Microsoft NZ on hand as Kiwi students compete for Imagine Cup honours

Microsoft New Zealand helps launch Kiwi students’ IT careers through high school training and work placement programme.

Technological innovations developed by New Zealand tertiary students are set to vie for top honours in the 2015 Imagine Cup competition, to be held in Auckland tonight as part of the inaugural Microsoft Student Accelerator showcase.

The event at Auckland University this evening will bring together over 150 students, including those who participated in the Microsoft Student Accelerator summer work programme, to showcase the software and apps that they have developed during placements at leading Kiwi IT companies.

The showcase – to be hosted by Dominic Bowden – will include the announcement of the winners of the Imagine Cup competition, which has produced another impressive crop of student-developed technology innovations, including:

- Blurtee, a real time social mobile app for short term borrowing for students that enables users to post borrowing requests, and lenders to receive rewards for lending.

- Foresight, a piece of software that aims to provide a system which can actively and effectively detect and prevent poaching in conservation areas.

- HEART Automated Life Saving Service (ALS), a cloud-based service which monitors a patients’ heart activity and links it to their smart phone which employs real-time trend recognition for detecting and responding to potential issues.

- Intouract, a locale based social platform that will seamlessly and naturally connect tourists, by allowing users to quickly access information posted by other users.

- ROAM, a platform app that enables users to share their personal trip experience with anyone around the world. Users can upload their trip complete with information such as recommended accommodation, travel, where to eat and what to secret spots to visit.

- aFOODable, an app that connects people to charities by acting as a hub between the charities and people who want to donate to them.

- Lassie, an app that provides an intelligent, private check-in service that alerts your chosen friend in situations where you’re unable to call for help yourself.

- PowerPuff, a smartphone app that records and assesses the breathing of asthmatics by monitoring peak expiratory flow (PEF) readings.

- Tether, a job skills matching app that uses Facebook integration to allow users to actively search their extended social network for people with matching skills, and connect them with casual jobs.

MSA leader, Ryan Tarak says the programme aims to solve the problem of universities struggling to place their tier two students into employment opportunities.

“We also have customers and partners that have an interest in Azure and Windows apps but didn’t know where to start or didn’t have the budget to get projects off the ground,” he says.

“Many also struggle to find talented students to hire into their intern programmes for future roles.”

Students who have previously participated in the Microsoft Student Accelerator programme include Hayden Do and Chris Duan, who went on to compete and win the Innovation category at the 2014 Microsoft Imagine Cup competition in the USA for their app, called Estimeet.

The next event on the Microsoft Student Accelerator schedule is the upcoming Week of Code event, to be run across the region from 23-29 March.

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