Four Kenyan students from the United States International University (USIU) are the winners of this year’s Microsoft’s annual global student technology challenge, Imagine Cup.
The four, Khushi Gupta, Jeet Gohil, Dharmik Karania and Abdihamid Ali, undertaking bachelor’s in computer science beat stiff competition from 163 countries across the globe to win the competition. The team wins USD75,000 (approximately KES8 million), a mentoring session with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and a USD50,000 (approximately KES5.35 million) Microsoft Azure Grant.
They developed an IoT-based infant monitoring solution, REWEBA (Remote Well Baby), which remotely analyzes infant parameters during post-natal screening and serves as an early warning intervention system.
The 19th edition of the competition brought together thousands of students from 163 countries across the globe reimagining tech solutions to impact their communities. With projects submitted in four social good categories – Earth, Education, Healthcare, and Lifestyle – the competition advanced through Online Semi-finals and World Finals rounds. As winners of each category, the top four teams were selected to pitch their projects at the World Championship during Microsoft Build for the chance to take home the 2021 trophy.
Team Kenyan team emerged winners from the top four teams selected out of 40 World Finalists that presented their projects at the World Finals. The other three top teams were Protag from New Zealand, Hand-On Labs from the United States and Threeotech from Thailand.
“It is absolutely gratifying that a Kenyan team would come up with a solution that could compete on a world scale and even emerge as winners. The Imagine Cup is a chance to make something that matters to you and develop your skills as part of the journey. We have the tools, resources, learning materials, and mentors to help you bring your project to life. Whether you’re hoping to accelerate with Artificial Intelligence, create with Cognitive Services, master Machine Learning, or build low-code solutions with Power Platform, this competition is an experience for everyone,” said Kendi Nderitu, Country Manager, Microsoft Kenya.
the team hopes to enhance and scale their project to include additional infant screening factors and a postnatal screening device for mothers. The team would like to launch a start-up in Kenya to enable even better access to healthcare services in marginalized areas.
“The winning prize and the Azure grants will take our project up a notch, and we envision saving millions of babies’ lives all around Kenya. We plan to extend throughout Africa and India as well, as these are the countries where infant mortality is really high.” the students said.
This year, six teams from Middle East and Africa including Kenya, Pakistan and Tunisia made it to the semi-finals. Over the past 19 years, more than two million student competitors have signed up to build something that matters to them, make a difference in their communities, and innovate for impact. Registration for the 2022 competition is now open.