Did You Know?

Did you know that entrepreneurship doesn’t have a minimum age? That’s according to Teens in Tech, which has just launched a tech incubator program for kids 13-19 years old.  The eight-week summer program is modeled after other successful incubators – a demo day at the end will let the budding entrepreneurs pitch to real VCs — but features a roster of 20-something mentors. Says co-founder Daniel Brusilovsky, “people don’t take them [teens] seriously. So we’re putting them in a room with 30 people who do take them seriously and who want to help them. Most people give these young entrepreneurs a thousand reasons why they shouldn’t jump off a cliff. I’m giving them 1,001 reaons to do it, and we’ll help them grow wings as they’re falling off.”

Did you know that New York City’s support for attracting the best and brightest tech talent to its growing roster of startups goes all the way up to the top? Mayor Bloomberg himself is a supporter of a recently launched project, the Turing Fellows Program.  Named for famed computer scientist Allen Turing, the program will pair top students in computing departments around the country with tech start-ups in NYC in paid summer internships. The application process runs Jan 17 – Feb 7 and participating organizations include top startups and investors such as Foursquare, Tumblr, Deloitte, Heidrick & Struggles, Silicon Valley Bank, and Bessemer Venture Partners. The only rub is that … well, they’ve called it a “Fellows” program.  If you know women who are studying computing or engineering in college right now, make sure they apply – wouldn’t it be great to have some female faces among the fellows?

Did you know about the STEMnet initiative at Arizona State? It’s an interdisciplinary effort at ASU to improve teacher preparation and professional development for local K-12 STEM educators by “embedding” them with acess to the university’s resources and faculty, and by engaging several hundred Arizona middle-school students in a summer “College-for-Kids” program.
We love seeing like-minded collaborative programs like this one take root, because we believe that by bringing so many stakeholders together with a common goal they can leverage and accelerate their work. If you’re interested in working with university-level educators or researchers on a program involving K-12 students, make sure you check out the NSF’s newest program call, Computing Education for the 21st Century – it’s focused on collaborations just like this one.

Did you know that patenting may not be an indicator of technical innovation? At least that’s the consensus among many who commented on this recent blog post in Computerworld, about the patenting rates at two well-known tech companies and whether these correlate to innovative products and services.  The post raises some interesting discussion topics about the role that company culture plays, and how well-established companies can maintain an innovative edge while still protecting the innovations already in the marketplace. How do you measure technical innovation within your company?

Did you know that in 2003, only 27 percent of assistant professors in the University of California system had children; whereas now, 64 percent of assistant professors do? Many credit this jump to a change in family-friendly policies that have been enacted at California’s campuses since 2003, including giving new mothers two semesters of leave without teaching obligations and granting paid maternity leave to grad students. In highlighting the effectiveness of family-friendly policies for academics, however, a recent study from the University of California at Berkeley, “Keeping Women in the Science Pipeline,” found that women scientists seem to be suffering a parenthood penalty not faced by their male peers.

“Women who had children after becoming postdoctoral scholars in the University of California system were twice as likely as their male counterparts to shift their career goals away from being professors with a research emphasis — a 41 percent shift for women versus 20 percent for men. Tenured male scientists are considerably more likely to be married with children than tenured female scientists — 73 percent for men versus 53 percent for women. Among tenured science professors, women are nearly three times more likely to be single without children than men — 25 percent to 9 percent.”

Did You Know? is a brief round-up of news, events, resources, and other factoids that crossed our radar this week and we think are worth sharing. Got an interesting conversation-starter to share? Let us know.

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