Team Africon, from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, is the winning team in the Microsoft Kenya Imagine Cup, 2014.
As part of Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative, it is a way for young entrepreneurs, innovators and developers to have the opportunity to develop an idea, create a product, and set a clear business plan that will take their product to market.
In this year’s Imagine Cup, every first-place winner of the National and Online Finals will be able to compete in a whole new round: the World Semifinals which was launched yesterday (1st May).
World Semi-finalists will compete against each other in a global judging round to select the few teams invited to the World Finals – but every single World Semi-finalist team will be eligible for prizes including Imagine Cup’s Visual Studio Online Boost, in which nine teams will receive $1,000 each for using the cloud-based power of Visual Studio Online to collaborate, plan, and implement their projects.
Team Africon developed Life Buddy, a mobile application that seeks to help blood recipients to easily link up with the respective blood donors. The app allows anyone who needs blood urgently to quickly post a request on the app. The app then sends a notification to users of a compatible blood group and who are within a radius of 20 Kilometers.
The willing donor then receives a notification providing them with the details of the hospital to donate blood to and the contacts of the recipient. Life Buddy saves lives by ensuring those who need blood receive it in the fastest possible time thus saving time.
The team constitutes of Kevin Gitau, Peter Ombwa, Solomon Jenjere and Alex Kinuthia will go on to compete in the Imagine Cup World Semifinals, which will take place in August 2014 in Microsoft’s hometown in Seattle in the United States of America.
“We are so excited to have won today’s competition – and to have the opportunity to represent Kenya at the World Semifinals,” said Team Africon.
Commenting on their choice of the Windows Phone to develop their app, Peter Ombwa from Team Africon said “Windows Phone 8 provides an easy-to-use development framework, which makes it easier, quicker and more cost-effective to develop. It’s definitely our platform of choice for future development,” The application uses Microsoft Azure to store and query the data through Mobile Services.
In second place was BiDE Code that will also be participating in the semifinals. They developed the TeachSpace which focuses on making it easy to teach, makes content available and integrates deep sharing between teachers and students.
In third place was Team Momentum Core with Refugee Movement, a game where users may sign pledges for presidents to support the people of Dadaab, or petition Africa Union to pass legislation that aids Dadaab’s refugees, and by doing so increase the overall health of the camp.
“Each team that competed is deserving of the highest recognition for the creativity and imagination applied to some of the world’s biggest challenges. We’re proud to honor these young students who we believe truly exemplify the spirit of the Imagine Cup competition, and we will be cheering team Africon on as they compete on the world stage,” said Paul Roy Owino, Developer and Platform Lead Microsoft East and Southern Africa.