Yesterday's Imagine Cup final held at the University of Auckland Business School proves the passion and enthusiasm that tertiary students acrosss the country have to solve the world's toughest problems with technology. Not only did they have inspired ideas, but many teams had already brought them to fruition through impressive working prototypes and real-world tests.

Team Kai deployed their technology to help distribute food for emergency needs in Christchurch. Team SkyEye has licensed their patent-pending technology overseas. Team MCG demonstrated a working prototype of a laser to track and zap mosquitos using common electronic components.
 
And the winners, Team OneBuzz, have a working cloud service that interprets sattelite data using some very smart software innovation to find the most effective places to deploy scarce anti-malarial resources and then to measure the results of anti-malarial assistance.

And with 19 finalists presenting, that's just scratching the surface. It's no stretch to imagine that each of these teams is the stuff of champions.

“It is fantastic to see students of this calibre entering the competition, and with the Microsoft Imagine Cup growing year-on-year, the solutions to world problems are becoming limitless. The standard this year was extremely high and picking a winner was certainly a challenge for us,” says Scott Wylie, Director of the Developer and Platform Group for Microsoft New Zealand. 

We're enormously proud to be able to ask OneBuzz, the judges' choice, to represent New Zealand at the next stage.

“It is such a buzz to win this competition, it took months of sweat and tears to get to this point and the whole process from generating the original idea, through to seeing the project become a reality has been absolutely incredible,” says Vinny Lohan of OneBuzz.

At the event, Datacom announced a new award in conjunction with the global Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition. The winner of the Datacom award will receive an internship at Datacom where they will have the opportunity to contribute to real-world customer solutions. We're thrilled that Datacom is supporting the emerging software design talent in New Zealand’s tertiary institutions in this way.

You can follow team OneBuzz on their Facebook page. At Microsoft New Zealand we have high hopes for their success in the world-wide competition and we wish them every success.