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Eye of Riyadh
Eye of Riyadh
Culture & Education | Sunday 19 April, 2015 7:43 am |

Imagine Cup 2015 to broaden prospects through innovation.

Thursday , 16th April 2015, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Microsoft is once again opening its doors for young innovators to rise and shine through its premier technology competition. Currently in its thirteenth year, Imagine Cup, a cornerstone of the Microsoft YouthSpark initiative is a global student technology program and competition. It provides an opportunity for student technologists, developers and aspiring entrepreneurs from all academic backgrounds to collaborate, develop a technology application, create a business plan and gain a keen understanding of what is needed to bring a concept to market. In Imagine Cup, the brightest young minds join together to exemplify the power of student innovation.

The UAE local final will take place on the 22 April 2015 at Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), Abu Dhabi. The top six finalists are teams from Ajman University of science and technology (AUST), University of Wollongong Dubai (UOWD), Khalifa University, Herriot Watt and BITS-Pilani. These will showcase their innovative projects to the Microsoft judging panel, and a winner will be announced amongst them. Three finalist teams will be chosen, each per competition category, and out of these, one will be awarded as a “top team”. All the three finalist teams will travel to Bahrain to represent the UAE at the Pan Arab Finals taking place from May 31st to June 3rd.

This year’s Imagine Cup will continue featuring the three main competitions – Innovation, Games and World Citizenship. The cash prize awards will also stay the same from last year’s competition in each category – first place receives $50,000; second place receives $10,000; and third place receives $5,000. The challenges are: Pitch Video Challenge requires students to record a three to five minute video with the team to pitch their project. Project Blueprint Challenge requires students to dig deep into their thinking and deliver a written project proposal covering the end-users, requirements, scenarios and business model.

User Experience Challenge is aimed at encouraging teams to focus on transformative user experiences. The teams will have to show the user flow, wireframes and a visual target for how the software will look on screen.

This year the challenges are better aligned to the three major competition themes of Games, Innovation, and World Citizenship with the introduction of Paths. The three SDL contests – the Pitch Video Challenge, the Project Blueprint Challenge, and the User Experience Challenge – now have rules and submission requirements tailored to each competition theme.

Michael Mansour, Head of Apps and Innovation, Microsoft Gulf said “The future of technology is heavily premised on stirring innovation. Through Imagine Cup, Microsoft continues to encourage young students to utilize their imagination and creativity for innovative technological advancements that can further address real-world issues. Imagine Cup compliments Microsoft’s commitment to create social and economic opportunity through programs and products that can transform education, foster local innovation, drive future prosperity and enable jobs and opportunities within UAE and worldwide.”
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