Nigerian, SA, Tunisian startups make Microsoft Imagine Cup final


Startups from Nigeria, South Africa and Tunisia have been selected as part of a 35-strong field to compete for the Microsoft Imagine Cup in Seattle next month for the chance to win US$50,000.

The Imagine Cup is Microsoft’s premier global student technology competition, and the final  will see the 35 teams go head to head in their respective categories for the chance to win US$50,000 and a private mentoring session with Microsoft chief executive officer (CEO) Satya Nadella.

National finals have been taking place since August last year, with more than 150 teams going on to the world semi-finals, where they were judged by a global panel of MVPs, industry experts and Microsoft staff. The best 35 projects were then selected to proceed to the overall final, which takes place in Seattle on July 26-29.

In the World Citizenship category, The Humane Team from Nigeria wins a place for its app designed to help visually impaired individuals navigate smartphones. They are joined in the same category by Tunisia’s Night’s Watch, a prosthetic smart hand for those that have lost limbs.

In the Games category, Digital Interactive will represent South Africa with its ‘Of Dragon and Sheep’ 3D game, while another Tunisian project – Basilisk – wins a place in the Innovations category for its ProtectMe device, which is designed to help patients monitor diabetes.

“Year in and year out, these young developers never cease to amaze me with their inspiring and creative ideas as they attempt to mould the world around them through the power of technology,” said Pablo Veramendi, Imagine Cup competition manager.

“The ingenuity of this year’s World Finalist teams is impressive. From incredible game concepts, to life-saving devices, to solutions that could revolutionise the way we do business – no one will leave Imagine Cup untouched or uninspired by these ideas by the time the competition is over and a new champion is chosen.”


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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