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Speaker's Biography

Shirin Laor-Raz Salemnia

Founder and CEO, PlayWerks, Inc.; Founder, WhizGirls Academy


Shirin Laor-Raz Salemnia is the Founder and CEO of PlayWerks and WhizGirls Academy. PlayWerks is an interactive media company that creates multi-platform immersive games. At WhizGirls Academy students engage in project based learning with tech literacy while acquiring coding skills, entrepreneurship tools, and building confidence as members of their communities with a healthy balanced lifestyle slant. In 2013, she hosted the first Hackathon for Women and Girls with The White House Council of Women and Girls. In May 2014, she hosted the Kids Hack for LA in collaboration with Mayor Eric Garcetti, the White House, and will.i.am's i.am.angel Foundation. Also in 2014, Shirin gave her Ted Talk "Are You a Gamer or a Gardener?" at TedxYouth. In March 2015 Shirin was honored by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti as LA City Pioneer Woman of the Year. In October 2015, She was honored as a Tribeca Disruptor Innovation Fellow. In March 2016, Shirin was honored as IJWO Woman of the Year. She is currently teaching Tech for Social Impact at USC Viterbi.


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