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
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
Hani AbuHuwaij, Monir Abu Hilal, Mohammad Azzam, Yousef Wadi.
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
Ivan Antonic, Ivan Borko, Karmela Bresan, Dominik Tomicevic
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
José Vicente Anilema Guadalupe, Gerardo Francisco Pérez Layedra,
Henry Javier Paca Quinaluiza, Juan José Morales Ruiz
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
Tristan Gibeau, Cy Khormaee, Wilson To, Jason Wakizaka, Helena
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.