By @SimonCocking  interview with Coral Movasseli Managing Director, Girls in Tech. Title photo by Nicole Bosky @ Adpreneurs. In photo above Coral Movasseli, MD Girls in Tech, and Claire Behar, Head of Marketing Girls in Tech.

What’s your background?

I was always the thinker. I wanted to study everything through-and-through; figure out the nuts and bolts, take it apart, then rebuild it to make it even better. That’s me in a nutshell. I started my career off as an Analyst for the Federal Government of Canada working on large multi-million dollar international trade strategies to help companies grow their companies abroad. I continued to be on the strategy side, which took me to London where I was working with large private equity clients, and then back to Toronto, my native home, where I covered capital technology investment and operational performance improvements projects. Yearning to roll up my sleeves, I co-founded and launched a mobile app for Toronto’s transportation system to solve daily commuting problems; all this without any initial knowledge of developing a digital product or user experience design for that matter. Just goes to show; you can do anything if you put your mind to it. I’m now not just the thinker, but someone likes execution and growth.

 Who is Girls in Tech?

This past December, Girls in Tech celebrated a massive milestone; we rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. It was only a decade ago, in 2007, when Adriana Gascoigne, Founder and CEO, created Girls in Tech in San Francisco as a forum and support network for female STEM professionals. Now, a decade later we are a global not-for-profit based in over 60 cities, 6 continents, and reaching over 50,000 members with our wide range of programs to educate, empower, and engage women in STEM and entrepreneurship. Our goal is to help empower, engage, and educate women with our programs.

Who are your members?

The most awesome part of our initiative is in bringing together our diverse and interconnected group of members that include like-minded female and male professionals and decision makers in STEM, entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, and those with a curious mind for the industry. Membership is at no cost; however, some of our programs will charge a nominal fee to support the operations of the chapter.

What’s your track-record and what do you offer?

  • Our coveted AMPLIFY Startup Pitch Night Competitions, where we select female entrepreneurs to pitch to a group of seasoned investors and experts for an ultimate cash prize to go towards realizing their entrepreneurial dreams. During our last competition last fall in San Francisco, we selected 10 startups from 139 applications and provided the winner, Pandia Health, with $10,000 in funding and additional support to launch her idea.
  • Our Coding Bootcamps provides skill-based workshops for coding, design, product development, leadership, entrepreneurship, and confidence building. In our Helsinki Chapter, we partnered up with global-tech leader, Microsoft, to provide workshops and in Taiwan we have partnered with CodePath, a leading organization that provides mobile engineering classes, to deliver Android Bootcamps in early 2017.
  • Our coding Hackathons brings together developers, designers, scientists, students, entrepreneurs, and educators to learn new skills while solving real-life problems. We’ve been producing successful hackathons for 10 years now ranging from NASA events to partnerships with ESPN and espnW.  Not only do we tackle commercial problems, but we also work to strengthen social enterprise through our global Hacking for Humanity initiative.
  • Our 3-day Catalyst Conference showcases women at the forefront of technology and entrepreneurship and provides educational workshops, panel discussions, and networking opportunities. Our next Catalyst Conference is due to be held in San Francisco on June 20-22, 2017 and on September 13-15, 2017 in London. Past speakers at our conferences have included: Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook; Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo; Elisa Camahort, COO of Blogher, Donna Novitsky, CEO of BigTent; Sandy Jen, CTO of Meebo; Leila Chiryath Janah, CEO; and Founder of Samasource.

Why are you in Dublin?

The Dublin chapter will be the first Girls in Tech chapter in Ireland’s history. Ireland’s booming STEM industry and growing economy provides a need in the market for Girls in Tech. Our mandate is to be a supportive and empowering platform for all women in tech and entrepreneurship based in Ireland by leveraging the rich culture, talent, opportunities, and challenges in Dublin’s existing and growing technology ecosystem. We aim to provide a collaborative, diverse environment, inclusive to all like-minded individuals.

We hope that through our initiatives we can make a positive lasting impact to Irish society and the broader economy. It is imperative to tackle women-in-tech and female entrepreneurship issues as structural national challenges, as it impacts the evolution of our social norms, political discourse, and economic prosperity. In Ireland, research has shown that while STEM-based jobs have continued to increase, there is a real concern that the skilled workforce cannot meet such growing demands. Exacerbating this crisis, is the fact that women represent less than a quarter of the current STEM-based workforce. Bridging this disparity to bring more women into the growing and in-demand high-skilled STEM workforce in Ireland is not only good for women, but for society as a whole. We at Girls in Tech Dublin, hope to be part of this conversation and to help build bridges.

What’s next?

 In Dublin, we have just started to break ground on developing our chapter and we will be hosting an anticipated launch on March 20, 2017, in partnership with Bank of Ireland. We have confirmed a great line-up of high-profile speakers.

Follow our newsletter to get the invite first, as spots will be limited!

How can people find out more?

 You can find us at the Dublin Tech Summit this year – and we’d love to meet you there!

You can feel free to reach out to me directly at [email protected] – happy to give you more information on our corporate sponsorship opportunities, media partnerships, and membership information.

We are also looking for passionate people with a can-do attitude to join our wonderful team! Email me if that’s of interest.

Looking forward to being a part the amazing things we can build together in Dublin!

Coral Movasseli @Coral_sReef

Managing Director, Girls in Tech

In Fall 2016 Coral was selected by the CEO of Girls in Tech to be the start and lead the first Dublin Chapter.  

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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