Microsoft Imagine Cup Grants Awarded To Four Teams from Around the Globe

Student teams from Croatia, Ecuador, Jordan and the U.S. to receive funding and other support services in an effort to create world-changing businesses and nonprofit organizations.

When discussing Microsoft, we tend to focus on new product developments, financials, or forward-looking company strategies, but an entity with the size and influence of Microsoft tends to have a much farther reach than just consumable goods. Microsoft’s Imagine Cup is a perfect example. At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting that just took place, Microsoft Corp. announced the winners of the Imagine Cup Grants program, which is a three-year, $3 million competitive grant program for student technology and social entrepreneurs trying to solve some of the world’s toughest problems. The winners consisted of four teams from different parts of the world, including Croatia, Ecuador, Jordan and the United States.

“The Imagine Cup Grants program showcases young people’s ingenuity, entrepreneurial passion and real potential to solve tough real-world problems,” said Brad Smith, executive vice president, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft. “Today’s young people will become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, leaders and innovators and will build a better future for all of us if we give them the right opportunities.”

Team captains from the Microsoft Imagine Cup Grants winning teams meet with Bill Gates and Microsoft Executive VP Brad Smith at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Image Source: Microsoft

Team Apptenders from Croatia are working on a Kinect-based solution for on-premise and remote physical therapy for children. The software they created has the ability to monitor a child’s exercises to ensure they are being completed correctly, and then it provides statistical analysis to the therapist.  Team Falcon Dev from Ecuador are working on a device dubbed a SkillBox, which is an affordable solution to help children who are hearing impaired by translating audio into sign language. The SkillBox uses a wireless headset that captures sound and sends a computer, where is it translated into sign language.  Team OaSys of Jordan’s project is called Horizon. It is a software and hardware system that gives users who do not have the use of their hands or arms the ability to control a computer and cell phone, by tracking head movements and translates these movements into mouse movements. Users are able to have full control of a computer and cellphone.  And finally, Team Lifelens from the United States is working on a point-of-care tool (dubbed Lifelens) to diagnose malaria using an augmented Windows Phone application.

The grant packages awarded to each team include $75,000, as well as software, cloud computing services, solution provider support, premium Microsoft BizSpark account benefits and access to local resources like the Microsoft Innovation Centers. Perhaps most importantly, Microsoft will also connect grant recipients to its network of investors and nongovernmental organization and business partners for potential investment and additional support.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

SD-WAN buyers guide: Key questions to ask vendors (and yourself)