Inspiration

It is imperative to invest in our community’s youth, as one of our Founding Fathers and a fierce advocate of education and community spirit, Benjamin Franklin, once said: “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest”. We decided that the purpose of our app would be to engage with and educate young girls about business, finance, and commerce - the cornerstones of entrepreneurship.

What it does

BizGirlz is an iOS game style simulation app that allows the user to “choose their own adventure.” The opening screen prompts the start of the simulation, and pressing the play button gives the user an opportunity to customize their avatar. Next, there are options containing business ideas for younger kids, such as a lemonade stand or a dog walking service. The user can choose a business, and make choices about expenses, prices, and advertising that leads the business to fail or succeed.

How we built it

Our team attended the iOS workshop at the beginning of the day and applied the knowledge we gained about Xcode to create BizGirlz. We used many of Xcode’s built-in features to create pathways for the simulation.

Challenges we ran into

The learning curve for app development was steep, and we spent the first half of our time learning the ropes of Xcode. We ran into challenges debugging our code because the warning messages were pretty ambiguous, but the mentors provided a lot of helpful tips.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We were able to progress from knowing absolutely nothing about app development to being able to code a reasonably functioning iOS app in a matter of hours. While getting past the initial learning curve was tough, we are really proud of the app we created.

What we learned

Before femmehacks, my teammates and I had no experience with app development or hackathons. Today, we learned about programming in the Swift language, familiarized ourselves with the many features of Xcode, and discovered concepts about iOS app development. Stephanie, who led the iOS workshop, was extremely knowledgeable and friendly, and she offered us so much help with debugging our code. This is the first hackathon my teammates and I have participated in, and we’ve learned so much from this experience. Not only did we learn new coding skills, but we also learned the importance of teamwork, community, and mentorship.

What's next for BizGirlz

We’re looking to add more options and pathways to our game, as well as improve the user interface to make BizGirlz more interactive and engaging. As of now, each stage in the game allows the user to choose between two options, but in order to better simulate the complicated decisions an entrepreneur has to make in the real world, we would allow users to choose between a handful of options or even input their own options that would lead to a variety of outcomes. Additionally, one of the next steps we are prioritizing is expanding the customizability of the user’s avatar. We want to encourage diversity and present the user to a variety of options to make them feel like the avatar could truly be a reflection of themselves. Other features we want to add are sound effects, background music, animations, and more educational tracks.

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