IO21 Selected as MENA Finalist for Women Tech Founders Program
The company, led by 25-year old engineer Hailey Yoon, is a driver for women in tech in the region.
IO21 has been selected as a finalist for the Women Tech Founders Program in the Middle East and North Africa.
The US Department of State, through the Providing Opportunities for Women’s Economic Rise (POWER) initiative and Embassy Abu Dhabi, has partnered with Google’s Women Techmakers to host the Women Tech Founders Program. Over the course of four weeks in May and June 2021, the program will provide skills training for 50 female tech entrepreneurs from the Middle East and North Africa, with a focus on UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. It includes technical skills training from Google’s tech and start-up experts, helping them to build a network of future tech change-makers in the region.
IO21, the Dubai-based technology company that provides solutions for ideas and industry needs of businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals through its cutting-edge technology, is co-founded by Hailey Yoon, who serves as the Chief Technology Officer to lead the company’s long-term technology vision, and who is responsible for building new software products such as artificial intelligence, mobile applications and other software products. At its inception in June 2020, the company provided only development services such as software, mobile app, website and e-commerce, but has now expanded to offer full-spectrum technology consulting and on-site and remote operation support. The company has also conducted numerous pro-bono projects and is actively involved in global mentorships and seminars to contribute to society.
Yoon said, “I am thrilled that IO21 has been selected as a finalist for the Women Tech Founders Program in the Middle East and North Africa, and am honored to be a part of this meaningful initiative of empowering and supporting women in tech. I’m looking forward to the training sessions conducted by Google experts and to connect with other women tech entrepreneurs from across the region and the U.S.”
Women Tech Founders Program finalists will receive training on a series of tech and business development concepts such as Design Thinking, Machine Learning, product development and Objective-Key-Results (OKR) workshops. Sessions will be tailored to participants’ skillsets to enable them to leverage technology in expanding their businesses, connect with counterparts in the United States, and collaborate with other leading women in tech. As a finalist, companies will receive equity-free support, exclusive invitations to technical boot camps hosted by Google, personalized mentorship and technical support from Google experts, the opportunity to provide feedback to Google product teams, long-term Women Techmakers community support and involvement for empowering women in tech.
According to women-in-tech statistics for 2020, women hold a mere 20% of positions in the tech world. Yoon is a firm believer that women in tech will drive a new generation of entrepreneurs and business opportunities, as diversity generates more revenue and women offer new perspectives, thereby generating more role models and a fresh perspective. “As a woman in a male-dominated industry, I’m often mistaken for administrative staff, and it is evident that women are paid less than similarly educated men at every level of education. Working as a female engineer in the Middle East has been interesting and rewarding despite the challenges that this role inherently carries. Thanks to this program, I am excited to share my experience and contribute to a supportive community in the MENA region where all women can thrive in tech,” added Yoon.
Yoon is currently a part-time student at Stanford University, completing her Postgraduate in Artificial Intelligence. She holds a Bachelor of Science, Computer Science (Honors Degree) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and also completed the ExEd, Leadership & Innovation for Technology Professionals Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).