Now in its 14th year, nothing embodies the spirit of student innovation at Microsoft more than Imagine Cup, the company’s global technology competition that aims to give young developers the opportunity to acquire new and critical technical, business and team-building skills.
Today, Team ENTy of Romania took their place as the 2016 Imagine Cup World Champion during a live broadcast and in front of hundreds of students in the Quincy Jones Performing Arts Center at Seattle’s Garfield High School.
Team ENTy’s project is an app for monitoring balance and posture. The team’s members include Flavia Oprea, Iulian-Razvan Matesica and Cristian Alexandrescu.
The final leg of the nearly year-long Imagine Cup journey began on Wednesday, when 35 teams from all over the globe competed in front of our judges for the top three spots in the Games, Innovation and World Citizenship categories. Team PH21 of Thailand in Games, Team ENTy of Romania in Innovation and Team AMANDA of Greece in World Citizenship each claimed their $50,000 category prize and then moved on to the Championship round to compete for the grand prize – the Imagine Cup crown and a private mentoring session with Satya.
Their innovations were judged by a trio of out-of-this world judges who helped to decide which of these incredible teams would be the Imagine Cup 2016 Champion, including special guest John Boyega, lead actor from Star Wars: The Force Awakens; Dr. Jennifer Tang, one-half of the duo that won the 2014 Imagine Cup Championship; and Kasey Champion, an accomplished software engineer and Computer Science Curriculum Developer at Microsoft.
During the Championship Show, it was exciting to see finalists’ reactions as they received words of encouragement and inspiration from the likes of Seattle Seahawks superstar quarterback Russell Wilson and hit recording artist and Garfield High alum Macklemore, both of whom congratulated the students on making it this far in the competition and wished them luck on their innovation journey.
During the final leg of their journey, Imagine Cup student finalists gained a number of valuable experiences – and inspired us every step of the way. They participated in a live hackathon and got to see first-hand just how powerful a few lines of code can be. The Garfield High gymnasium was transformed into a Robo World Cup Hackathon space where more than a 100 local high school students from the Boys & Girls Club and Garfield High joined Imagine Cup competitors. The hackathon, run by Microsoft Student Partners, helped students build and customize a robot kit using Windows 10 and Microsoft Azure, and tested their innovation in a World Cup style soccer style elimination tournament. The winners received an Xbox One, HP Spectre laptop and a World Cup trophy.
On behalf of Microsoft, I’d like to offer Team ENTy and all the students who dreamed big and worked so hard throughout this year’s Imagine Cup a hearty and well-deserved congratulations!
First Place, $50,000 prize: Team PH21 of Thailand, for its project Timelie, a stealth puzzle game.
Second Place, $10,000 prize: Team None Developers of Indonesia, for its project Froggy and the Pesticide, a game designed to raise environmental awareness.
Third Place, $5,000 prize: Team Tower Up of Brazil, for its project Sonho de Jequi, a runner game.
First Place, $50,000 prize: Team ENTy of Romania, which developed an app for monitoring balance and posture.
Second Place, $10,000 prize: Team Bit Masters of Sri Lanka, which developed a low-cost digital signage platform for advertising.
Third Place, $5,000 prize: Team HealthX of the United States, which developed a solution to help doctors and patients diagnose amblyopia.
World Citizenship Category:
First Place, $50,000 prize: Team AMANDA of Greece, which built an anti-bullying app that leverages virtual reality.
Second Place, $10,000 prize: Team Night’s Watch of Tunisia, which designed and built a smart prosthetic for individuals who have lost a limb.
Third Place, $5,000 prize: Team Insimu of Hungary, which designed a virtual reality app to improve the safe and correct medical diagnoses of patients.
Microsoft Ability Boot Camp: Team BoneyCare of China, which designed an app to treat speech impairments such as stuttering.
Microsoft Student Partner of the year:
Lisa Wong of Canada, University of British Columbia