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Microsoft launches tech competition

Imagine Cup 2014 aimed at promoting innovation

Microsoft launches tech competition
Michael Mansour, DPE Lead, Microsoft Gulf

Microsoft has launched the 12th edition of the Imagine Cup, a global student technology programme and competition.

Imagine Cup is a competition where students, across all disciplines, team up and create applications, games and integrated solutions that aims to change the way people play, live and work.

Michael Mansour, DPE Lead, Microsoft Gulf said, "The Imagine Cup is Microsoft's initiative to encourage young students to utilise 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 programmes and products that can transform education, foster local innovation, drive future prosperity and enable jobs and opportunities within UAE and worldwide."

The UAE final will take place on 21 April, 2014 at Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), Dubai.

The top five finalists are: Innov8 and I-Connect, both from American University of Sharjah; M.S.A, from Ajman University of Science and Technology; FRESH, from Ajman University of Science and Technology and Heroes, from the University of Wollongong. These finalists will demonstrate their projects to the Microsoft judging panel, which will determine the winner.

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The winning team will be invited to Qatar for the pan-Arab semi-finals taking place from 31 May to 4 June and the pan-Arab winners will go to the world finals to be held in Seattle in July.

This year, in addition to the core World Citizenship, Innovation and Gaming competitions (with prizes of $50,000 each), the Imagine Cup 2014 will offer three new non-technology challenges globally, in which participants will compete to win $3,000 cash prizes.

The new challenges are: Pitch Video Challenge, which requires students to record a three to five minute video to pitch their project; Project Blueprint Challenge, which requires students to dig deep into their thinking and deliver a written project proposal covering end-users, requirements, scenarios and business models; and the User Experience Challenge, which 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.

Dr. Saoud Al Mulla, director, Higher Colleges of Technology said, "Imagine Cup has opened new doors for students in the field of technology. It has given the students an opportunity to learn the basic know-how of launching their own businesses and bringing their own individual ideas into the market. I would like to encourage the students in the UAE to make the most of this extraordinary opportunity."

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