Auckland makes top six at the Microsoft Imagine Cup

14 July 2011

The University of Auckland has made the top six at the world’s largest and most prestigious student technology competition.

Vinny Lohan, Kayo Lakadia, Steven Kang and Edward Peek from Team OneBuzz impressed the judges with their project, which aims to wipe out malaria, at the worldwide finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition held in New York today.

More than 400 students from 70 countries took part in this year’s Imagine Cup.

The team of recent engineering graduates was one of six teams who made the finals of the Software Design Category. Ireland won the competition ahead of the US with Jordan third.

More than 350,000 students from universities in 183 countries around the globe registered for Microsoft Corp’s Imagine Cup, the world’s premier student technology competition. In its ninth year, the theme of the competition is to use technology to solve the world’s toughest challenges.

Team OneBuzz offered a unique way of combating malaria through the use of a technology system that sends updates to the concerned parties within days rather than months, meaning aid can be dispatched to designated regions quickly and efficiently. By concentrating aid efforts and reacting quickly there is a greater chance of eradicating malaria.

Vinny and Kayo were both members of Team Onebuzz who placed third at last year’s Imagine Cup.
“We are all on such a high. The entire trip has been a blast and we’re delighted to make it this far, especially as it is for the second year in a row.” says Vinny, team leader for Team OneBuzz.

“When you put this much into a competition you want to go as far as you can, and our goal was always to come and win in New York. The most exciting thing has been the recognition our project will gain that will allow us to make a difference in people’s lives.

“It is phenomenal watching this team of young Kiwi innovators take on the world with such success – we are so proud of them,” says Scott Wylie, Director of the Developer and Platform Group for Microsoft New Zealand, who was on the ground to watch them challenge for the cup.

“They are fantastic global representatives and have once again proven themselves to be role models for the future of IT. The competition in New York was tougher than in previous years, and it is great to see New Zealand developing cutting-edge technology solutions that will make a difference.”