Five 14-year-old girls from India are in San Francisco this week, where they visited the Golden Gate Bridge and did a little shopping. Then they pitched the mobile app they built, intended to encourage recycling, help fight disease and earn them some money.
“We have, quite simply, created a mobile marketplace for waste,” said Swasthi Rao as her teammates in the Technovation World Pitch Challenge stood by confidently in matching suits bought for them by their school in Bangalore.
The app connects waste producers with recyclers. Tea vendors, for example, can alert recyclers to used, empty plastic cups; the recyclers then share money they collect for the plastic with the vendors.
After explaining the app’s pay-as-you-go and subscription models that could generate an estimated $24,200 in revenue in its first year, the five young entrepreneurs ended with their jingle: “Why trash it when you can cash it?”
The Bangalore teens are among 43 girls and young women, on 10 teams from around the world, competing for $20,000 in seed funding. Wednesday, they pitched their apps, and business plans, to a panel of five female tech executives.