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JKUAT University students win Microsoft Imagine Cup



A team of three JKUAT students has won the 2013 Microsoft Kenya Imagine Cup. Collins Omwenga, Paul Mutie and Somboriot Kipchillat presented an application named Protege which seeks to support the process of giving donations to children’s homes and other charitable organizations across the world.


The application creates a support mechanism that allows children homes and rehabilitation centers to receive donations of any kind through an open accountable system based on Windows Azure cloud services, Windows 8 and Windows Phone. The app which will be free for download later in the year on the Microsoft store will allow people to search for children homes in any region of the world, view their donation request, send donations and even virtually adopt a child.


The donor will be able to receive automatic updates on the progress of the projects he or she has donated to through live notifications. Donations that can be sent via this application range from financial payments through mobile money transfer platform such as Mpesa to clothes, food, stationary, building equipment, toiletries and even volunteer time.


“We were speechless. To have won this year’s Kenya country finals – and to have the opportunity to represent our country at Worldwide Imagine Cup along some of the brightest young minds – is an honour,” said Paul Mutie, a member of the winning team. “And we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to compete with students from around the globe who, like us, are passionate about making a difference in the world. Our application is a foolproof system that tracks donations and creates accountability to the donors and the recipients.”


The premier student competition which centers on the use of imagination, creativity and technology to help solve some of the world’s toughest problems, was launched in 2003 globally and in 2008 in East Africa. For the first time since its inception, East Africa will be represented by 2 teams from Kenya and Uganda at the global finals which will be held at St Petersburg in Russia in July this year.


“Each team that competed in Kenya’s country finals is deserving of the highest recognition for the creativity and imagination applied to some of the world’s biggest challenges. We’re proud to honour these young students who we believe truly exemplify the spirit of the Imagine Cup competition, and we’ll be cheering on team PI Crafts from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology  as they compete on the world stage in St Petersburg,” said Louis Otieno, Microsoft Director for Legal and Corporate Affairs, Africa Initiatives


This year’s event was sponsored by Microsoft, the African Development Bank (AFDB) and Nokia.


Team PI Crafts will join the brightest young minds to compete on the world stage in July at St. Petersburg Russia. The 2013 competitors will gain real life experience, make new friends, and harness the power of technology to take on the world’s toughest problems.


Imagine Cup is more than a competition. As part of Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative, it is a way for young entrepreneurs, innovators and developers to have the opportunity to develop an idea, create a product, set a clear business plan and event take their product to market. All Imagine Cup Worldwide Finalist teams are eligible to apply for Imagine Cup Grants, a three year USD3-million investment by Microsoft to help students turn their ideas into reality. Microsoft BizSpark, another YouthSpark initiative, enables Imagine Cup participants to launch startup businesses in their communities and across the web.

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