Reader@mReotEch.com

Latest Tech Feeds to Keep You Updated…

Meet your 2018 Imagine Cup champions – smartARM of Canada!

Satya Nadella with the smartARM team, 2018 Imagine Cup winners, and Chloe Kim, special guest and Olympic snowboarding gold medalist.
Satya Nadella with smartARM team members, the 2018 Imagine Cup World Champions, along with Chloe Kim, special guest and Olympic snowboarding gold medalist.

At its heart, the Imagine Cup is all about bringing students together from across the globe, inspiring them to usher in our collective future using cloud-based technologies of today and tomorrow, including artificial intelligence (AI), big data, mixed reality and more. Since its inception 16 years ago, the Imagine Cup has motivated nearly 2 million students from over 190 countries around the world to bring their biggest, boldest ideas to life.

Today, we are excited to announce smartARM of Canada as the 2018 Imagine Cup champions! smartARM created a robotic hand prosthetic, using Microsoft Azure Computer Vision, Machine Learning and Cloud Storage, that uses a camera embedded in its palm to recognize objects and calculate the most appropriate grip for an object. Based on machine learning, the more the model is used, the more accurate it becomes.  As the victors, smartARM wins a mentoring session with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, $85,000 in cash and a $50,000 Azure grant. Team iCry2Talk of Greece earned second place with a low-cost and non-invasive intelligent interface between infant and parent that translates in real time the baby’s cry, and associates it with a specific physiological and psychological state, depicting the result in a text, image and voice message. Third place went to Team Mediated Ear of Japan for its project, Mediated Ear, software for hearing-impaired individuals to focus on a specific speaker among a multitude of conversations. Mediated Ear can relay specific sounds in audio waveforms through deep learning.

For the winners, and for their competitors, the road to the World Finals started with a single idea on how to change the world through innovative use of technology. Tens of thousands of students walked this road, spending months coding their solutions and dreaming up go-to-market plans to bring their ideas to life. From there, and through fierce competition at the national and regional level, 49 teams from 33 countries were selected to compete in the World Finals.

This year, we’ve added special Imagine Cup awards of $15,000 for three key areas of digital transformation: AI, big data and mixed reality. On Tuesday, we crowned the winners. SochWare from Nepal, won the AI award for designing a solution to help farmers identify plant diseases, suggest mitigation strategies, connect with experts and get updated with recent agriculture findings. Drugsafe from India won the big data award for their solution to validate genuine drugs and decrease illness from counterfeit substances. Pengram from the United States won the mixed reality award for allowing engineers from around the world to be holographically “teleported” into a workspace when needed.

The 2018 winners emerged from a strong field of competitors featuring projects that utilized leading-edge cloud technologies with the promise of improving the way we live and work. Throughout it all, the next generation of innovators put their creativity on display in addressing some of humanity’s most pressing issues.

This year’s participants weren’t just developing unique and potentially game-changing technology experiences, but they are also actively sharpening the skills that will boost their success as developers, technologists and entrepreneurs for the next generation. They follow in the footsteps of a long line of dreamers driven to succeed. For example, 2017 year Imagine Cup alumni Declan Goncalves of Canada was featured in Betakit’s “Canada’s Developer 30 Under 30” list for developing a platform which allows medical practitioners to better quantify their patient’s progress and detect neurodegenerative disease onset with the help of AI. Another alumni team, Kobojo, began their journey making Facebook games at Imagine Cup 2008 and has since raised $6 million in venture capital for their startup.

I’d like to thank this year’s championship judges: Co-founder and COO of Bitnami, Erica Brescia; CEO of Glitch, Anil Dash;, and Microsoft’s own Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President of Business Development at Microsoft. Special thanks also to Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Azure Compute Corey Sanders, who hosted the championship and announced this year’s winner. Last but certainly not least, on behalf of Microsoft, I’d like to congratulate our new Imagine Cup champion, team smartARM, and all of the students who worked so hard to make this 16th anniversary Imagine Cup the most inspiring one yet. If you haven’t had a chance, be sure to view the championship video above to see some of the best student developers in the world envision a brighter, bolder future for us all.

— Charlotte

P.S. Follow me on Twitter for updates on Imagine Cup and other news and noteworthy information in the cloud and ecosystem space.

The post Meet your 2018 Imagine Cup champions – smartARM of Canada! appeared first on The Official Microsoft Blog.

It’s almost time! Imagine Cup 2018 Championship judges and special guest announced

Last October, I announced the 16th annual Imagine Cup competition, which gives college and university students the opportunity to test their intellectual, creative and teamwork skills while using technology to change the world. Forty-nine teams who have won their National Finals are now well underway in getting their solutions ready to compete at the World Finals, which will be held July 23-25 at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington. Last year, dozens of teams from nearly 40 countries were present at the World Finals, and this year is setting up to be just as exciting and diverse!

I love overseeing the Imagine Cup because it lets me interact with inspiring talent shaping the future and get to know incredible people along the way. Microsoft cares deeply about fostering careers in STEM, and I can’t think of a better way to give students the opportunity to take an idea from concept to completion, while also helping them acquire marketable skills they’ll be able to use throughout their careers. The work that comes out of Imagine Cup is innovative and life-changing — and often turns into full-fledged products!

Mug shot of Corey Sanders
Corey Sanders

This year’s Imagine Cup host is Corey Sanders, the corporate vice president for Azure Compute.

Corey’s no stranger to innovation — he holds four patents and was the creator of the Infrastructure-as-a-service offering for Azure.

Mug shot of Kate Yeager
Kate Yeager

And, last year’s emcee, Kate Yeager, is making a return appearance to call the action.

Judging the Imagine Cup is a big task, but this year’s judges are up for the challenge — all bringing a unique aspect of thought leadership to the table. The panel includes:

Mug shot of Peggy Johnson
Peggy Johnson

Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development at Microsoft, who started her career as an engineer and found her way into business development, merging her technical expertise and business savvy to become Microsoft’s “chief dealmaker.”

Mug shot of Anil Dash
Anil Dash

_ CEO of GlitchAnil Dash, who oversees the popular creative community for coders, and whose work as an entrepreneur, activist and writer reckons with the way technology transforms society, media and culture.

Erica Brescia
Erica Brescia

_ Co-founder and COO of Bitnami, Erica Brescia, an entrepreneur through-and-through with a “get it done” approach, she’s also an active investor via X Factor Ventures, funding amazing women founding extraordinary companies.

At the Imagine Cup Finals, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will be in conversation with special guest Chloe Kim, the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding medal when she won the gold in the women’s snowboard halfpipe at age 17! Chloe is an outstanding example of a young person at the top of her game, much like the Imagine Cup participants are at the top of theirs.

Photo of Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim

Chloe Kim. Photo credit: Peter Morning

This year’s prize value of cash, travel and Azure credits totals more than $700,000, in addition to a mentoring session with Satya. Artificial intelligence, big data and mixed reality have special award prizes as well.

Want to see which team has the winning solution? You can watch the championship via live stream at ImagineCup.com at 9 a.m. PT, Wednesday, July 25.

I’m so excited to see what these remarkable students create this year. They are only bound by imagination, and as we’ve seen year after year, when given the opportunity to follow their imaginations, people can change the world.

P.S. Follow me on Twitter for updates on Imagine Cup and other news and noteworthy information in the cloud and ecosystem space.

The post It’s almost time! Imagine Cup 2018 Championship judges and special guest announced appeared first on The Official Microsoft Blog.

Grow, build and connect with Microsoft for Startups

We’re excited to announce Microsoft for Startups, a new program that delivers access to technology, go-to-market and community benefits that helps startups grow their customer and revenue base.  We are committing $500 million over the next two years to offer joint sales engagements with startups, along with access to our technology, and new community spaces that promote collaboration across local and global ecosystems. Startups are an indisputable innovation engine, and Microsoft is partnering with founders and investors to help propel their growth.

Microsoft for Startups logo

Grow with unparalleled access to customers. Microsoft for Startups takes a unique approach to connect qualified startups with new customers and channel partners. Microsoft has over 40,000 sales representatives and hundreds of thousands of partners whose goal is to drive adoption of Microsoft cloud solutions into companies of all sizes and industries worldwide. The program provides dedicated resources to prepare startup marketing and sales teams to effectively sell their cloud solutions to enterprise organizations in partnership with Microsoft’s global sales organization and partner ecosystem.

Build on a trusted cloud that scales with you. The program provides startups with up to $120,000 in free Azure credits, enterprise grade technical support and development tools – supporting the languages of their choice, such as Node.js, Java and .NET.  In addition, qualified startups also get access to productivity and business applications, including Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Connect to the right resources at the right time.  Microsoft for Startups helps startups at every stage in ecosystems around the world:

  • Microsoft Reactors are physical spaces where entrepreneurs, developers, investors and the business community can come together to interact, learn and share. Over the next month, we will open the doors on new Microsoft Reactor spaces in London, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Shanghai and Beijing. These spaces join our existing locations in Redmond, Seattle, San Francisco and New York.
  • Microsoft ScaleUp (formerly Microsoft Accelerators) is an immersive global program that offers late-stage and series A startups who have the greatest propensity to take advantage of Microsoft’s growth programs, such as co-marketing and co-selling opportunities, hone their infrastructure and build their businesses.
  • Microsoft Ventures is Microsoft’s strategic venture capital investment team whose mission is to be an active partner at key stages of a startup’s growth, typically investing between Series A and D.

Startups inspire us by pushing the envelope of the possible and building products that improve our personal and professional lives. Microsoft is excited to partner with startups to empower every person and organization on the planet.

To learn more, please visit Microsoft Startups.

The post Grow, build and connect with Microsoft for Startups appeared first on The Official Microsoft Blog.

Imagine Cup goes far beyond the imagination to change lives — and it’s time to register for 2018

My team at Microsoft has a guiding principle as the foundation of everything we do: Today’s students are tomorrow’s developers.

As the head of cloud growth and ecosystems at Microsoft, working with students is one of the most fulfilling parts of my job because it gives me a lens into the future through the next generation of innovators. That’s why I’m excited to announce the launch of the 2018 Imagine Cup. Now in its 16th year, this global technology competition aims to give young developers the opportunity to acquire new and critical technical, business and team-building skills — all while having fun along the way.

Every great idea needs a few vital components to succeed: A driven team, a platform for its message and funding. With Imagine Cup, students bring the purpose, and Microsoft helps with the platform — and, for a handful of standouts, funding to take the idea to the next level. This year the prize value of cash, travel and Azure credits totals more than $700,000. We’ve also added three special awards that represent the current state of digital transformation: Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Mixed Reality. Plus, the winning team will receive mentorship time with Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, to ask questions, seek advice and learn from a Fortune 100 CEO.

I’m just wrapping up my first year at Microsoft, and this summer was my initial opportunity to see the magic that happens when the great ideas of tomorrow’s leaders are fostered in a big, bold way.

At this year’s World Finals, dozens of teams from 39 countries presented their ideas about how to change the world using code, running the gamut from solutions that locate products in large warehouses to drones that can be dispatched to help in natural disasters. Ultimately, Team X.GLU of the Czech Republic took home the top prize. Their innovation is a glucose meter for children with Type 1 diabetes paired with a Microsoft Azure cloud solution in the form of an app that rewards behaviors that keep diabetes in check, managed through motivational in-app games.

Team AMANDA, a 2016 finalist from Greece, is lighting up the conference circuit with their solution for bullying detection and intervention. They participated in WE DAY Toronto along with Judson Althoff, the leader of our commercial business, with the purpose of spreading technology solutions against bullying worldwide and providing inspiration to more than 23,000 teenagers. The team has also been active in the International Conference of Anti-Bullying Practices and spoke at TEDxUniversityofPiraeus 2017, where they engaged more than 3,000 users with the AMANDA app.

In 2015, Team World Opaque Media was highlighted for their Virtual Dementia Experience, a high-tech way to help caregivers better understand and gain an immersive experience of people living with dementia. The Australian team is now bringing their technology to a completely new frontier: outer space. Two members of the team, Norman Wang and Liam McGuire, developed a game called “Earthlight” that combines Microsoft’s Kinect technology and a virtual reality headset to allow users to experience the feeling of being an astronaut on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station. The project caught NASA’s attention, and eventually evolved into a collaboration to create realistic simulations for astronaut training.

While Imagine Cup is both fun and intellectually challenging, we think it prepares students to face situations in the business world that will make their ideas come to light.

Registration is now open for Imagine Cup, and I can’t wait to see what great ideas today’s students are developing. Good luck to all the competitors, and I hope to see you at Microsoft headquarters for the 2018 World Championship!

Charlotte Yarkoni

P.S. You can follow me on Twitter for Imagine Cup updates, as well as other news of note in the cloud and ecosystem space.

 

The post Imagine Cup goes far beyond the imagination to change lives — and it’s time to register for 2018 appeared first on The Official Microsoft Blog.

Scroll Up