Leading Universities combat in Microsoft's Imagine Cup 2009
Imagine Cup - Pakistan Finals
The Imagine Cup is a global student technology competition focused on finding solutions to the real-world issues. Recently, the leading universities of Pakistan competed in the national finals for the Imagine Cup in Karachi. The competition encourages the world's most talented software designers, programmers, game developers, photographers and filmmakers to "Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems facing us today."
The winning team was from the University of Engineering & Technology Lahore, and will be sent on an all-expense paid trip to Cairo to compete in the worldwide finals of Imagine Cup 2009. The winners for the local finals of the Imagine Cup and the qualifiers of Innovation Accelerator program were announced at the Microsoft Innovation Center located at FAST National University, Karachi campus.
The winning team was from the University of Engineering & Technology Lahore
Besides the winning team of Imagine Cup, the top 3 teams were also shortlisted to participate in the Innovation Accelerator program. The main idea behind the Innovation Accelerator program is to promote innovation in the field of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) in Pakistan. The 3 shortlisted student teams will go through a rigorous training process and will then be provided with continuous mentoring to transform their winning product designs into 3 start-up software businesses. To achieve this goal, the shortlisted candidates will receive technical and business trainings on creativity and innovation, reviewing market opportunities, entrepreneurial leadership, software business management and forging business alliances.
"The Imagine Cup provides a forum for students around the world to explore new ways to use the power of software to help address some of the world's toughest challenges," said Naveed Bajwa, Developer & Platform Group Manager, Microsoft Pakistan. "The high calibre of the students and their projects is evidence of the high level of innovation among the Pakistani students today, with a clear potential for real-world impact."
Jehan Ara, President Pakistan Software Houses Association, addressed the audience: "Today's most pressing issues of social and economic development require more than traditional thinking. Microsoft's Imagine Cup not only allows the youth to implement creative out-of-the-box approaches to problem solving, but also develops a sense of commitment to help the most vulnerable in society with the most innovative, appropriate solutions and technologies at our disposal."
Dr. Qasim Sheikh, CEO National ICT R&D Fund, who was also present at the occasion, commented, "While Imagine Cup inspires new generation of technology leaders to make a difference in the world; the Innovation Accelerator program combines technical skills of students with practical know-how to create business plans, attract investors and launch a successful product. It equips them with a powerful tool to launch themselves in professional lives and enables them to evolve as future entrepreneurs."
The esteemed judges included executives from P@SHA, National ICT R&D Fund, Mixit, NUST Institute of IT and senior IT experts from the industry. More than 100 students and faculty members from different universities were present at the ceremony to witness the showcased solutions.
The final showdown of Imagine Cup 2009 will be held in Cairo and Alexandria where students will be asked to create software solutions that are aligned to one of the UNDP's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The eight MDGs range from halving extreme poverty and halting the spread of HIV/AIDS to providing universal primary education.
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