Africa well represented at Microsoft’s Imagine Cup

Competing nations have started to arrive in St. Petersburg, Russia, as Microsoft’s bi-annual Imagine Cup officially kicks off today. The competition sees teams from different nations compete against each other in app development, program development and designing games for Windows and Xbox.

Team South Africa will be entering their SentiMeter platform (Image source: Microsoft)

Africa is also well represented with 12 countries from the continent competing in three major categories, with teams from South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt and Nigeria leading the pack.

“The Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition. We invite all eligible students to use their imagination and passion to create a technology solution in one of our competitions and challenges.

Over the past ten years, more than 1.65 million students from more than 190 countries have participated in the Imagine Cup. When you join the Imagine Cup community, you’ll connect with other whip-smart creatives from all over the world to share ideas, have fun, and be there when the next big thing is unveiled,” the company said in a statement.

According to Microsoft, the Imagine Cup is the perfect chance to break new ground, solve tough problems facing the world today, and maybe even turn ideas into a business. The competition also encourages students to get involved in the next wave of games and applications, and learn new technological skills.

South Africa’s team developed a cloud based social media monitoring, market research and analytics platform called SentiMeter. The application allows brands and companies to measure their brand, products and services, across various social platforms and in real time.

“Our platform creates the ideal opportunity for organizations to develop a Business and Competitive Intelligence culture, allowing the organization to grow their brand, monitor performance and gain real time insights in radical new ways,” the team explained.

Team PI Craft from Kenya developed a solution to aid homeless and street children by correlating homes for street children with charitable organizations.

Their innovation, called Protégé, uses Azure Cloud Services “to interconnect homes for street children with charitable organizations and other willing donors, enabling secure donations of any type to these facilities such as clothes, food or money,” they said.

The four-day event will culminate in a prestigious award ceremony on Thursday night. Follow @ITNewsAfrica and @CharlieFripp on Twitter for all the updates.

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor