Main One Cable Company, West Africa’s leading communications services company and the first private undersea fiber optic cable to land in service in Nigeria and Ghana, has emphasized its commitment to the development of innovative, and locally developed software with its partnership of the Microsoft Imagine Cup competition, a premier student technology challenge, where student innovators from all over the world, compete to produce various ground-breaking app ideas, and implement from concept to marketplace with Microsoft resources.
Imagine Cup is more than a competition.As part of Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative, it is a way for young entrepreneurs, innovators and developers to have the opportunity to develop an idea, create a product, set a clear business plan and eventually take their product to market.All Imagine Cup Worldwide Finalist teams are eligible to apply for Imagine Cup Grants, a three year USD3-million investment by Microsoft to help students turn their ideas into reality. Microsoft BizSpark, another YouthSpark initiative, enables Imagine Cup participants to launch startup businesses in their communities and across the web.
As part of the sponsorship, Main One was the sole bandwidth sponsor, providing 20MEG broadband capacity to the event for live-streaming.
The National finals of the competition, and the Stakeholders’ Forum, which held at a prestigious location in Victoria Island, had in attendance over 80 students with participants competing for a place in the worldwide finals, previously hosted in Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Korea, France, Egypt, Poland, USA and Australia, now to be held in St. Petersburg, Russia from July 8 to 11, 2013.
In total, 12 teams from Nigeria competed during a challenging day of presentations, which brought together students from universities across the country with Team Life Saver emerging winner.Members of the team interestingly, cut across two of Nigeria’s foremost tertiary institutions, Obafemi Awolowo University and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology. They competed in the category of World Citizenship.Their solution titled CardioLife is designed to tackle heart attack by monitoring heart reading on the fly via the Microsoft Windows Phone.The solution also provides a rehabilitation programme for stroke patients using Kinect sensor.The team will go on to represent Nigeria at the global finals where the lucky winner stands the opportunity to win a whopping prize of $300,000.
Speaking at the event, the Head of Marketing, Main One Cable, Mrs. Jumoke Akande, said “New technologies are rapidly changing businesses, socio-political landscapes and the lives of consumers in Nigeria, Africa as a whole, and other parts of the world, and the speed of adoption is inspiring. Main One has consistently recognized the opportunities software development, especially indigenous, will play in this critical phase of Nigeria’s human development, and supported the equipping of young people with necessary technology competencies, to put the future of our nation in their hands”.
In a statement made by Yinka Oni, National Technology Officer, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, “Each team that competed in the regional finals is deserving of the highest recognition for the creativity and imagination applied to some of the world’s biggest challenges. We’re proud to honour these young students who we believe truly exemplify the spirit of the Imagine Cup competition, and we’ll be cheering Team Life Saver on as they compete on the world stage in St Petersburg”.
Oni continued, “Imagine Cup is also directly aligned with the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative that was launched earlier this year as it drives access to technology, innovation and world-class skills. We believe deeply that technology can accelerate growth for Africa, and Africa can also accelerate technology for the world, and we are honoured to engage with these young people to help bring their innovative ideas to fruition.”
More than 1.65 million students across the globe have participated in Imagine Cup during the past decade, creating applications and games that address the world’s toughest social problems. The 2013 competition builds on the core elements that have been most popular with students in the past 10 years – social impact and gaming – while expanding the competition’s focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. The 11thImagine Cup Worldwide Finals are taking place in St Petersburg, Russia in July 2013.