Team Code 8 from Makerere University Kampala consisting of three students Joshua Busingye, Brian Gitta, and Simon Lubambo was announced the winning team of the 2013 Microsoft Uganda Imagine Cup finals.
The team exhibited Matibabu which is an app, that diagnoses malaria without pricking any body part.
“We were speechless. To have won this year’s Uganda 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 team Code 8.
“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.”
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 Uganda and Kenya at the global finals which will be held at St Petersburg in Russia in July this year. In total, one hundred fifty (150) Ugandan students totaling to ten teams competed during a challenging day of presentations, which brought together students from universities across the country.
Speaking at the launch of the competition, Simon Onyango, Microsoft Business Development Manager in Uganda, challenged the youth to take time to focus on developing technology applications that are wealth creating and not just “cool”. “While many local developers have focused their work on developing consumer applications, it is important that they also look into the opportunities that exist in B2C (Business 2 Consumer) Apps, Independent Software Vendors (ISV) Line of Business Apps and In House Line of Business Apps as these remain largely unexplored and present real business opportunities,” he said.
Mr. Onyango also encouraged the youth to continue developing apps on the Windows 8 platform saying it is not only a game changer but also an operating system that is apps driven. “Windows 8, unlike past operating systems offers a huge, global opportunity for Kenyan developers. They can now easily build, submit and sell through the Windows store with favorable economic terms. There is no learning curve as local developers can use their existing skills, code, certifications, languages and framework preferences to write for Windows.”
This is the first time the finals are jointly being hosted in Uganda by Microsoft, Makerere University and Microsoft Innovation Centre at Makerere.
Speaking at the competition, Drake Mirembe Manager Microsoft Innovation Center Uganda, Makerere University said, “We are proud to be associated with Microsoft and Imagine Cup competition. This is the 6th year Makerere University will be sending students to the worldwide finals and we congratulate this year’s winners for a job well done.
Although only one team will proceed to Russia, all competitors today did a commendable job.”
Team Code 8 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.
“Each team that competed in Uganda’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 team Code 8 on as they
compete on the world stage in St Petersburg,” said Mr. Onyango.
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 eventually 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.