Microsoft Awards Imagine Cup Grants to Jumpstart Student Startups That Address Social Issues

Microsoft Awards Imagine Cup Grants to Jumpstart Student Startups That Address
                                Social Issues

Students from around the world awarded cash and in-kind funding to support
development of technology solutions to solve global problems.

PR Newswire

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Dec. 4, 2012

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --At the Social Innovation
Summit today, Microsoft Corp. announced the winners of the second annual
Microsoft Imagine Cup Grants program, a three-year, $3 million competitive
grant program that provides students with funding and support to help
transform their projects into social enterprises or nonprofits that will
address a specific social issue. The Imagine Cup Grants program is part of the
Microsoft YouthSpark initiative, which aims to create opportunities for 300
million youth during the next three years.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO)

The grand prize grant of $100,000 was awarded to Team Graphmasters from
Germany for its solution called nunav that reduces vehicle carbon emissions
through an innovative navigation system. The second place grant of $75,000
went to Team StethoCloud from Australia, which developed a solution to
diagnose childhood pneumonia. There were also grants of $50,000 to Team Vivid
from Egypt, which built a mobile app to access medical records using the
cloud; Team Cipher256 from Uganda for its mobile app and listening device to
analyze fetal heart rates; and Team QuadSquad from Ukraine, which created a
solution that transforms sign language into verbal communication. The teams
used technologies including Windows 8, Windows Azure, Windows Phone, Bing Maps
and more.

"The Imagine Cup Grants will help students evolve a great idea for addressing
a societal issue into a real-world business," said Dan'l Lewin, corporate vice
president, Strategic and Emerging Business Development, Microsoft. "These
students have developed incredible approaches that show great potential for
positive local impact. We are excited to offer financial and other support to
help them transform these ideas into businesses with real-world impact."

The grant winners were among the finalists at the Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide
Finals, a global competition that invites students to develop a technology,
create a business plan and gain a keen understanding of what they need to
bring their concepts to market. The Imagine Cup Grants program takes the
competition further, helping students turn their ideas into reality by
creating a real business or nonprofit. As part of Microsoft YouthSpark, the
Imagine Cup Grants program is one way Microsoft is helping young people pursue
an education, find employment and foster entrepreneurship.

"The Imagine Cup was the catalyst for our team to create nunav," said
Christian Bruggemann, Team Graphmasters. "Through the Imagine Cup Grants,
Microsoft is giving us the opportunity to expand our project and bring it to
market. As mobile phone adoption becomes more prevalent around the world, it
presents a perfect way for nunav to help fight traffic and carbon emissions."

In addition to the cash awards, the grant packages include software, cloud
computing services, solution provider support, premium Microsoft BizSpark
account benefits and access to local resources such as Microsoft Innovation
Centers.Microsoft will also connect grant recipients with its network of
investors, nongovernmental organization partners and business partners and
will work with the grant recipients to tailor individual support as needed
depending on the progress each team has made so far with its project.

Imagine Cup Grants Award Winners

  oTeam Graphmasters, Germany. Christian Bruggemann, Sebastian Heise and
    Iulian Nitescu. Project description: nunav is a navigation system with the
    potential to reduce vehicle carbon emissions by preventing traffic
    congestion. The system proactively routes city traffic by calculating the
    best route for each car and communicating that information to each driver.
    Team video: http://bit.ly/RWjVN6
  oTeam StethoCloud, Australia. Hon Weng Chong, Andrew Lin, Mahsa Salehi and
    Karthik Rajah. Project description: StethoCloud is a cloud-powered,
    mobile-hybrid stethoscope for early detection of pneumonia. By connecting
    a custom stethoscope to a mobile phone, the user is able to transmit
    diagnostic information into a cloud service, reproducing the diagnostic
    capability of a trained medical doctor. Team video: http://bit.ly/PWCcKy
  oTeam Vivid, Egypt. Nour El-Dien Hussein, Muhammed Mousa El-Orabi and Fady
    Fawzy Rafla. Project description: Health Buzz is a cost-effective
    mobile-based solution that helps healthcare service providers access
    patients' electronic medical records through a secure cloud-based storage
    system. It services patients and physicians through a phone, tablet or
    desktop computer. Team video: http://bit.ly/T4PJAt
  oTeam Cipher256, Uganda. Aaron Tushabe, Joshua Okello, Dr. Davis Musinguzi,
    Josiah Kavuma and Joseph Kaizzi. Project description: WinSenga is a mobile
    application that aids health workers as they assist expectant mothers. The
    algorithm analyzes fetal heart sounds to determine the fetal heart rate
    (beats per minute) and the age and position of the fetus and then records
    these readings to the cloud. Team video: http://bit.ly/Us89qS
  oTeam QuadSquad, Ukraine. Maxim Osika, Valeriy Yasakov, Anton Stepanov,
    Anton Posternikov and Dmytro Samoilenko. Project description: Enable Talk
    was created to give disabled individuals with limited communication
    abilities a better way to communicate. It transforms sign language into a
    form of verbal communication by creating a mobile device that continuously
    recognizes sign language phonemes. Team video: http://bit.ly/UIDx4E

This year, more than 40 Imagine Cup teams applied for the grants. A judging
panel of industry experts with knowledge spanning technology, venture
capitalism, software development, startup culture and the nonprofit sector
ranked each team based on specific criteria, including project impact and
viability and team quality and motivation. The judges included the following:

  oAkhtar Badshah, senior director of Citizenship and Public Affairs,
    Microsoft
  oDaniel Brusilovsky, founder and CEO, Teens in Tech Labs
  oTim Draper, founder and managing director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson
  oDebra Dunn, faculty, Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford; board
    of directors, Skoll Foundation and B Lab
  oEdward G. Happ, global chief information officer of International Red
    Cross and Red Crescent Societies, chairman of NetHope
  oTadhg Kelly, game design consultant
  oZeev Klein, general partner, Landmark Ventures
  oDan'l Lewin, corporate vice president, Strategic and Emerging Business
    Development, Microsoft
  oRob Miles, lecturer, University of Hull Computer Science Department
  oJeff Raikes, CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  oAnn Winblad, managing director, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners

About Microsoft YouthSpark

Microsoft YouthSpark is a global initiative that aims to create opportunities
for 300 million youth in more than 100 countries during the next three years.
This companywide initiative includes Citizenship and other company programs —
both new and enhanced — that empower youth to imagine and realize their full
potential by connecting them with greater opportunities for education,
employment and entrepreneurship.Find out more at:
http://www.microsoft.com/youthspark.

About Microsoft Imagine Cup

This year marks the 11th year of Imagine Cup, which will be celebrated at the
worldwide finals in St. Petersburg, Russia, July 8–12, 2013. Students ages 16
and older are eligible to register and compete in Imagine Cup 2013 by visiting
the Imagine Cup website at http://www.imaginecup.com. A full list of
competitions and challenges are listed at http://imaginecup.com/main/compete.
In the past decade, more than 1.65 million students from 190 countries have
registered to compete for cash and other prizes.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software,
services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full
potential.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

Website: http://www.microsoft.com
Website: http://www.imaginecup.com
Contact: Rapid Response Team, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, +1-503-443-7070,
rrt@waggeneredstrom.com
 
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