KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, 5 April 2018 – Following two days of intense competition at the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2018 Asia Pacific Finals, Team 7x from Singapore has been crowned second runner-up in the premier student technology competition today, coming in behind Team PINE from Malaysia in first place and Team BeeConnex from Thailand in second place.
Comprising three students and alumni from the School of Engineering at Nanyang Polytechnic, Team 7x will now go on to represent Singapore at the Microsoft Imagine Cup World Finals, to be held in Seattle in July, for a shot at the Imagine Cup World Champion title.
Competing against a pool of 15 finalists, Team 7x stood out with its project, ProCubeX – an interactive smart-learning cube designed as an early intervention tool for children with dyslexia. The cube intelligently generates customised education plans for dyslexic children and encourages autonomous interactive learning through interaction with the cubes at their own pace. ProCubeX is also designed to trigger multisensory stimulation, as well as the parts of the brain responsible for language learning.
Winning the hearts of judges at the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2018 Asia Pacific Finals
The winner of Microsoft Imagine Cup Asia Pacific Finals – Team PINE from Malaysia – won over the hearts of the judges with their handheld sensing device that helps pineapple farmers efficiently and effectively evaluate optimal levels of ripeness prior to harvest in a non-intrusive manner. As traditional methods of determining ripeness are done using a refractometer, which subjects the fruit to destructive analysis, Team PINE’s solution has the potential to minimise wastage and help pineapple farmers maximise the percentage of harvested fruits brought to market for export.
Team BeeConnex from Thailand took second place with its project, Smart Hive – an Internet of Things (IoT) device that enables beekeepers to track and monitor the health of a beehive. The device is also able to alert beekeepers when potential issues are detected within the hive.
The “People’s Choice Award” accolade was awarded to Team BeeTech from Vietnam, who developed a Smart Car Box that can help car owners pre-empt any possible complications before they occur. The team garnered admiration from fans through an online voting component of the regional finals.
“Imagine Cup has always strived to be the platform for students to turn their dreams into entrepreneurial realities. Every year, we have the privilege to witness great ideas from budding innovators working hard to solve pressing challenges with smart, effective solutions. We are here to help them take their first steps towards achieving their goals, and we are excited to see how their ideas will define the future we will live in,” said Dave Miller, Commercial Software Engineering Lead, Microsoft Asia Pacific.
Advancing to the World Finals, for a shot at the Imagine Cup 2018 World Champion title
Besides the top three teams, four other teams were also selected from the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2018 Asia Pacific Finals to advance to the World Finals. In all, the seven teams from Asia Pacific who will be representing the region at the World Finals are:
|Team BeeConnex||Thailand||1st Runner-Up|
|Team 7x||Singapore||2nd Runner-Up|
|Team Beehive Drone||Indonesia||*Worldwide Finalist|
|Team Classum||Korea||*Worldwide Finalist|
|Team En#22.45km||Korea||*Worldwide Finalist|
|Team SochWare||Nepal||*Worldwide Finalist|
* The above list is ranked in no particular order of merit
Following the conclusion of the Asia Pacific Finals, the seven student teams will now take their innovation journey to the next level at the Imagine Cup World Finals. To be held in Seattle this July, the World Finals will see more than 50 of the best student teams from all over the world congregating at one place, to vie for the coveted title of Imagine Cup World Champion, US$100,000 in prizes, mentorship sessions by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, as well as Azure grants and credits to bring their winning solution to the market. (For more information on all 15 Asia Pacific finalists, click here.)
This year’s judging panel includes:
- Siti Norliza Mohd Sahar, Director, Talent & Digital Entrepreneurship, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC);
- Kelvin Tan Cheng Kian, Programme Director, National University of Singapore Enterprise;
- Michael Teoh Su Lim, Founder, Thriving Talents;
- Bikesh Lakshminand, Founder & CEO of 1337 Ventures;
- Alvin Chai, UX Consultant & Co-founder of Netizen Experience;
- LJ Chiu, Director, Audience Evangelism, Commercial Software Engineering, Microsoft; and
- Chris Auld, Director, Technical Evangelist, Commercial Software Engineering, Microsoft.
Michael Teoh Su Lim, Founder, Thriving Talents, shared: “This year’s competition saw many outstanding projects by talented students who have real passion to solve real-world issues that many markets in the region face today. We are excited by the passion and depth of innovation we’ve seen this year and are positive that they will make a difference in our digital future.” Michael is also an Imagine Cup alumnus, having previously participated in the New Zealand Imagine Cup in 2008, with his team taking home the Consumer’s Choice Award that year.
Fostering strategic partnerships to develop the next generation of technologists in Asia Pacific
This year, Microsoft partnered with the U.S. Department of State’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST), Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and Siri Ventures, for the Imagine Cup 2018 Asia Pacific Finals. Microsoft’s partnership with these organisations is a strong testament of the commitment to empower young talents to innovate and build real world solutions that enable people to achieve more for a better future.
GIST is the U. S. Department of State’s flagship science and technology entrepreneurship programme that works to support and empower young innovators from 130 emerging economies around the world. GIST partners with the Imagine Cup competition in a shared commitment with Microsoft to use technology to solve the world’s toughest problems by inspiring student creativity, and empowering students to realise their visions by using new technology platforms.
Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation or MDEC (formerly known as Multimedia Development Corporation Sdn. Bhd.) is the lead agency driving the digital economy in Malaysia under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia. Since its inception 20 years ago, MDEC’s mission is to develop the nation’s digital economy. MDEC’s implementation efforts are centred on driving investments, building local tech champions, catalysing digital innovation ecosystems and propagating digital inclusivity.
Siri Ventures is owned by Thailand’s largest property developer, Sansiri, and its strategic shareholder, Siam Commercial Bank. Siri Ventures is a corporate venture capital who recognises the need for technology acceleration, acquisition and adoption, either by creating, investing and partnering with startups in the real estate and adjacent industries. They are on the constant lookout for startups who will innovate the ecosystem through cutting edge technology and ideas to market.
These partnerships aim to encourage youth and entrepreneurship, provide students with opportunities and training to hone their digital skills in cutting-edge technologies, as well as fuel their creativity in building innovative solutions that matter.