A University of Auckland student team has won first place and a $50,000 prize in the Innovation category at the Microsoft Imagine Cup World Finals in Seattle this week for their social interaction app, called ‘Estimeet’.
Team Estimeet members Hayden Do (19), Jason Wei (19), Chris Duan (30), and Derek Zhu (22) designed the app to track the real-time locations of people making their way to business or social meetings.
All the competition winners were announced at the Imagine Cup World Championship ceremony during Microsoft’s TechReady conference at the Washington State Convention Center, in front of an audience of 5,000 students, judges, partners and Microsoft employees.
A first place team was chosen in each of the three competition categories: Games, Innovation and World Citizenship. One of those three winning teams was then named World Champion, taking home the Imagine Cup and receiving a private meeting with Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and technology advisor.
“There is not a business, vertical industry or person on the planet untouched by technology,” said Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella.
“Imagine Cup empowers students to hack tough problems, while learning and building off the work of others. Student developers play a huge role in bringing new technologies to life in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. Congratulations to all the competitors for their hard work and creativity.”
Thirty-four student teams representing 34 countries competed in the World Finals after winning national and online competitions around the globe. Microsoft awarded cash and other prizes to the winning teams, valued at more than $1 million across the yearlong Imagine Cup program.
Other prizes include boot camps focused on career skills and project support, plus airfare and accommodation packages, and awards for the winning teams at the World Finals event.