Teams Influx, O’LINA and Team1 swept to victory yesterday in the Bahrain finals of Microsoft’s Imagine Cup 2017, a global technology competition that aims to deliver educational, entrepreneurial and employment opportunities for youth by acquiring critical skills.
Held in strategic partnership with Tamkeen, and supported by partners including United Nations Development Program Bahrain (UNDP), Ministry of Youth and Sports, Start-up Bahrain and Corporate Hub 9 (CH9), the premier competition, took place at ART Rotana Hotel, Amwaj Islands, and acted as a platform for young developers of the country to showcase innovative, world-changing solutions before industry experts.
Influx Team from the University of Bahrain took first place for their project Glare, which aims to help eliminate the fear of public speaking through technology. The second place was won by O’LINA Team from the University of Bahrain for their mobile application that offers a wide range of recipes with the full nutritional information for each meal and a precise virtual tutorial on how to cook each meal.
Team1, also from the University of Bahrain, took the third place with its project Kiwi, a band which takes reading from EMG, Heartrate and other sensors, analyses them to help trainers and athletes in profiling muscles, monitoring workouts and prevent injuries.
Team Influx will go on to meet the region’s top talent at the Imagine Cup MEA semi-finals in Lebanon in May, on a path to compete with the best young innovators in worldwide finals, in Seattle, Washington.
Dr Ebrahim Mohammed Janahi, Tamkeen’s chief executive, said: “Youth plays a key role in advancing Bahrain’s development. Tamkeen and Microsoft enjoy a long-standing partnership in creating and delivering world-class programmes as part of our drive to empower the young generation and enhance their contribution to the national economy. We are excited to renew our partnership in this global student competition, and witness students unleash their creativity in Imagine Cup 2017. The competition has become a national quest for Bahraini talent, and our youth have succeeded to surprise us and make us proud year after year.”
“Innovation and entrepreneurship are key elements to give the young generation of this country a competitive advantage to capture tomorrow’s opportunities” said Sherif Tawfik, country general manager, Microsoft Bahrain and Oman.”
Microsoft Imagine Cup, our flagship initiative, is at the heart of this ambition empowering students with free access to tools and learning resources to create, innovate and make a difference through the power of technology. We strongly appreciate the support of our sponsors and partners in bringing this year’s season; who share our vision for innovation; in line with Bahrain Vision 2030.”
Six finalists -- Influx , Anon Coders, O’LINA, Feminspire, Team1, and ARH from the University of Bahrain -- were shortlisted to compete in Bahrain. Cash prize awards for this year’s competition, which marked the 15th year of the Imagine Cup, were BD2,500 for first place, BD1,500 for second place, and BD1,000 for third place winners.
The panel of judges for the Bahrain finals to select the winners included Nani Butti, chief of information technology, Ministry of Youth and Sports; Mohamed Kamal, senior technical account manager, Microsoft Bahrain; Maha Al Banki, communications head, Tamkeen; Shaikh Mohamed Al Khalifa from Economic Development Board; Mohamed Al Tawash, managing director, CH9; and Stefano Pettinato, deputy resident representative, UNDP Bahrain.
Influx and O’LINA teams were also selected for the ‘Incubation Award’, a one year of technical and business consultation opportunity.