Microsoft Calls on Nigerian Students to Imagine

With the deadline for the annual Imagine Cup student technology competition approaching, Microsoft Nigeria is calling on  students to participate and come up with imaginative solutions to use technology to help solve some of the world’s toughest problems. Now in its tenth year, the competition has grown to become the world’s premier student technology competition with more than 358,000 students representing 183 countries participating in last year’s event.

Students have until 13 March 2012, 23:59:59 GMT to register for the competition in one of eight categories: Software Design; Game Design (Xbox/Phone); Game Design (Phone); IT Challenge; Kinect Fun Labs Challenge; Windows Metro Style App Challenge; Windows Azure Challenge; and Windows Phone Challenge.

In addition to the vast opportunities presented from competing on the world stage at the premier student technology competition, participants in Imagine Cup stand to win cash prizes and grants; and each Worldwide Finalist and one Mentor per team will be awarded a trip to Sydney, Australia to compete in the Worldwide Finals in July 2012. The trip includes round trip coach airfare from the major airport closest to the competitor’s home, standard hotel accommodations, and select meals during the Worldwide Finals.

Last year, the success of Nigeria’s Team Nerds Inc. – who made it into the top five for the People’s Choice Award and qualified to enter for the Grants Award – represented a milestone for the country in the competition. The team, made up of four students from the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), represented the country with their entry, Medicare: an application designed to bridge the gap between doctors and patients when they are miles apart.

In a statement made by Shina Oyetosho, Developer and Platform Evangelism Lead, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, he stated that “Team Nerds did the country, and continent, proud last year, and we are hoping to see this year’s entries follow in their footsteps. There are so many different challenges faced by our country’s people, and we believe that the solution to many of these problems lies in the power of technology combined with the potential and imagination of our youth. That’s why we hope to see a record number of entries for this year’s competition.”

To mark the official launch of this year’s competition in the country, a kick-off event will be held on the 6th of March in partnership with Rivers State Government and other stakeholders.

Speaking on the partnership, Goodliffe Nmekini, Special Adviser to Rivers State Governor, “The decision by Rivers State Government to support the Imagine Cup competition steps from its current effort to make Port Harcourt the Technology Hub of the country.”

This year, for the first time, two rounds of regional finals will be held in Nigeria instead of just one ahead of the national finals in Port Harcourt on the 25th of April 2012, to accommodate the anticipated number of entries. The Worldwide Finals, previously hosted in Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Korea, France, Egypt, Poland, and the USA; will be hosted in Sydney, Australia in July this year.

For more information on the competition, and to register, visit the website. And for the latest news and updates on the 2012 competition, follow the Imagine Cup Blog. You can also contact Olabisi Soleye - bisi@itg-ng.com, 08024723100, 08037188747.

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