Indonesia students win inaugural Microsoft Imagine Cup Southeast Asia Regional Finals with invention to combat ‘fake news’

First ever regional leg of world’s premier student technology competition sees total of seven victorious student teams selected to compete at Imagine Cup World Finals in Seattle; Teams from Singapore and the Philippines took home the first runner-up and second runner-up prizes respectively

Manila, the Philippines – 25 April 2017 – Microsoft today announced that Team CIMOL from Indonesia has won the inaugural Imagine Cup Southeast Asia Finals, beating nine other teams to the top prize.

Built on Microsoft’s machine learning capabilities, Team CIMOL’s Hoax Analyzer is a web-based app that aims to combat the proliferation of “fake news”. The app is capable of identifying if certain contextual information can be categorized as hoaxes or not. Team CIMOL hopes that their invention will help more users weed out false information and verify the sources of a claim before spreading them.

The first runner-up and second runner-up places were awarded to Team HeartSound from Singapore and Team Opticode from the Philippines respectively.

Team HeartSound invented the S3, a smart wearable device that combines the function of a stethoscope and an electrocardiography machine. The device actively monitors the wearer’s heartbeat and flags any abnormality wirelessly to a doctor so that patients can receive further check-ups or treatment without delay.

Team Opticode sought to improve the quality of life of the visually impaired with Minerva, a virtual assistant mobile application that taps on the power of the smartphone camera to identify objects in the real world. The user simply points the camera at a box of cereal, for instance, and the assistant will describe it aloud through the phone’s speakers.

As the champion and runners-up of the first-ever Imagine Cup Southeast Asia Regional Finals, all three teams will be taking their innovation journey to the next level at the Imagine Cup World Finals. Held in Seattle this July, the World Finals will gather more than 50 students teams from all over the world, all vying for the top prize of US$100,000, mentorship opportunities with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, as well as Azure grants and credits to bring their winning solution to the market.

In addition to Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines, four other student teams from across the region were also selected to compete in the World Finals in recognition of their efforts to push the boundaries of human invention.

A “Most Popular Team” accolade was also awarded to Team Parasitica from Bangladesh, whose medical diagnostic app named fasTnosis was chosen as a fan favorite through an online voting component of the regional finals.

In all, Microsoft will sponsor a total of seven teams to bear the standard for Southeast Asia at the World Finals this July, putting the breadth and depth of creativity and innovation in Southeast Asia youth on full display in front of the world.

The seven teams are:

Team Name Country Prize
Team CIMOL Indonesia Champion
Team HeartSound Singapore 1st Runner-Up
Team Opticode The Philippines 2nd Runner-Up
Team Parasitica Bangladesh Worldwide Finalist & Most Popular Team Award
Team Echo Innovators Nepal Worldwide Finalist
Team Titans Sri Lanka Worldwide Finalist
Team Welse Thailand Worldwide Finalist

* In no particular order of merit

A full list of all the finalist teams and details of their projects is available as an appendix to this media release.

Imagine Cup celebrates 15 years of awesome in partnership with ASEAN

Co-organized with ASEAN as part of the latter’s 50th Anniversary Summit, the Imagine Cup Southeast Asia Regional Finals saw 10 bright student teams competing to be the best in the region. These teams were chosen from local finals held in 13 countries across the region, which included Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

Microsoft’s association with ASEAN to is a strong testament of the company’s commitment to develop and unleash the potential of young talents in South East Asia, as well as to foster the growth of the next generation to help them achieve more in the digital age.

Dave Miller, Developer Experience Lead, Microsoft Asia Pacific, said: “For the past 15 years, Imagine Cup has been a platform to help students turn their dreams into reality. This year’s regional finalists brought great ideas to the stage, and we see a lot of potential in these projects in solving some of the biggest challenges today across the region. Imagine Cup is just the beginning for many of these budding innovators and entrepreneurs, and we are excited to be part of their journey.”

Student teams pitched their ideas and projects in an intense full-day event held on 24 April 2017 to a panel of distinguished judges. The judging panel includes H.E. Dr. AKP Mochtan, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Community and Corporate Affairs; Dr. Jennifer Tang, Founder, STAT Innovations and Creator of Eyenaemia; Lars Jeppesen, Co-Founder Tech One Global; Shuo Hung Chen, Founder, HeX; Nigel Parker, Technical Evangelist Lead Microsoft Asia Pacific, and Joey Limjap, Vice President and Head, PLDT Enterprise Core Business Research and Development.

Dr. Jennifer Tang was part of the winning team in the global Imagine Cup Finals in 2014 for Eyenaemia, a simple, non-invasive screening tool for anaemia. Dr. Tang said, “Imagine Cup is a great platform for young developers and innovators to bring their ideas to life. Past contestants like myself have benefitted from mentorship from industry leaders and seniors to help hone our projects and skills with the goal of building real start-ups. I look forward to seeing some of these projects coming to fruition in the near future.”

Held annually since 2003, the Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition, known affectionately by participants as the “Olympics of student technology competitions”. For many of the teams, their journey to the Imagine Cup World Finals started way back in 2016, when students began forming their teams at schools across the globe to compete on a local level, with the aim of qualifying for the world finals.

Click here for more information about the participating teams. For more information about Imagine Cup, please visit

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