The winning team of the 2011 Microsoft Imagine Cup was decided last night, following a gruelling day of presentations from the four finalist teams.
The final was held at the University of Auckland Business School as part of the Microsoft Imagine Cup Festival Day. After making it through the morning’s preliminary rounds, the four teams presented their projects for 15 minutes to a panel of judges and an audience of friends, family and celebrities. Team OneBuzz from the University of Auckland emerged the victor with the project to wipe out malaria.
The solution involves using technology to inhibit the spread of malaria and ultimately eliminate the disease.
“This year’s competition has raised the bar in terms of the ideas and the quality of the projects that were entered,” says Scott Wylie, Director of the Developer and Platform Group for Microsoft New Zealand.
“It is fantastic to see students of this calibre entering the competition, and with the Microsoft Imagine Cup growing year-on-year, the solutions to world problems are becoming limitless. The standard this year was extremely high and picking a winner was certainly a challenge for us.”
Team OneBuzz, last year's winners (as team OneBeep) and third place winners from the Worldwide Imagine Cup finals in Poland, has been working hard over the summer months to refine and develop their concept under the careful guidance of Microsoft and industry based mentors.
“It is such a buzz to win this competition, it took months of sweat and tears to get to this point and the whole process from generating the original idea, through to seeing the project become a reality has been absolutely incredible,” says Vinny Lohan.
Team OneBuzz will now compete in an online qualifying round with the winning teams all over the world for a chance to represent New Zealand at the world wide finals in New Your, July 2011.
The 2011 Microsoft Imagine Cup Festival Day is a change from last year with the top twenty teams from around New Zealand competing during preliminary rounds in the morning, and the successful four teams re-presenting during the finals that evening.
The final judging panel was lead by Brett O’Riley, CEO for NZICT and head judge for the 2011 Microsoft Imagine Cup. Brett will also be heading to New York later in the year to sit on the panel for the Worldwide Microsoft Imagine Cup finals.
Others in the judging panel included;
The Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world’s largest technology competition, challenging students from around the globe to develop technologies that help solve the world’s toughest problems. Now in its ninth year, the Imagine Cup is a truly global competition with more than 325,000 students from 142 countries participating. Last year's New Zealand winners, Team One Beep, went on to take third place in their category at the worldwide finals in Poland.
The other top three finishing teams were:
Second Place – Team MCG from the University of Auckland with The Sentinel project (Laser Defence System Against Mosquitoes) a laser beam system for killing mosquitoes.
Third Place – Team SkyEye from the University of Auckland with the SkyEye project, a software solution designed to prevent car accidents and improve road safety globally.
Fourth Place – Team Food from Lincoln University with their Where is my food? Project, a database of food expiry dates for publishing to websites and local notice boards to inform people in need where to go for free food.