Microsoft to develop 'Get Outside' App designed by Local Digigirlz - Software Cornwall

Microsoft to develop ‘Get Outside’ App designed by Local Digigirlz

100 local Digigirlz pitch their app ideas to Microsoft


The 10th September 2015 saw its first Microsoft Digigirlz day held at the Eden Project in St Austell.  Software Cornwall, teachers and the eden team welcomed the Microsoft team to the county to help raise awareness of digital career opportunities in the county.

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100 Digigirlz from 10 local secondary school teams joined Microsoft and its volunteers for the Product Development experience day.  Schools included Bodmin, Penrice, Poltair, Truro, Pool, Torpoint, Brannel, Helston and 3 others from the county.

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Michelle Freed – Partner PM Manager at Skype flew in from the USA to inspire the Digigirlz with a brilliant keynote followed by the Microsoft team who set the teams their challenge for the day

The challenge was to develop an idea and model for an app and create a pitch video, the winning team see their app developed by Microsoft.

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100 local Digigirlz pitch their app ideas to Microsoft

All the teams created brilliant and creative video pitches of their ideas, taking advantage of Edens outdoor space and their digital skills to film and frame their ‘Get Outside’ games and apps to the judges.

“it was wonderful to see the Digigirlz engage and gain confidence through the day, it was a truely inspiring event” Belinda Waldock

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Lorraine Drybrough, Head of Computer Science at Bodmin College spoke to Radio Cornwall of how proud she was of all the students and the value of events of this kind in raising awareness of career options within tech

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Kate Hughes, Skype and active champion of Software Careers development in Cornwall as a co-founder of Software Cornwall, worked to bring the Digigirlz event to Cornwall where she grew up and now lives while continuing her global career at Skype

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Listen to the Radio Cornwall Interview with David Dixon

Kate was joined by a crowd of volunteers who helped to guide and advise their teams on their ideas and business models – the team wore #digigirlz tshirts with ‘i made a difference’ on them, and they did, every person in the room was inspired and more aware of their potential by the end of the day.

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The 100 digigirlz attending were clearly inspired and energised by the end of the day, as were the teachers and other volunteers attending.  This was clear in the Q&A at the end with Kate and Michelle from Skype, Belinda Programs Director from Software Cornwall (a previous student of Poltair) and Mike Trebillcock, Director of Digital Skills from Cornwall College (previously of Bodmin School)

“I hadnt realised this career, but I found I really enjoyed it” student quote

The winning team from Bodmin School delivered a great pitch and a great idea for an app to help people get outdoors more, they will soon be working with Microsoft to develop their app

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“insane that the app we designed is going to be developed by microsoft” student

All teams were encouraged to stay engaged with the project and help to collaborate in making it a success.  Cornwall College and Software Cornwall offered their support and follow up visits to help the students explore digital engineering career options further.

#digigirlz Tweets from the day included

“some really good viable apps being showcased” Richard Cotton, Cornwall College

“Awesome group of young women bringing inspiration to new digital app concepts” Toby Parkins, Headforwards & Software Cornwall co-founder

“inspiring morning…”

“inspiring digigirlz event”

“amazing to see 10 different school groups of young women be so engaged with app development.  Inspiring Stuff” Lisa T – Volunteer – Community Manager for Hutch Games

“having so much fun” student

“very pround of the Y9s, youngest team..” Helston Computing

“this is why i love my job” Belinda Waldock – Software Cornwall Programmes and Community Director and Co-founder


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We very much hope that Digigirlz will return to Cornwall next year for another amazing Digital Product development experience and Software Cornwall thank Kate and her team for their tremendous hard work in making the event happen, and to Eden for a fantastic venue and hosting, and Cornwall College, Judges, Eden Digital Team and everyone else who was a part in making such an extraordinary event happen in Cornwall.

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Thank you


For more information on future events and information on any digital topic please email [email protected]