In collaboration with Microsoft Gulf, XpertLearning, the leading provider of e-Learning solutions in the Middle East, will provide the Imagine Cup Gulf winners with access to online courses to sharpen their presentation skills ahead of the Imagine Cup World Finals in Warsaw, Poland.

Now in its eighth year, Imagine Cup has grown to be the premier student technology competition in Gulf and worldwide that aims to encourage young people to apply their imagination, their passion and their creativity to technology innovations that are focused on finding solutions to real world problems.

The regional winners of the Gulf Imagine Cup 2010 had an intense competition amongst university student team finalists from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and the UAE. The three member team from the American University of Kuwait celebrated their first-place finish in the regional finals for their project ‘Multi-touch tutoring system’. The second place went to the team from Sultan Qaboos University, Oman for their project ‘Show me the traffic; the third runner-up was the team from University of Bahrain for their project ‘Cash Trash’ and the fourth place went to the team from University of Wollongong, Dubai for their project ‘Ear-It’. In addition, another team from Sultan Qaboos University, Oman, was declared winner of the mobile application development category for their project ‘Find me a taxi’ supported by du. All four winning teams will represent the region and participate at the global finals of the Imagine Cup that is being held in Warsaw, Poland from July 3-8, 2010.

“Imagine Cup empowers students to apply their creative and technical skills to make a positive impact on the local and global community. They are challenged to use technology to help solve the world’s toughest problems, and every year we see students rising to the challenge and developing tools to address these needs” said Sekna Khanafer, Academic Developer Evangelist at Microsoft Gulf.

Sekna added that Nabeel Nazeer, a previous winner of the 2008 Worldwide finals in France, is currently working as a Technical Consultant for XpertLearning in Dubai. The team at XpertLearning decided to contribute and help the teams in their quest to become winners at the worldwide finals in Poland.

“The Imagine Cup is the ultimate accolade any Computer Science or Information Systems graduate student can attain. It helps students receive the recognition and encouragement they need to pursue their career. From my personal experience, presentation skills are extremely important and truly made the difference for my team during the final competition in France. You can have an amazing project but if you cannot sell it to the judges at the World Finals, then the chances of you winning the title is slim,” said Nabeel.

“XpertLearning provides a range of accredited presentation skills courses from SkillSoft, a leading SaaS provider of e-learning and performance support solutions for global enterprises, government, education and small to medium-sized businesses. These courses can definitely help the Imagine Cup Gulf winners in sharpening their skills ahead of the World Finals. XpertLearning is glad to partner with Microsoft to contribute to the growth and development of students within this region. We wish the Imagine Cup Gulf winners the best and look forward to them winning this year’s competition in Poland,” Nabeel added.

In 2007, Nabeel’s team, TeamSmile from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, developed an innovative solution to enhance the lives of bus commuters using text mes­saging technology. The team saw their idea as a way to lure middle- and high-income groups in South Africa onto public transport by providing them with accurate information on bus arrival times. The team went on to win the National Innovation Competition and the Imagine Cup National Competition in 2007 before travelling to the World Finals in France in 2008. As one of the six teams awarded the Imagine Cup Innovation Accelerator prize at the Imagine Cup World Finals in France, Nabeel’s team travelled to Silicon Valley, California, US, for a rigorous two-week business and technology training pro­gram in May 2009. Following this trip, the team opened up a company in South Africa to commercialize the product.

For more information on the success of Nabeel’s team, see the links below:

http://www.uct.ac.za/dailynews/archives/?id=6706

http://www.xpertlearning.com/Extranet/IC.pdf (a document which we shared with our sponsors)

http://www.it-online.co.za/content/view/396669/

http://www.commerce.uct.ac.za/Commerce/News/CommerceConnectsNewsletter/2008/20080711_CommerceConnectsNewsletter_Article3.htm

http://imaginecup.com/About/InnovationAccelerator.aspx

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/jul08/07-08icwinnerspr.mspx

http://imaginecupfinalsinparis.spaces.live.com/blog/