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Microsoft announces New Zealand finalists for 2010 Imagine Cup competition
Posted on 9-Dec-2009 10:44 | Tags Filed under: News

Microsoft announces New Zealand finalists for 2010 Imagine Cup competition
Imagine a world where technology solves the toughest problems. That was the challenge Microsoft lay down to Kiwi students earlier this year when announcing the theme for the Imagine Cup 2010 competition. Today, Microsoft announced the names of the 20 teams to reach the preliminary.

From over 100 submissions, 20 finalists from universities all over New Zealand will now transform their ideas into working prototypes. For the next three months, teams will toil away hoping to eventually win the national finals for a chance to represent New Zealand in the worldwide finals in Poland next year. But they won’t be doing it alone.

Along the way, each of the 20 teams will receive access to free Microsoft software to complete their project, and guidance from up to three mentors to help develop the ideas: two are assigned, one from Microsoft New Zealand, and the other from local industry, and teams can select a third from their tertiary institute. All of which represents a stepping up of the engagement between Microsoft and the teams themselves. In previous years, a single mentor was available only to the final four teams.

Microsoft New Zealand Imagine Cup Programs Manager, Paul Lo, says the Imagine Cup is a “fantastic opportunity to find the stars of tomorrow and to encourage student participation in our industry”.

In addition to the 20 finalists, three of the most innovative and creative ideas received the Dreamspark Award, a $1,000 prize split among team members.

Winning ideas included a method for delivering data via FM radio to support the One Laptop Per Child initiative, a portable, solar-powered desalination plant, and a weather index reporting and insurance scheme for farmers in impoverished countries. Mr Lo said the Dreamspark winners, Team Apple Boys – Yeh right, Team Fleur de Sel Systems and Team Travelling Salesman, were not constrained by available resources and existing technology.

Four national finalists will be chosen during the next round of judging which begins February 22, 2010.

Preliminary finalists:
• Team 4E-Waste – University of Auckland
• Team Absolution – University of Canterbury
• Team Apple Boys – Yeh Right – University of Auckland
• Team Dominator – University of Canterbury
• Team Elektro – AUT University
• Team enpeda – University of Auckland
• Team eUtopia – University of Waikato
• Team eXtreme – AUT University
• Team Fleur de Del Systems – Victoria University of Wellington
• Team Group 21/Team Power Savers – University of Auckland
• Team Lucky 7 – University of Auckland
• Team Philanthropist – Massey University
• Team Proactive – University of Auckland
• Team {pithy} – University of Waikato
• Team 23 – University of Auckland
• Team Bean – Victoria University of Wellington
• Team One – University of Auckland
• Team Tree Huggers – Victoria University of Wellington
• Team Vital Link – University of Auckland
• Team PowerPlay – Victoria University of Wellington

Pictured is Team Apple Boys – Yeh Right, comprised of Aakash Polra, Vinny Kumar, Kayo Lakadia and Steve Ward (L to R) - being presented with the $1,000 DreamSpark Award from Brett Roberts, national technology officer, Microsoft New Zealand.

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