Middle East Jordan Microsoft Imagine Cup Grant is Awarded to Team OaSys from Jordan to...
Microsoft Imagine Cup Grant is Awarded to Team OaSys from Jordan to Help Create a Startup Business Aimed at Global Change
Team OaSys to receive funding and other support in the first year of the Microsoft Imagine Cup Grants program
Friday, January 27, 2012
Amman, Jordan


Amman, January 27, 2012 — Microsoft announced that Team OaSys from Jordan was selected as one of the winners of the Imagine Cup Grants, which is a three-year, $3 million competitive grant program for student technology and social entrepreneurs. The Imagine Cup Grants program is focused on providing opportunity for young people by helping Imagine Cup competitors create a business or nonprofit organization.

Team OaSys from Jordan took home third place in the Software Design competition for the Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Finals, a global competition now in its tenth year in which students use technology to solve the world’s toughest problems.

OaSys team member Mohammad Azzam, stated, “On behalf of my team members I would like to say how privileged we are to be one of the four winners of the Imagine Cup Grants. We are proud to have raised the bar for Jordan and the Middle East Region as a whole, especially with regards to technology and social entrepreneurship. With our project, we aim to reach every single person with no ability to control computers and to become a productive part of the society.”

He added, “Our project is a software and hardware system that allows people with quadriplegia, those who do not have use of their hands and arms, to use a computer. Specifically, it tracks head movements and translates these movements into mouse movements where users get full control of a computer and a cellphone, can browse the internet, type and connect with ease and at a low cost. With the funding and support that we will be receiving from Microsoft, we hope to improve the software stack by optimizing and adding features, developing pilot client lab preparations and hiring sub-contractors.”

Husni Khuffash, Country Manager of Microsoft Jordan stated, “We are extremely proud of our Jordanian team for being one of the fortunate beneficiaries of this remarkable grant that will allow them to create a business to give their project the global reach it deserves, as well as actualize their goal of using technology to solve the world’s toughest problems. Team OaSys will receive funding and access to resources and support to help them create a business to bring the benefits of their application to the world.”

He added, “Microsoft’s Imagine Cup Grant highlights Team OaSys’ ingenuity, entrepreneurial passion and real potential to solve tough real-world problems, with the goal of building a better future for all of us if we give them the right opportunities.”

The grant packages include USD$75,000 for each team as well as software, cloud computing services, solution provider support, premium BizSpark account benefits, and access to local resources such as the Microsoft Innovation Centers. Microsoft will also connect grant recipients with its network of investors, NGO partners and business partners.

During the World Economic Forum meeting where the Grant winners were announced, the captains from the winning teams joined Microsoft executive vice president Brad Smith and Bill Gates for a roundtable discussion on Opportunity for Youth. The participants discussed Microsoft’s corporate citizenship focus on bridging the opportunity divide – an emergent gap between young people who have the access, skills and opportunities to be successful, and those who do not. The group discussed the critical role young people will play in building our future, and the challenges they will face without the right education, skills and support. The Imagine Cup Grants are one way Microsoft is helping to create tangible connections between young people and job, career, and life opportunities that will help them succeed.

The other grant recipients included Team AppTenders from Croatia, Team FalconDev from Ecuador, and Team LifeLens from the United States. The teams invented solutions that address issues including accessibility, health and education and used technologies including Kinect, Windows Phone, BingMaps, and more.

Imagine Cup Grant Award Winners

Team OaSys, Jordan
Team Members: Hani AbuHuwaij, Monir Abu Hilal, Mohammad Azzam, Yousef Wadi.
Mentor: Mohammad Saleh
Project Description: Horizon is a software and hardware system that allows people who do not have use of their hands or arms to use a computer. Specifically, it tracks head movements and translates these movements into mouse movements. Users are able to have full control of a computer and cell phone, browse the internet, type and connect with ease at a low cost.
Team Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHP67hrhEWs

Team AppTenders, Croatia
Team Members: Ivan Antonic, Ivan Borko, Karmela Bresan, Dominik Tomicevic
Project Description: KiDnect is a Kinect-based solution for on-premise and remote physical therapy for children. This software has the ability to monitor a child’s exercises to ensure they are being completed correctly, and then provides statistical analysis to the therapist.
Team Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EF4kQvUKwj4

Team FalconDev, Ecuador
Team Members: José Vicente Anilema Guadalupe, Gerardo Francisco Pérez Layedra, Henry Javier Paca Quinaluiza, Juan José Morales Ruiz
Project Description: SkillBox is an affordable solution to help children who are hearing impaired by translating audio received from a teacher in a classroom into sign language. A wireless headset captures the sound, sends it to the computer and then SkillBox shows the corresponding sign for the word or phrase.
Team Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtuFEJ_esJo

Team Lifelens, United States
Team Members: Tristan Gibeau, Cy Khormaee, Wilson To, Jason Wakizaka, Helena Xu
Project Description: Lifelens is an innovative point-of-care tool to diagnose malaria using an augmented Windows Phone 7 application. The project addresses the unacceptably high child mortality rates caused by the lack of detection and availability of treatment of malarial diseases.
Team Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoojwDhLVzE

The winning teams were selected from a pool of more than 50 applicants that competed in the Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Finals last year in New York City. A judging panel of industry experts with knowledge spanning technology, venture capitalism, software development, startup culture, and the nonprofit sector ranked each team based on specific criteria including project impact and viability, and team quality and motivation.

Microsoft will work with the Grant recipients to tailor their individual support depending on the progress each team has made so far with their project. The timing for each team to launch their solution will vary as they work toward starting up businesses and nonprofit organizations.

About Imagine Cup 2012
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Imagine Cup, which will be celebrated at the Worldwide Finals in Sydney, Australia, from July 6-10. Students aged 16 years old and up are eligible to register and compete in Imagine Cup 2012 by visiting the Imagine Cup website at www.imaginecup.com. In addition to Software Design and Game Design competitions, categories include Windows Phone, Windows Azure, Information Technology, Windows Metro App Style, and Kinect Fun Labs Challenges. Last year, more than 350,000 students from 183 countries registered to compete for cash and other prizes.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft opened its Dubai-based Middle East office in 1991. Microsoft today has four subsidiaries in the Middle East region: Microsoft Gulf which oversees Microsoft activities in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE, Oman and Yemen, Microsoft Arabia covering the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Microsoft Egypt and Microsoft North Africa East Mediterranean and Pakistan that oversees Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine Territories and Pakistan.

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Microsoft Middle East's Web site is: www.microsoft.com/middleeast

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