Bangkok, 24 April 2014 – Microsoft (Thailand) has named three teams of talented student developers as winners of the Imagine Cup Thailand 2014, the national round of the world’s premier student technology competition. The three national winners will now have a chance to reach the World Finals in Seattle, Washington this July and maintain Thailand’s successful track record in the competition, now into its 12th year, after three world championship wins – more than any other country.
Imagine Cup, a global application development competition organized by Microsoft Corporation, serves as a platform for students around the world to showcase their vision and technical expertise through the development of applications with the potential to change the world by creating real impact on real-world issues. Since its debut in 2003, the Cup has seen more than 1.65 million competing students from 190 countries.
For this 12th annual edition of the competition, Microsoft is offering one world finalist team the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Bill Gates, Microsoft’s co-founder and Technology Advisor who realized his dreams in his student years.
Haresh Khoobchandani, Managing Director of Microsoft (Thailand), said: “The Imagine Cup competition is a testament to Microsoft’s commitment to transform education all around the world. Under our ‘We Make 70 Million Lives Better’ vision, we believe that Imagine Cup can inspire and empower Thai youths to realize their exceptional potential, enabling them to thrive in a connected world through the development and use of 21st-century skills.”
For the 2014 edition of Imagine Cup Thailand, Microsoft (Thailand), with the partnership of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Kasikornbank, organized the competition in three categories: World Citizenship, Game, and Innovation. Participating students from across the country presented their world-changing ideas over a period of six months, culminating in the selection of the following winners:
Winner: We Heart (King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi / Chulalongkorn University) for We Heart, a social network for HIV-positive users, crafted to offer encouragement and care as well as a platform for volunteer activities.
First runner-up: Locaze (Sripatum University, Assumption University, Chulalongkorn University, and Chitrlada School) for Locaze, a system that tracks the position of buses and various other forms of public transportation and provides estimated travel times to improve convenience for commuters.
Second runner-up: Zero Gravity (Sripatum University, Mahidol University, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, and Mahanakorn University of Technology) for Len-Din, a smartphone app that connects to a soil analysis device and provides guidance on soil condition, suitable crops, soil improvement measures, and crop pricing information – plus a social network that connects farmers across the country.
Winner: Green Era (King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi) for Little Seed, a game in which players plant virtual trees to reduce the effect of greenhouse gases on the environment, and every tree planted in the game will lead to a real tree being planted to replenish natural forests.
Winner: Viden (King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi) for Public Eye, a “government watchdog platform” that offers users a way to notify the public sector of losses or damages to public infrastructure and facilities, file complaints involving public agency services, and spread awareness of emergencies.
Along with the chance to reach the World Finals and meet Bill Gates himself, the three winning teams will gain access to the Microsoft BizSpark program, which presents access to development tools and software licenses as well as exclusive support and advice for tech startups in business operations, technical training, talent and funding acquisition – representing a value of 4,000,000 Baht. The three winners and two runner-ups will also head to Singapore to experience cutting-edge, enterprise-class technologies in an exclusive tour of the Microsoft Technology Center (MTC).
Additionally, all three finalists in the World Citizenship category, as well as the winner of USAID’s popular vote contest, will be rewarded with special 20,000 Baht grants from USAID after publishing their product. USAID’s popular vote winner was Public Mind, for their app Maja developed to facilitate the adoption of stray dogs and improve shelter management.
“The Imagine Cup is a great example of how science, technology, innovation, and partnership with the private sector can lead to the development of potentially transformative solutions,” said Michael Yates, director of the USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia. “We hope that for many of these students this is just the beginning – that their experiences with the Imagine Cup will lead them to become entrepreneurs, and that they will continue to believe in the power of their ideas to help make a better world for all.”
In addition, the winner Kasikornbank’s KFunding the Future online voting contest – which seeks to turn tomorrow’s technologies into today’s reality – and the winner of the World Citizenship category will receive special prizes from Kasikornbank. The two special prize winners are:
We Heart, the winning team from the World Citizenship category of Imagine Cup Thailand 2014
Inkrear (Chulalongkorn University), winner of KFunding the Future with Bin Point, an app for locating public trash bins through GPS and Augmented Reality technologies
Both teams will receive 1.4 million Baht each in funding from Kasikornbank to help realize their dream projects.
“As a longstanding partner of Microsoft and sponsor of the Imagine Cup competition, Kasikornbank is proud to have played a part in inspiring Thai youths to exercise their creativity and IT skills,” said Teeranun Srihong, Kasikornbank President. “Imagine Cup embodies the spirit of innovation for the future that drives our “Tomorrow Comes Today” vision. As the leader in digital banking, Kasikornbank is supporting the development of future innovations under the KFunding the Future program. Both the Imagine Cup winner and the popular vote winner from www.kfundingthefuture.com will receive our support to realize their dreams for the world to see and address the problems facing our country and the world at large.”
“Microsoft is determined to continue transforming Thai education under a holistic vision, using technologies and solutions with excellent security and privacy,” added Haresh Khoobchandani, Managing Director of Microsoft (Thailand). “Throughout the years, we have seen first-hand how talented Thai youths are, and we are more than delighted to provide them with professional-grade as well as outstanding opportunities to realize their potential and make a real impact on the world.”
For further information, (press) please contact:
Pornravee Suramool or Apin Sicoravit
Hill+Knowlton Strategies Thailand
Tel: 0-2627-3501 ext. 110, 106 or 081-735-9213, 081-648-8430