Microsoft last night announced the winners of the 11th annual Microsoft Imagine Cup, the world’s premier competition for student technologists, developers and aspiring entrepreneurs to create innovative projects and ultimately bring those ideas to market.
Winning projects were announced for the three major Competition categories — Innovation, Games and World Citizenship — as well as three product-specific Challenges and eight special awards from Imagine Cup sponsors.
The winners were announced at the Imagine Cup Awards Ceremony, held at the historic Alexandrinsky Theater and attended by more than 800 students, judges, awards Partners, Russian dignitaries and members of the media from around the world.
The ceremony was the culmination of a four-day competition and celebration of bringing ideas to life through technology and teamwork.
Eighty-seven student teams from 71 countries competed in the Worldwide Finals after winning local and online competitions around the world.
Microsoft has awarded cash and other prizes valued at more than $1 million throughout the yearlong Imagine Cup competition, including awards for the winning teams at the Worldwide Finals event this week.
“For the past 11 years, Imagine Cup has been a place of inspiration and innovation for students around the world,” said Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president and chief evangelist at Microsoft. “The students participating in this competition demonstrate the very best in innovation from their home countries and together are creating new apps, innovations and services that will change the way the world works, interacts and learns. We are incredibly proud of the finalists who competed in Imagine Cup this year and stand in awe of the projects and technology they brought forth during this exciting week.”
While Africa had a number of teams in the competition in various categories, Uganda was the only country that managed to take a place – with the other nations having to compete again next year to make the cut.
For the Women’s Empowerment Award, Team Code 8 from Uganda with a project called Matibabu took home first place, and a cheque for the winning team worth $12,000.
In partnership with UN Women, this award recognizes student teams that created projects that best address issues impacting women globally.
By connecting a custom piece of hardware called a matiscope to a portable device, Uganda’s Matibabu can diagnose malaria without requiring a blood sample.
The overall winners of the 11th annual Imagine Cup Competitions are the following:
* First Place, $50,000 prize: Team Colinked, United Kingdom, Project: SoundSYNK
* Second Place, $10,000 prize: Team DORA, Slovenia, Project: DORA
* Third Place, $5,000 prize: Team MYRA, Thailand, Project: SkyPACS
* First Place, $50,000 prize: Team Zeppelin Studio, Austria, Project: Schein
* Second Place, $10,000 prize: Team Solite Studio, Indonesia, Project: Save the Hamsters
* Third Place, $5,000 prize: Team Banzai Lightning, France, Project: Seed
* First Place, $50,000 prize: Team for a Better World, Portugal, Project: For a Better World
* Second Place, $10,000 prize: Team Omni-Hearing Solution, Taiwan, Project: Omni-Hearing Solution
* Third Place, $5,000 prize: Team Confufish Royale, Australia, Project: Foodbank Local
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor