(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Microsoft recently held a virtual launch event for its upcoming Imagine CupSoutheast Asia News Markets Regional Competition, an annual innovation challenge for students and technologyenthusiasts. The event featuredan eclectic line-up ofspeakersand a panel discussiondesigned to inspire students to create innovative solutions that tackle some of the world’s biggest social, environmental, and health challenges.
Commenting on the competition, Pablo Veramendi, Global Director for the Imagine Cup, Microsoft, said, “Imagine Cup is a global competition designed to empower students to apply artificial intelligence and other technologies to solve some of the world’s most critical social and sustainability issues. For the past 20 years, it has served as a platform for students to couple technology with innovative ideas and build something that matters to them, make a difference in their communities, and create societal impact.”
More than two million competitors from 163 countries have signed up for Microsoft’s global student technology competition to build something that matters to them, make a difference in their communities, and innovate for impact. For the Imagine Cup’s 20th anniversary this year, the brightest young minds will build, learn, and compete together to solve global challenges in four categories: Earth, Education, Health, and Lifestyle.
“The Southeast Asia New Markets’ economic development depends on innovations, high-tech jobs, and new-age skills,” said Sook Hoon Cheah, General Manager, Southeast Asia New Markets, Microsoft APAC. “The Imagine Cup emphasizes the importance of skills and learning in achieving inclusive and long-term youth development. Our goal is to provide opportunities and platforms for them to develop their skills in building innovative solutions that solve real world problems.”
A trio of past Imagine Cup winners and finalists — Chathusha Wijenayaka (Consultant – Technology at Virtusa), Melisha Ghimire (Managing Director at Shequal Foundation), and Eeda Rijal(CEO/Product Designer at SochWare & Co-founder at Covid Connect Nepal) —shared their experiences during the panel discussion, which was moderated by Thilanka Abeywardena, CMO Lead for the Southeast Asia New Markets at Microsoft.
The event also featured an esteemed line-up of guest speakers such as Hon. Namal Rajapaksa (Sri Lankan Minister of Youth & Sports and State Minister of Digital Technology and Enterprise Development),Hon. Zunaid Ahmed Palak (Bangladeshi State Minister of theInformation and Communication Technology Division and Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology), and Prof. Sampath Amaratunge (Chairman of the University Grants Commission, Sri Lanka).
At Imagine Cup 2022, students and technology enthusiasts aged 16 or older are invited to build unique technology solutions leveraging Microsoft’s technology to build purpose-driven solutions. The top four teams from the Southeast Asia New Markets Regional Competition will get a guaranteed spot in the world finals and will be mentored by Microsoft experts.The world champion will take home, the Imagine Cup and win an additional USD 100,000 along with a mentorship opportunity with Microsoft Chairman and CEO, Satya Nadella.