12-13 March,2016


Runway East, Finsbury Square


20 teams, aged 12-18


updating shortly...

ABOUT #AcornHackGirls

From the Internet to mobile phones, technology enables us to connect with each other and the world around us in new and innovative ways. As technology becomes an increasingly essential part of every aspect of human existence, the ability to access, navigate, and shape technology is critical to women’s participation in all sectors of society. Yet there is a serious gender divide when it comes to technological access, literacy, and influence. Women and girls are missing, excluded, and dropping out – whether it’s online, in the classroom, or in the world of work.

Women make up 35% of the global workforce across all industries — but only 17% progress to leadership roles. More alarmingly, women hold only 12% of board seats and a mere 5% of CEO positions. In 2014, their representation in technology jobs at nine major Silicon Valley companies ranged from a low of 10 percent at Twitter to a high of 27 percent at Intuit. A recent Computer Weekly report revealed that the average percentage of women working in technology teams in the UK is 12 per cent – down from 15 per cent last year.

A global technology revolution is taking place, and if women and girls aren’t part of it, the future for women’s human rights is bleak.

To mark International Women’s Day on March 8th Acorn Aspirations in partnership with Ada’s List, WomenHackForNonProfits, WomenWhoCode and numerous other partners has organised a TEDx-style event at Google Campus, where female founders, entrepreneurs and software engineers have shared their journeys and stories with the mission to inspire the next generation of female tech entrepreneurs.

This was followed by a two-day hackathon/start-up style event, on March 12th-13th at Runway East, where teenage girls were inspired to get creative with coding, programming and digital technology, as well as attended masterclass workshops in Ideation, Wireframing, APIs, Prototype Creation, html/css, Ruby, GitHub, Digital Marketing, Branding, APIs, Lean UX and Business Model Canvas.

#AcornHackGirls was to unlock young women’s entrepreneurial potential by inspiring them to get creative with coding, programming and digital technology. The purpose of this event was to equip  young women with tools that would enable them to become change-makers and entrepreneurs of their own lives.

Some of the Judges include Eva Pascoe, Head of Retail Futures, Bethany Koby, CEO Technology Will Save Us, Jess Tyrell, Director of Connecting Tech City, Nancy Fechnay, Interim Director of TechStars, Wendy Devolder, CEO Skills Matter, Bindi Karia, Silicon Bank and Neeta Patel, CEO of New Entrepreneurs Foundation.

“These events are a great opportunity to get women and girls excited about tech. Digital skills are they key to many creative careers and by learning about computing, young women can open up a range of opportunities.” Jacqueline de Rojas – President, techUK

“Very inspiring to see some of the girls confidently talking about APIs and things they most likely didn’t know about at all at the start of the hackathon!“ Wendy Devolder – CEO, Skills Matter

Hackathon Judges

Lu Li

Founder of Blooming Founders

Lu Li is the founder of Blooming Founders, a platform that accelerates the startup journey of female founders through events and a professional network. She is the UK ambassador of Women's Entrepreneurship Day, a judge at the MassChallenge accelerator, a mentor at the Google Launchpad accelerator and part of

Karen Willis

Senior Consultant, Business Analyst at ThoughtWorks

Karen is passionate about solving problems. Her business and technology expertise combines perfectly with her drive to bring people together to deliver fit-for-purpose solutions. She recently completed a 12 month secondment as a ‘Business Connector’, a community engagement role which tackles social issues in a deprived community, working towards a

Sally Eaves

Director, Intrapreneurship International & Global Young Asian Entrepreneurs

Founder and Director of enterprises specialising in social media, technology change (VR, AR, Blockchain, AI, Fintech), business development and executive leadership and coaching. Director of Education in the non-profit Global Young Asian Entrepreneurs

Kerry Ritz

Non-Executive Director, Advisor to Boards, Startups, Scaleups

Kerry has a broad range of international experience with both start-ups and corporates. Before joining MassChallenge, he was Chief Marketing Officer of FTSE 250 Euromoney Institutional Investor plc, where he was responsible for marketing, sales, customer service, fulfilment, marketing technology, product management, and customer insight.

Tony Margiotta

London & Partners; Mayors International Business Programme

As Project Lead at London & Partners, Tony assists global businesses to set up in London by encouraging clusters onto accelerators programmes and connecting them to the right people, supporting scale-ups and advising on the London Tech scene. Also the MIBP team Mayors International Business Programme


Sponsors & Supporters


We do not provide laptops, so please bring your own.
YES! We will provide lunch 🙂
Acorn Aspirations is a social impact company, which aims to inspire young people aged 11-19 into the world of technology and entrepreneurship. We are on a mission to bridge the digital skills gap and nurture the next generation of digital talent to fill the jobs required by the tech industry.  
ThoughtWorks, 76-78 Wardour St, Soho, London W1F 0UR
You will learn how to turn your ideas into a basic working version. Things you'll learn:
  • How to decide which of your ideas are worth working on
  • How to decide what features the user needs to get them from A to B
  • How to sketch your ideas
  • How to build your idea using rapid prototyping tools
  • How to pitch your idea
  • Basic coding skills & UX - HTML, CSS and Android studio
Awesome! Send us an email to 🙂

Podcast: Emily Atkinson, Director of Girls In Tech; Cathy White, Director of GeekGirls Meetup; Elena Sinel, CEO of Acorn Aspirations, Mike Butcher, Editor-at-Large of TechCrunch