Rutgers Prep Junior Ivana Karcelova attended TechTogether Boston in March, earning two awards from the competition, the maximum possible by a single team. The city’s largest student-run hackathon, TechTogether Boston is open to all female and non-binary individuals.
Karcelova and her three teammates from Chatham High School, two of whom she met at a Kode with Klossy camp last summer, developed an app called Avere, with the aim of helping to guide women to budget their finances in a cleaner and more organized fashion. “We found that women were less likely to succeed in regards to their finances due to fact that they do not discuss their finances as much as men do,” said Karvelova, who began coding in the fifth grade. "Avere introduces that conversation in women by dividing up their expenses and displaying it in an aesthetically pleasing way.”
Avere – which translates to “fortune” in Romanian – takes in user input, including monthly income and spendings and compiles the data to show the user how much they should realistically be spending on their expenses, including rent, food, and entertainment. Additionally, the app bolsters functionality to help users plan for the future, whether it’s donating to charity or saving for retirement.
The two awards won by Karcelova and her teammates were the “Spark! Inclusion in Tech” award and the “MathWorks Best Use of Data Hack” award. Awards at TechTogether Boston are sponsored by companies who then serve as judges, asking questions of the teams before naming the winners.
Ivana has been coding since the fifth grade when her sister opened up a Codecademy account for her, but she says she only got serious about it when she came to Rutgers Prep. “I took my first coding course here - Introduction to Computer Science - and then went on to take part in the Given’app Innovation. It was in that innovation where I grew a passion for iOS development, and have gone on to pursue that passion at summer camps and hackathons.”
Karcelova and her team hope to further develop the app and release it on the App Store in the coming months, and Ivana plans to pursue a Computer Science degree in college, while continuing to work on iOS apps on the side.
Screenshots of the Avere App.