Calling all African student developers: It’s time for Imagine Cup 2016

Posted by Amnitas Neto 

It’s no surprise that Microsoft believes in the power of young people connecting with technology to bring their bold ideas to life – after all, the company was originally founded by students. That’s why, for the past 13 years, Imagine Cup has been inspiring student developers around the world to create innovative solutions that change the way we live, work and play, while also growing the skills they need to pursue a future in technology. Now that the 2016 season is underway, I strongly encourage you to get involved.

I don’t have to tell you about the enormous talent coming out of the African continent. In the 2015 season of Imagine Cup, three teams of African students made it to the World Finals, where they competed against 30 other global teams.

Team Digital Interactive Games from South Africa was a finalist in the Games category, with its project ‘PYA Maze of Gods’. Their 3D game is built to challenge the user’s problem-solving skills, reaction time and ability to overcome obstacles. Also in the Games category, team T2 from Tunisia’s ‘Back in Time’ game sees parents and their children competing against each other using their mobile devices and PCs. Team LifeWatch from Nigeria was recognised in the World Citizenship category for their AsthmaVisor solution. It is made up of a wearable device and a mobile app and is geared towards a more cost-effective and efficient way of supervising asthmatic patients.

Although these teams didn’t end up winning at the World Finals, the experience they gained was invaluable. From travelling to Seattle, Washington to present their projects, to developing new skills and learning all about collaboration, they’re well equipped to take the next step in their technology careers.

And who knows – maybe the 2016 winner will hail from our continent. You could join the ranks of 2015 Imagine Cup World Champions, Team eFitFashion of Brazil. Their project, ‘Clothes For Me’, which is a marketplace for custom tailored clothes based on a person’s unique body size and shape, won them $50 000, a Microsoft Ventures Bootcamp and a private meeting with Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella.

The 2016 season of Imagine Cup has kicked off. It’s never too early for you to start dreaming up your project in the Games, Innovation of World Citizenship category – and show the rest of the world what African students are made of.

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