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‘Team Collectivists‘ Gain Top Honors at Microsoft Imagine Cup 2010 in Colombo

'Team Collectivists' Gain Top Honors at Microsoft Imagine Cup 2010 in Colombo
The winners of Imagine Cup 2010, Team Collectivists of the University of Colombo School of Computing receiving their trophy at the event.

Having attracted over 500 participants this year in Sri Lanka alone, Microsoft’s Imagine Cup offers a rich opportunity for young IT enthusiasts to showcase their talent and creativity on a global platform. By fostering innovation and engendering the entrepreneurial spirit amongst the country’s youth, Imagine Cup invites participants to apply themselves to finding solutions that enhance the world they live in

The much awaited finals of the local competition saw 8 teams competing for spots on the contingent that will represent Sri Lanka at the international finals in Poland later this year.

Having risen above tough competition to wow the judges at the finals, Team Collectivists of the University of Colombo, comprising Gayan Garusinghe, Chanaka Upendra, Sudam Liyanage and Hasini Adhikari walked away with top honors at Microsoft Sri Lankas Imagine Cup 2010 for their presentation titled ‘Speak up!’ which is a common platform for social workers around the world to communicate their efforts, needs and hopes and to raise their voice on behalf of victims, making the world aware of the tragedies and the possible solutions.

The judges at the local finals represent some of the biggest names and institutions in the Sri Lankan technology scene with Mr. Wasantha Deshapriya, Director, Re-engineering Government Programme, Information and Communication Technology Agency Heading the distinguished panel which included the likes of Mr. Sanjiva Weerawarana, Chairman, WS02, Mr. S. Dharmavasan, Managing Director, Kingslake Engineering Systems (Private) Limited, Ms. Sujatha Nadesan, Country Manager, Raffles Solutions (PVT) Ltd and Microsoft’s own Mr. Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne, Country Manager - Microsoft Sri Lanka who evaluated the finalists based on creativity, technical merit, viability and innovativeness.

Dr. Sanjiva Weerawarana, Chairman, WSO2 and a member of the judging panel for the event, commended Microsoft Sri Lanka for the opportunities offered by this competition. “I am happy to have been a part of this competition and am glad that Microsoft continues to organize events of this caliber to foster innovation and free thinking among the youth of our world. The international exposure a competition like Imagine Cup offers local University students is unparalleled and gives them the chance to showcase their talent and enjoy an enriching experience”

Of the other competing teams, team HELY of the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology and team Saggezza of the University of Moratuwa placed first and second runners up respectively, for their presentations titled ‘isponsor’ and ‘Ideal Lanka“. The 8 finalist teams comprised three teams from the University of Colombo (Teams Collectivists, Saturnin and GreenBros) , two teams from the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology - SLIIT (Teams JIIB and HELY), two teams from the University of Moratuwa (Teams 4-Alliance and Saggezza) and one team from the University of Peradeniya (Team MakeIT).

Speaking on the Imagine Cup and how it has grown over the years Mr. Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne, Country Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka emphasized the constant raising of the level of competition and standards of the competing teams. “This event has grown from strength to strength, with teams from local universities working year round on their projects and presentations, setting the bar being higher every year and demanding a greater amount of dedication and hard work. Our teams this year have really outdone themselves in terms of innovative thinking and a high standard of presentation and the other judges and I am very impressed with team collectivist’s presentation. I look forward to our winners going to the global finals and proving themselves in that sphere as well”.

Speaking on the opportunities the Imagine Cup opens for local talent, Wellington Perera, Director Developer - Platform Evangelism, Microsoft Sri Lanka said “In the last 5 years the Imagine Cup has grown from an IT innovators platform to a global phenomenon. Attracting some of the brightest young minds from across the world and giving them the platform through which to ‘solve the toughest problems facing the world’, we have given our local students a forum to express their ideas and make a difference in their world by addressing issues that they are passionate about. I have every faith that our winning teams will prove themselves in the global competition and raise the bar set by our previous winners even higher”.