From Stand-up to Start-up: Growing Girl Techies and Entrepreneurs
There aren’t enough women techies and CEOs. As a university professor and entrepreneur, Luz Cristal has observed how hard it is to get girls involved in science and technology. Many of her female students feel intimidated or insufficiently qualified to participate. Girls need to learn, even before they enter school and are shown what girls ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’ do, so they can succeed in these fields. Luz Cristal believes we need to give girls the confidence to believe they can do anything; 3D-print an engine, create software, or start a company. She proposes teaching them to think like entrepreneurs—by anticipating needs, innovating, creating, and taking calculated risks. When girls are exposed to entrepreneurial thinking, a profound change takes place; they learn to problem solve, think critically and creatively, and become more confident in their ability to tackle challenges. Luz Cristal’s talk will address experiences and methods for helping girls build a ‘can-do’ attitude in technology and entrepreneurship, and explain why it is important that we start teaching our girls this beginning at age five.
Luz Cristal Glangchai, Ph.D., is a scientist, entrepreneur, and mentor with a passion for teaching and engaging girls in technology and entrepreneurship. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the TODAY Show, NPR’s The TakeAway, and Mashable. She is the Founder/CEO of VentureLab, an academy that develops project-based technology entrepreneurship programs that prepare K-12 students with 21st century skills. Dr. Glangchai’s innovative curriculum boasts 60% female participation, with three student companies having raised $240K in funding. Previously, she was the director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Trinity University. Prior to joining Trinity, Dr. Glangchai managed the Idea to Product Program at UT Austin, and was the founder of NANOTaxi, a drug-delivery company that developed disease-responsive nanoparticles to target tumor tissues. She holds a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from UT Austin, as well as doctoral certificates in Cellular and Molecular Imaging for Diagnostics and Therapeutics, and in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. She holds an M.S. in biomedical engineering, a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a B.A. in the Plan II Honors Program from UT Austin.