Like the Olympic Games Rio 2016 currently going on in Brazil, Microsoft 2016 Imagine Cup successfully ended last week in Seattle, Washington, the United State of America, with a call to technology students to turn their innovative ideas into reality.
The 2016 software contest had brought together no fewer than 120 talented technology students from 34 countries around the world to showcase their talents. Founded in 2003, Microsoft Imagine Cup is the premier technology programme and competition had provided opportunities for student technologists to change the world with their innovative ideas. But the time the capacity building event was drawing to a close, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, gave the students a home work which was very clear.
Turn your ideas into market realities and use digital technologies to change the world were the concluding remarks of Microsoft CEO during an award ceremony at the global software contest. The Microsoft boss who was full of excitement as a result of innovative ideas presented by the students further went on to encourage the ambitious looking technology students, saying that the 21st century society lies in their hands. Change your local communities with your solutions, he added.
Similarly, during the Championship show, it was exciting to see finalists’ reactions as they received words of encouragement and inspiration from the likes of Seattle Seahawks superstar quarterback Russell Wilson and hit recording artist and Garfield High alum Macklemore, both of whom congratulated the students on making it this far in the competition and wished them luck on their innovation journey. Looking at the faces of the software code warriors after the message of the Microsoft boss, it was really a big assignment. Although funding and mentor ship have always been a challenge to the students after the competition, watching the students project presentations, there were convincing signals that the world will be a better place if the solutions showcased are deployed and taking to the markets.
It will however, go a long way in changing the world by tackling greatest problems like disease, hunger, environmental ,degradation, illiteracy , among others. Having been following up with Imagine Cup competition for appreciable number of years, it is clear that Imagine Cup competitors have continued to show passion for tapping into the power of technology to make the world around them a better place. Students speak For the Romanian team leader, Iulian-Razvan Matesica, who was full of excitement, Imagine cup was a big opportunity for them. The ENTy team from Romania created a high-tech wearable device that tracks the balance of the internal ear and checks the spine posture in real time.
“We thank Microsoft for the opportunity. It is a wonderful experience contesting with students from others countries. We will scale up our solution. We will take our project to the market. We will turn our ideas into market realities. We did not know that we could do it. We are going to launch it and get medical certificate for the product. This will help us deliver the products to the hospital. But we need mentor ship and seed funding to scale up the solution” she said.
Team Nigeria Narrating their experience, Obasegun Ayodele, the spokesperson of Team Nigeria from Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, OAU, said that their global competitiveness just started after competing in worldwide finals. Creating a gaming and internet-surfing platform for the visually-impaired, according to him, has really inspired them to take the solution to the next level. “We have upgraded Humane solution to include state of the art technologies such as AI for facial and scene recognition. We are also concluding partnerships with resume and job search companies which would help advance our solution as regards helping the visually impaired apply for jobs. We have increased the app base of Humane to fit educational use.”
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