They say that women don’t understand innovation. Have you heard of CodEmotion, the 36-hour information technology marathon? It’s going to be launched today at Roma Tre’s Engineering University, where many international guests will attend from Google, Facebook, SoundCloud and many others; around 3,000 visitors are expected and there will be 120 talks, 10 seminars, 4 workshops (2 also for children) and a night hackathon. Well, behind all this there are two women, and they are young, too. One is blond the other is brunette and they are 32 and 39 years old, respectively. Here they are: Chiara Russo, from Rome and Mara Marzocchi, originally from Grosseto in Tuscany. After three editions of the technology marathon, working at night and during weekends with passion, they looked at each other in October and said: “Now it’s the time”. So Chiara, with a degree in IT engineering left her full time job as Account Manager and Mara, with a degree in Psychology has left her full time Communications post.
This is how the start-up CodEmotion began.
A reverse kind of move, since the event was already known and successful. So their start-up is ready to launch. After Rome’s event they will take CodEmotion to the first edition of the event in Berlin, the European capital of start-ups and innovation; the next step will be Madrid. “Yes, but our objective – they say at the same time – is to add two more destinations every year, so we are already thinking of Israel and Poland before reaching the other side of the Atlantic of course”. CodEmotion is software codes as well as emotions, because as Chiara – the soul of the pair’s business development – says “you cannot develop software, a program or technology without passion or putting your whole life into the project”. And it looks like they really did put their heart into it. At least it seems they did judging from the achievements and excitement they get at each edition. “All this started almost by chance, says Mara. I was working at the Java Day, an event run at the University on an entirely voluntary basis; I was tired and there were starting to be some interference between the different technological languages so one day I went out for lunch with some lecturers and former students and I met Chiara. Professionally, we clicked straight away even if our personalities are very different”.
All this started by chance, as it often happens for big things.
Now, the start-up has an international team. As well as Chiara and Mara there are Ugo Landini, Andrea Ferlito, Marco Casario, Roberto Manicardi Gosia Sosnowska and Stefania Turrisi for CodEmotion Roma; Christian Simon, Imke Baehr and Rachel Uwa for CodEmotion Berlin and Laura Vignali, David Gomez Garcia and German Garcia for CodEmotion Madrid. Most definitely, the team will grow, just as the event’s slogan goes: “Programming is an art and quality coding needs great experience. Who thinks developing software is a simply mechanical, monotonous exercise without motivation or imagination is wrong”.