National Winners of Imagine Cup 2013
Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) in collaboration with Microsoft Innovation Centre (MIC) hosted the Botswana leg of the Imagine Cup 2013 in April earlier this year. Tandabala, a three man group of Botho University software engineering students emerged the champions of the local competition and will represent Botswana at the Imagine Cup 2013 finals in St. Petersburg, Russia later this month.
The Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition where eligible students are invited to use their imagination and passion to create technology solutions for problems facing the world today. The competition allows innovative students from all over the world to take one of a kind, ground breaking app idea from concept to market with Microsoft resources.
Botswana Innovation Hub Chief Executive Officer Alan Boshwaen hosted a farewell ceremony for Team Tandabala on Friday 5th July. Speaking at the ceremony, Boshwaen emphasized that innovation is not just about developing new technologies and practices but that such innovation must create commercial or social value. He said if such concepts remain mere ideas in a laboratory, they are not true innovations and reiterated Botswana Innovation Hub’s role in, “the process of taking ideas right through to the market or society resulting in economic output or social impact.”
Speaking at the same platform, MIC Manager, Patel Barwabatsile said although the competition is an annual event, this was the first time it was held in Botswana. He went on to congratulate Team Tandabala for their achievement. “We are happy for Tandabala for emerging winners from the twenty groups that registered projects on line for this competition,” he said.
Botswana Innovation Hub CEO Alan Boshwaen (Second from right) with Team Tandabala, the National winners of the Imagine Cup 12013 (L-R) Givemore Mvumba, Kabelo Bolaane and Mpho Ben Motsamai. On the far right is MIC Manager Patel Barwabatsile
Tandabala’s submission was a design of a friendly pension payment system called ‘Tandabala’. The scheme focuses on social security payment for old age pensioners from age 65, World War veterans and destitutes. Old age pension fund is a social initiative by the government of Botswana to meet the social, economic and physiological needs of the elderly, war veterans and the destitutes.
The Imagine Cup competition gives participants the chance to break new ground, solve tough problems facing the world today, and maybe even turn ideas into a business. The competition also allows participants to learn new technological skills and test themselves against the brightest students around the world.
Over the past ten years, more than 1.65 million students from more than 190 countries have participated in the Imagine Cup. Joining the Imagine Cup community connects participants with other whip-smart creatives from all over the world to share ideas, have fun, and be there when the next big thing is unveiled.
Team Tandabala departed for Russia on Sunday 7th July and are expected back home on Saturday 14th July, 2013.