Pinoy Students Step Up To The Challenge!

Missed the Imagine Cup Local Finals? Let our Microsoft Student Partner Correspondent take you to a walkthrough of last week’s event:


Microsoft Innovation Universe Day 3: Imagine Cup Local Finals

“Filipino students, Innovating to Change the World”


“Imagine a world where students help solve the world’s toughest problems.” – This is the theme of this year’s Imagine Cup competition. It would be an ideal world indeed if even the youth can take part in the world’s search for solutions to its struggles against hunger, poverty, wide-spreading diseases and more. Think it’s too much for young minds to handle? Think again.

Imagine Cup 2011 World Finals in New York, U.S.A.

Imagine Cup 2011 World Finals in New York, U.S.A.

The Imagine Cup is an annual competition sponsored and hosted by Microsoft which brings together students from all over the world to help solve some of the world’s toughest problems. It started in 2003 at Barcelona, Spain and has been held in different countries ever since. It proves that not only can technology be the key, but even the youth can use that key and open the doors to a better future.

I’m proud to say that the Filipino youth isn’t running last in the race and has continued to bring pride to our country. Last 2010, By Implication, a team from the Philippines grabbed the grand prize in the Game Design Category at the World Finals held in Poland. Last year, Signum Fidei, another Pinoy team, won 2nd place in the Game Design Category at the World Finals held in New York last July 2011.

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This year’s Imagine Cup Local Finals was held last March 23, 2012 at the SM Megatrade Hall 3, SM Megamall as part of Microsoft Innovation Universe, a 3-day event of Microsoft Philippines, showcasing the latest technologies and innovations. It marked the day when one team among the five Software Design local finalists from different colleges and universities was chosen to represent the Philippines at the World Finals in Sydney, Australia this July 2012.

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(From left to right: Team Cee, Team Maja, Team Alchemy, Team Agimat and Team Divided By Zero)

As a Microsoft Student Partner and Insider for this year’s local finals, I was fortunate enough to witness the finalists’ preparation and interview them early that day. Most of them were nervous but of course, had high hopes of impressing the judges that afternoon. I was able to get a peak of their projects and all I can say was “wow”.


Competitor Exhbits in SM Megatrade Hall 3

The entrance was opened around 9:00am. Minutes later, the hall was filled with tech enthusiasts, professionals and students from different colleges and universities. They received passports which they had to fill up with at least 15 stickers from the booths to get a chance to win in the raffle. The booths showcased the major sponsors of the event and Imagine Cup entries of the teams from different categories.


Alvin Gendrano delivers his keynote in the Imagine Cup Local Finals

The program began at 10:00am with a Keynote, “Solving the World’s Toughest Problems”, from Mr. Alvin Gendrano, Director, Developer and Platform Evangelism Group of Microsoft Philippines. Followed were presentations from the event’s major sponsors; Dell, Nokia, Accenture and Lenovo.

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The judges from left to right: Joben Rara, Alvin Landingin, John Bessey, Usec. Louis Casambre

After the lunch break, it was time for the 5 finalists of the Software Design category to present their entries. The panel of judges were composed of John Bessey – Managing Director of Microsoft Philippines, Usec. Louis Casambre – Executive Director of Department of Science and Technology- Information and Communications Technology Office, Alvin Landingin – Avanade PDC Senior Executive and Joben Rara – Developer Evangelist, Microsoft Philippines.

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Team Trace IT: Rosemarie Manago, Dana Elisa Nicolas and Irvin Lance Bernando

First up on stage was Team Cee from the University of the Philippines who presented their project: TraceIT. TraceIT is a tracing program that kids with special needs to trace letters of the English alphabet that can be used with a Kinect sensor, a tablet or a mouse.

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Team Divided By Zero: JM Josol, Camille Ann Domingo, and Mark Bautista

Next up was Team Divided by Zero from De La Salle University – College of St. Benilde to present their project: KidCamp. KidCamp is a cross-platform application geared to address the problem of insufficient teaching methods for autism. It is able to monitor student performance and collect data and statistics.

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Team Agimat: Daryl Silao, Teril Bilog, Martin Laureta, Victor Tanedo

Followed was a hybrid group, Team Agimat, from De La Salle University, Ateneo de Manila University, Asia Pacific College, FEU East Asia College and San Beda College who presented their project: Agimat. Agimat is a web-based application that aims to spread awareness on the importance of testing for AIDS prevention.

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Team Maja: Alex Nicole Cosca, Sharmaine Fiedalan, Maria Joanne Alexandria Memorial, Angeline Betty Polines

Next up was the youngest team to present, Team Maja from De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde that we composed of 2nd year students. They presented their project: Medware. Medware is a cross-platform application that prevents pharmacy malpractice and provides information on drugs.

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Team Alchemy: Jameson Chu, Felix Balete, Gene de Guzman (Not in photo)

The last team to present was Team Alchemy, another hybrid team, composed of students from Adamson University, De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde and University of the East, who presented their project: Diaguard. Diaguard is an app that aims to aid patients in maintaining and tracking their blood sugar for proper management and prevention of diabetes and to aid the doctor in managing the patient and prescribing medications.

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To keep everyone hyped up while waiting for the judges to deliberate, cool items were raffled off. Up for grabs were Windows Developer bags, shirts, jackets, goodies from major sponsors, a Windows Phone and an XBOX 360 + Kinect!

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Team Solve: Luke Sigua Ivy Lagrisola, Kim Valmeo, and Harold Ocampo (Not in photo)

In addition to the Software Design Finals, Nokia Philippines gave a special award for the Windows Phone Challenge Competitors – The Nokia Philippines Windows Phone Award, wherein the best Windows Phone project will be the first owners of Nokia Lumia 710 Windows Phone Units in the country. After visiting the Windows Phone Challenge exhibits, Nokia Philippines and Microsoft Philippines gave the award to Team Solve who developed Mama Cares – a Windows Phone app which aims to help pregnant mothers, from pre-maternal to post-maternal, get a healthy and safe pregnancy stage.

After further deliberation and discussion, finally, it was time for the announcement of the Software Design Category winners! The students shouted to support the teams from their own schools. Excitement grew as the crowd roared. And here were the results:

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1st Place: Team Divided By Zero (De La Salle — College of St. Benilde): KidCamp

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2nd Place: Team Cee (University of the Philippines): TraceIT

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3rd Place: Team Maja (De La Salle — College of St. Benilde): MedWare

The journey of Team Divided by Zero does not end here. In fact, it is only the beginning of a more challenging road to the Imagine Cup World Finals.

Let’s support and wish all the Pinoy teams competing for the World Finals good luck and may they bring pride to our country. Once again, Congratulations!


imageYvette Watson is a Computer Engineering Sophomore and Microsoft Student Partner from Treston International College. She’s Certified Microsoft Technology Associate: Networking Fundamentals, a dean’s lister and an advocate of Clean Up the Philippines Youth – which continues to encourage the youth to realize and take part in their vital role in cleaning up and preserving our environment.


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