Since 2003, Microsoft has been hosting the Imagine Cup to foster the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship among young people across the world. Entering its twelfth year, the competition continues to provide young, aspiring technologists with a platform to turn their ideas into reality.
In April, nine teams battled it out at the Oval Plaza @ Epicentrum Walk in Jakarta, in front of more than 650 people at the Imagine Cup 2014 Indonesia Finals for the top spot in three categories: Games, Innovation and World Citizenship.
This year, Microsoft Indonesia broadened the scope of the competition by adding a new twist to the Imagine Cup with the introduction of the Wild Card programme, where a few chosen universities ran an internal competition among their own students. The winner from each university was then given a chance at the Imagine Cup semi-finals.
Having competed once before in 2013 when they made it to the qualifying round with a mobile game based around music learning, Team New Eleven Del from Del Institute of Technology clinched a spot in the Imagine Cup this year through the Wild Card programme. They went on to become the Games category champion with Pora the Lake Rescuer, an engaging puzzle app that features a fish cleaning its polluted habitat with a bubble gun—which also drives home the importance of environmental conservation.
“Thanks to the Wild Card, we were given the opportunity to continue competing and made it all the way to the finals. It has been an amazing experience and with all that we’ve learned, we hope to open up the first mobile game development studio in North Sumatra and pursue our interest in creating innovative mobile apps,” said Jonathan Borisman Tambun of New Eleven Del.
In the World Citizenship category, the finalists showcased projects aimed at solving some of the world’s toughest challenges, from enhancing the learning experience of sign-language users to encouraging users to participate in activities that can help save the environment.
The eventual World Citizenship winner was Team DigiD2 from Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology. The team developed an app called CAKRA, which impressed the panel of judges that included Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Lolly Amalia Abdullah. The CAKRA app utilises interactive technology such as Microsoft Kinect to complement therapy sessions for those with developmental disabilities.
The winner of the Innovation category was Team IDE DELTA from Institut Teknologi Bandung with Smoothie, a music player app that plays song recommendations based on the user’s mood to provide a more personalised music experience.
“This year’s finalists displayed immense creativity and innovation through their applications, and showed they are ready to compete at the international level. We hope to continue providing these bright young minds with a platform where they can innovate and create amazing things through a variety of Microsoft technologies,” concluded Andreas Diantoro, President Director at Microsoft Indonesia.