Yes the Imagine Cup SA Finals have come and gone and we have a winner that will represent South Africa at the worldwide finals in New York in July 2011.

Team KOMODO, four students from the University of Cape Town’s Information Systems Department namely, Richard Sadie, Pieter Roodt, Junaid Parker and Mohammed Irfaan Imamdin have won the South African leg of the Imagine Cup, a Microsoft co-sponsored technology competition.

Their project, KOMODO (HAWK), is a crowd-sourced, collaborative information aggregation, reporting and geo-visualisation system geared towards community-centric disaster management and neighborhood improvement.

In their words - “What inspired our project was watching informal relief efforts in disaster stricken countries where Twitter and Skype where used within minute of the disaster happening to start coordinating people and relief efforts, and looking at the Ushandi model for citizen journalism in conflict areas, we recognized the enormous potential of allowing crowds, communities and neighborhoods to become self-organising if they had an open, universally accessible, socially integrated, and intelligent platform to share on”, said team KOMODO.

“We are extremely excited to be going to New York next year as this will award us an opportunity to meet other competitors from around the world and see what project they have and how different they are from ours. We are looking forward to being able to meet, discuss and network with the best and brightest of the world’s Imagine Cup competitors. Most of all, representing South Africa’s talent in New York will be a great milestone for our team”, said team KOMODO.

It wasn’t an easy task coming up with a winner, it’s always challenging as the quality and relevance of the solutions were of great quality. I had a privilege of interacting with the judges during and after the judging process. They were amazed and equally excited about what the students had come up with.

All in all I can say we definitely have smart and talented young people in SA and as we continue to grow the competition we will be seeing more innovative solutions in the future.

Below is a list of all winners and special awards

Software Design

1st Komodo, University of Cape Town

2nd Project Blaze University of Johannesburg

Joint 3rd Common Sense and Team Lotus (both from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University)

Software Design Special Awards

Interoperability Award – Project PS – University of Johannesburg

Design for Development Award – NB Creations - Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Game Design and Development Category

1st Code Gears Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU)

2nd The Spartans Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

3rd Wizards Tower Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Special mention to Team MaNko from University of Limpopo for a great idea for a educational game

Development Category

1st Theotrix - Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

2nd NamDEV - Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

3rd Extreme Technologies – Durban University of Technology

Other Special Awards

Latest Use of Technology – Lecturer – Prof Derek Smith UCT IS Department

Women in IT – NamDev – Natalie Meiring – Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Professional Professional Team Award – Knowitivity – University of Pretoria

I would also like to thank our Gold Sponsors BB&D and partners CSIR/Meraka , Mecer and iSolve

We will keep SA updated on Team Komodo’s progress