Kenya is known as the most technologically advanced in sub-Saharan Africa, and this is mainly because Kenyans have embraced mobile money like no other, not only in Africa, but the world over. The success of mobile money in Kenya has however come with one very important downside, it has put Kenyan tech developers into a USSD and mobile money box where none of them can think out of. This is why Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition is very important for Kenyan tech students, as it is the platform through which the students can get an out of the box mindset.
The reason Microsoft Imagine Cup will help Kenyan tech student techies think beyond mobile money and USSD technologies is the focus of the 2018 Competition. We all know that the future of tech is in Big Data, VR and AR, and most important Artificial Intelligence. These areas however have zero exploration as far as Kenyan tech space is concerned. With Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition, we will see those students who will register for the competition get a mentorship opportunity where they will be mentored to think in terms of Mixed Reality (AR/VR), Big Data, and of course AI. This is in accordance to this year’s Microsoft Imagine Cup’s three special awards that represent current state of digital transformation namely:
- Artificial Intelligence – Best use of Azure Intelligence tools and APIs with the following technology: Azure Cognitive Services and Bot Services
- Big Data – Best use of Azure Analytics tools and APIs with the following technology: Azure Machine Learning, Stream Analytics, and IoT
- Mixed Reality – Best use of Windows Mixed Reality with the following technology: HoloLens, AR, and VR
Lilian Nganda, Communications Manager, Microsoft Sub-Saharan Africa, explained how the mentorship will help the participants acquire skills in an ever changing world of technology, “The world is eager to address two powerful issues: education and jobs for the younger generation and technology. At Microsoft, we are focused on enabling every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. The Imagine Cup Competition is anchored on this mantra and we hope that through this initiative, we will empower more young people by enabling them to showcase what they have to offer to the world,” said Ms. Nganda. “Through the Imagine Cup, these issues can be addressed in a fun, positive and inspiring way for students to acquire new and critical technical, business, and team-building skills”, she added.
Founded in 2003, Microsoft’s Imagine Cup has to date inspired nearly two million student technologists from all academic backgrounds to collaborate, innovate, and showcase their technology.
Based on the principle of education through competition, the Imagine Cup Competition also offers one-of-a-kind mentorship opportunity with global experts, helping student developers build job-critical skills like pitching, demoing and integrating feedback in real-time.
The solutions that best represent these scenarios will have an opportunity to win $15,000 cash plus an Azure grant. 1st and 2nd place teams are also eligible to receive one $15,000 Imagine Cup Award, with the overall grand prize winner walking away with $85, 000 USD, an Azure grant and a mentoring session with Satya Nadella, the Microsoft CEO.
Entries for the Kenya competition started in March and the regional winners will be announced on 26-27th April.
Regional Finals on 23rd May and world finalist announcement on 1st June 2018
- About Imagine Cup – https://imagine.microsoft.com/en-us/Category/11?skillLevel=0
- Previous winners – https://imagine.microsoft.com/en-us/winners