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Google CEO promised Almaty schoolgirls to open office in Kazakhstan

20 August 2017 13:01

ASTANA. KAZINFORM The schoolgirls from Almaty, who won the Technovation Challenge in the Silicon Valley, have returned to Kazakhstan. The correspondent of MIA Kazinform interviewed the team members about the meeting with the Chief Executive Officer of Google Inc., Sundar Pichai.

As the US Consulate General in Almaty reported earlier, 6 teams from various countries participated in the Technovation World Pitch Summit. Kazakhstan was represented by two teams from Almaty. The #MakerspaceAlmaty "/flash" defeated over 100 teams from across the globe, and presented their idea at the World Pitch Summit in the Silicon Valley.

"/Flash" is a team consisting of four high-school girls - Aruzhan Koshkarova, Azhar Sultansikh, Diana Zhanakbayeva, Diyara Beisenbekova. They spent months at MakerspaceAlmaty with their mentors, studying, developing and programming QamCare, a mobile application for improving teenager safety. QamCare allows teenagers to send GPS coordinates to their family members or friends in the case of any emergency. The name of the QamCare application comes from the Kazakh word "qamkor", which means care and support.

According to Aziza Ibragimova, the team's mentor, the device used for the application has already sparked the interest of the head of Google Inc. "Before the awards ceremony, we had the opportunity to talk and present our projects to famous businessmen. One of them was Sundar Pichai. As it seemed to me, he was at our stand most of the time. When our girls presented this idea, he said: "That's cool. We also wanted to do this, but we did not succeed.' Then we jokingly asked to buy ours," says Aziza Ibragimova.

However, the Google CEO personally met with the team member who studies at Haileybury Almaty Aruzhan Koshkarova as only one representative of each team was invited and given the opportunity to ask questions to Sundar Pichai there.

"I asked him what is being done to promote women in the IT field. He said that 'there is a place for you in Google.' When we ran out of questions, it was his turn to ask questions. Sundar asked about our favorite Google product. The girls talked about Youtube and the search engine. And I mentioned Google Hangouts (software for instant messaging and video conferencing developed by Google) because the team used it. As we study in different schools, it was not always possible to meet, so we used the application. Then he asked us about what the next step for Google Inc. was. I immediately declared - to open an office in Kazakhstan. He replied: 'Well, no problem.' (...) I thought he would be serious and reserved to children. On the contrary, he was open, he joked with us. I still have good impressions of him," Aruzhan Koshkarova told Kazinform correspondent.