Betabeat visits NYC Generation Tech in progress, where economically disadvantaged high school students are learning about tech entrepreneurship and developing mobile app prototypes that solve real world problems for NYC teens. Students pitched their app ideas on topics ranging from homework and afternoon snacks to bullying and time management.
Harry Trustman, a 15-year-old from Brooklyn, pitched his app idea “Bookmark” as a solution to “a summer reading list filled with books you’ve never heard of.” His app aims to improve on the customer reviews on sites like Amazon, and would enable users to fill out a taste profile, read reviews written by peers with similar taste, and connect with students who have already read the book.
NYC Generation Tech is a new initiative by the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship to provide mentorship for disadvantaged high school students interested in technology. The program, which is still in the pilot phase, consists of a two-week summer bootcamp followed by a series of weeknight meetings in the fall, hosted at the local offices of top tech companies like Facebook, NASDAQ and Warby Parker. The 30 accepted students work in teams to develop a mobile app prototype targeted at other New York City students using MIT App Inventor.