After delivering presentations on their proposals to judging panels of their respective categories, the top 14 competing finalists gathered at the University of Auckland’s Business School yesterday afternoon to hear the announcement at the official Microsoft Imagine Cup New Zealand Judging Event.
Winner of the World Citizenship category award was Decim, from Auckland University. Winner of the Innovation category award was Meep, from Auckland University. Winner of the Gaming category award was Sentinel, from Auckland University.
The Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition. It provides an opportunity for student technologists, aspiring entrepreneurs, developers and others from all academic backgrounds to develop a solution to a problem by collaborating, creating a business plan and gaining an understanding of what they need to bring their concept to market.
Now in its 12th year, it is a truly global competition with around 16,900 students in 11,700 teams submitting 7,500 projects worldwide. This year’s competition in New Zealand received 73 entries from across the country.
Nigel Parker, Director of the Developer and Platform Group at Microsoft NZ, says New Zealand’s track record in the international Imagine Cup competition is impressive, and shows how this country is a great incubator of young talent.
“As always, Microsoft has looked forward to seeing the innovations that come from the imaginations of the young people who compete in the Imagine Cup. Just participating is a great first step on a lifetime journey of discovery, and the opportunities it presents can mean the entrants can lay the foundations for a very bright future," says Parker.
US Consul General Jim Donegan said Microsoft is well known as a major supporter of programs to foster interest in technology among young people, in the United States and around the world. He congratulated the company on its willingness to share its resources, expertise and networks with budding tech entrepreneurs.
“In the past New Zealanders have done extremely well in this competition. Often, all it takes is an opportunity, like the Imagine Cup, to turn an idea from a hobby into a career.
“I’m delighted to be a part of this year’s event and look forward to seeing that transformation play out for some Kiwi students this year.”
New Zealand has performed well in the global competition in previous years, with Kiwi teams finishing in the top six at the Worldwide Finals three times since 2010.
Datacom is a proud sponsor of the Microsoft Imagine Cup this year, and as part of that sponsorship are offering one lucky competitor a six month paid internship, working alongside their senior developer team.
“We’ve already seen the innovative young people who have competed in the Imagine Cup go on to make a demonstrable difference in the ICT sector, and the competition continues to add value to the industry,” says Datacom New Zealand CEO Greg Davidson.
“New Zealand’s IT talent is world-class and that is reflected in the achievements of local teams in the international Imagine Cup competition.”