kitchener, Stratford and Waterloo and their surrounding townships.

Rae Samuel, the WiCS outreach coordinator, worked with dozens of teams this past year, connecting them with mentors and coaches to help with app development. Six regional teams representing the Waterloo chapter progressed to this year’s global competition.

Read more about the winning teams on the Technovation website.

Technovation Girls Waterloo logo