Girls In AI hackathon in San Francisco — Lowena (17)

Acorn Aspirations
3 min readOct 22, 2018

When someone asks us about what we do at Acorn, this is the favourite way to show them…

  • Below blog post has been written by Lowena Hull on her blog ‘LicenceToCode’.
Lowena (left).

“Previously on LicenceToCode:

Quick recap, I won the 2 weeks accelerator course run by Acorn Aspirations back in the end of August and because of that, my team and I got to San Francisco from the 11th to the 16th of October. Our trip was sponsored by Mastercard and a company specializing in artificial intelligence they bought called Brighterion.

The next day, we were given a tour around the Brighterion offices and the area where the hack (run over Saturday and Sunday) would be held. After, we got lunch (paid for by Mastercard) with Akli Adjaoute, the CEO of Brighterion.

After our tour, we wanted to get some sightseeing in before the hack over the weekend, so we walked to Pier 39 (a popular tourist attraction for its shops and sea lions), then went to see the Golden Gate Bridge at night.

The GirlsInAI hack was a girls only event and sold out, with over 50 girls from a range of ages attending. Girls were split into teams of around 4 and were challenged to come up with a solution (to pitch on Sunday) to one of the problems proposed to them. On the first day, as well as mentoring, I also ran a python workshop for beginners, which taught me how to approach teaching large groups.

On the Sunday, the girls worked hard on their ideas. I got the opportunity to interview Rachael O’Meara, an employee at Google who recently wrote a book called Pause: Harnessing the Life Changing Power of Giving Yourself a Break. She told me about the importance of pausing, and her views on artificial intelligence- the future of AI, how to encourage more women into technology and how important hackathons like this one are. I was lucky enough to receive a signed copy of Pause which I am currently reading. As well as Rachael, I also interview various adult mentors helping out at the event, including ones from Mastercard and Twitter.

The images below show my team and I (as well as us pitching our idea from the 2 week accelerator to the girls at the very beginning of the hack and going out for food), my interview with Rachael, me in the Mastercard building where we held the hack, and everyone all together for a big group photo at the end!

It was great to see all of the girls having so much fun, and interesting to see how confident many of them were considering this was their first time pitching.

We had a free half-day on Monday so we decided to visit the beach and go paddling. Naturally, I was the only person who got sunburnt.

All in all, I’m so thankful to Brighterion, Mastercard and Acorn Aspirations for making this trip possible!”

Originally published at on October 22, 2018.



Acorn Aspirations

Powering the Next Generation of Thought Leaders, Innovators and Technologists in #AI @teensinai #TeensInAI #GirlsinAI #MCStartup2016 Founder @elenasinel