The UK Imagine Cup 2013 – UK Winners


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This year we had over 3,000 entries for the UK Imagine Cup Final.

We had 4 Regional Finals, Each of the  regional finals were used narrow down the entries to leave the top 3 winners from each region to attend this years UK Final. The UK finals, took place on April 8th at the University College London. The finals planned to host 12 teams to battle it out to be the UK winner and represent the UK at the World Wide Finals which will be hosted in Russia.

The four regional finals took place at

1. North East (Sunderland Software City, NEBYTES, Black Marble)

2. South (Setsquared, OpenMic, Opposable Games, Exeter IGNITE, Exeter University Guild)

3. London (UCL)

4. Midlands (Birmingham City University)

Projects and Teams

On April 8th, 10 teams competed in the UK finals.

Below is a breakdown of all the teams split into the regions they qualified from. We would like to say a huge thank you to all the teams that came, we were excited to have them compete and we were really impressed with the quality this year.

Region: North East

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Praxis (Games) – Praxis were from the University of Teesside, and created their "Lost in Darkness" game.  Team member, Richard Lawrence explains the premise of the game, "We take you back to the 1950’s. You play a woman who is lost in a haunted and eerie mansion in search of her long lost father. You navigate your way around trying to find out the truth of your fathers absence, with only have a lantern to help you guide your way around… But the question is, will you find him before you get lost in the darkness forever?” Other team member Steven Jackson stated "Once we had chosen the horror theme, we wanted to move away from the convention of shooting and zombie games and instead were interested in the prospect of exploration and playing about with the user’s senses, we really wanted to scare anyone who played." A few of the judges even ended up jumping whilst playing the game!

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Osseus (World Citizenship) – Osseus are a virtual physiotherapy application used to aid patients in their recovery and treatment. They had an innovative solution using the Kinect to track the patient’s movements. This would store the information in a database – the key here being that they could move this into the cloud and process this data for more information to help the patient!

Osseus created a great programme that made exercising at home fun, easy and cheap, and even the judges were having fun trying it out and getting involved!

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One of our Judges Andy McCartney trying out Osseus’s Technology!

Region: Midlands

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Eye of Moscow (Games) – There seemed to be horror in the air at our UK finals. Eye of Moscow, like Praxis, developed a horror game based on a true Russian story, but this time were trying to aim it at the 14-17 age range. They wanted people of a younger age (with horror games usually rated 18+) to have a great experience whilst also getting scared! The team described a haunting story set in Chernobyl, of a doctor who has turned crazy due to a leak of poisonous substance in an underground hospital. He believes his family are still alive and goes in search of them, but will he discover the truth of their whereabouts and uncover the story?! With creaky doors and disturbing hallucinations of ‘grudge-like’ young girls, even the judges were engrossed by the teams story and were all scared by the end of it!

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Squi-Delta (Games) – A team of two from Birmingham came together to create an addictive PC game (hoping to get it on windows phone eventually), that rooted for a lost squids search for his home!

With the innovative and shall we say ‘interesting’ choice of lead character, everyone playing the game was cheering for ‘squi-delta’ to find his way back, dodging grusome sharks and mines, but not before he stopped to pick up some goodies on the way!

Region: South

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11th Hour (Innovation) – “What’s our aim of today? To get to Russia!”

11th Hour were a team from Exeter University who developed a ticket-selling app. The app connects unsold tickets for a wide variety of events to consumers – from ballet lessons to music festivals. The focus is on last-minute events: if a company has not sold out their class or venue within a week or so of their event, they would use the app to advertise their tickets at a discounted rate, in order to ensure the capacity was filled. Companies pay a base rate to be included on the site, which is then raised if they wish to appear in a more prominent position on the app. Users are encouraged to sign up to the site, where they will receive ticket alerts 15 minutes before the general release.

 

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Ticklo (World Citizenship) –Ticklo built an education app for students, teachers and parents. Unlike similar apps, Ticklo produced a fun and easy way to learn and engage young kids at school without leaving anyone behind. The app allows teachers to set assignments for their classes- currently with a focus on mathematics – which students can access at school and at home using Azure technology. The app tracks each student’s progress, including how long it has taking pupils to answer each question, which the teacher can use to build lesson plans and highlights subject areas that require further attention. The app is also intelligent – if students are answering lots of questions wrong, it will pick up on this and reduce the difficulty of the questions. It is designed with students in mind, and in the hope that one day we can get everyone to the same level, no matter how long it takes!

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SoundSYNK (Innovation) – SoundSYNK have developed an app which connects devices together with the same content. They set the scene by describing a music festival: when the band finishes playing, festival-goers retreat to their tents together where one person would play music from their phone to maintain the atmosphere. However, the volume is often not high enough for large groups to appreciate. SoundSYNK uses Bluetooth technology to link together an unlimited number of mobile phones and stream the same song in perfect timing, effectively creating a symphony of speakers. This can also be used in the corporate world, where meeting leaders will be able to distribute certain documents, such as PowerPoint presentations, out to the attendees so everyone is able to personally view it. 

Region: London

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Oxi-Way (Innovation) –  “This has been an amazing experience. Today I feel especially nervous and excited. I’m really looking forward to see the other competitors” – Riham

Oxiway are a team from Oxford University, who have created a swapping and trading site for students… Think Ebay but better! It’s free to use when you log in with your university email address, and allows members to buy, sell and swap items as required. Local retailers are also able to join the site, with students being able to reserve products online and collect them in store, preventing the need for online payments. The Oxiway team attended both the Oxford and Imperial University careers fairs, where they received 600 sign-ups In 3 days.

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Networked Vehicles (Innovation)- This team of 3, used Microsoft Gadgeteer to create a service fit in vehicles that allowed drivers to find out more about their driving and other drivers on the road.

They also were testing out the concept of projecting key information onto a drivers windscreen and side mirrors!

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VirtUlearn (Innovation)-  Like Ticklo, this London-based team, sought to create an Education app that helped out teachers in the classroom, create a more virtual and fun environment for their students.

Incorporating Kinect technology and Touch screens, it was aiming to try and take the mundane classroom lessons we have into a new era of learning! 

Our Judges

We were lucky enough to have some great judges with us on the day

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Andy McCartney- UK Breadth Technical Evangelism Manager

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Phil Cross- Audience Marketing Manager

 

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Anand Krishnan- UK Senior Director DPE

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Natasha Joseph – UK Imagine Cup Organiser

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Jennifer Ritzinger – We were so lucky to have had Jennifer come all the way from Corp and help us with the judging.

She couldn’t conceal her passion for the competition, stating that "It is very authentic and genuine for us. It is part of our blood". This, she states, is why Microsoft have continued to invest in the competition every year.

Guest Speakers

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Calum Cawley- We were privileged to have Calum Cawley join us, who was one of the winners of the Imagine Cup back in 2010. It was great to get his insight into the process of the Imagine cup, his experience of the finals and winning, his ‘key learning’s’, and what is next for him now!

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Alistair Shepherd- We tried to pull off a stunt at the UK finals, and were lucky enough to have Alistair who with his partner Sam Mead, owns a start-up called Saberr who specialise in Intelligent recruitment, and help people try and form the ‘Perfect Teams’. We asked all the student teams to fill out their specially designed questionnaire, and using this information with their algorithm, that Alistair would be able to predict:

A) who will be the Top 3 teams

B) Which team would Win!

Let’s just say somehow he managed to get this 100% correct!!

The UK TOP 3

3rd Place: Games Competition Winner- Praxis

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2nd Place: World Citizenship Competition Winner: Ticklo

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And drum roll… the overall winners are….!!!!

1st Place: Innovation Competition Winner – SoundSYNK

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We wish the guys at SoundSYNK the very best of luck at the World Wide Finals in Russia and have no doubt that they will do us proud!

Thanks

I would like to thank all of those who helped out in any of the processes that led to the success that was the Imagine Cup Finals in the UK, it really couldn’t have been a better day without them!

University College London for being such a great host

– Dean Mohamedally

– Stephen Marchant

Regional hosts

– Karen Brooks & Team

– Tracy Costello

– Andrew Westgarth & Team

– Andrew Wilson & Team

Judges

– Jennifer Ritzinger

– Anand Krishnan

– Andy McCartney

– Phil Cross

– Natasha Joseph

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