Microsoft together with the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), Tamkeen and eGovernment Authority announced the names of the three winning teams of the Imagine Cup 2015 Pan Arab Semi-Finals. Team T2 from Tunisia, Team BCR from Palestine and Team Freedom Fragrance from UAE will travel to Seattle to represent the Arab World at the Worldwide Finals. Team BCR from Palestine was then named Arab World Champion taking home the Imagine Cup trophy and a special award, one-week internship at Tech Wadi, Silicon Valley.

  • Teams T2, BCR and Freedom Fragrance to represent the Arab World at the Worldwide Finals in Seattle

The event was held under the Patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa Crown Prince Deputy Supreme Commander and Chairman of the Economic Development Board in the presence of an array of dignitaries and delegates from Bahrain and the Arab World.

first prize winners
First Prize Winners

The Imagine Cup Pan Arab Finals 2015 were held in partnership with the EDB and the support of Tamkeen, eGovernment Authority (eGA), Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA), National Bank of Bahrain, Bahrain Airport Company (BAC), YK Almoayyed, Batelco, Exceed IT Services & Training and Gulf Future Business.

‘Back in Time’ by Team T2, winner of Games category, is a 3D game where the player incarnates a young character in a post-apocalyptic era. Earth is destroyed by a nuclear war and most of its population was turned into zombies. The player will travel back in time to save the world by infiltrating military zones and disable nuclear heads in it.

‘Brain Controlled Robot’ by BCR Team, winner of Innovation category, uses EEG signals or brain waves reading technologies to help paralyzed people around the world communicate with the people around them, also give them access to control things that make them partially independent on others help.

‘LAMAPP’ by Team Freedom Fragrance, winner of World Citizenship category, is a mobile application that provides the community (victims and by passers) with an reliable reporting tool that enables them to record a video when an abuse is happening in the public and record an audio when abuse is happening  behind closed doors.

The Chief Executive of the EDB, His Excellency Khalid Al Rumaihi, commended the winners on their achievement, and expressed his gratitude to His Royal Highness the Crown Prince for his continued support. His Excellency highlighted that hosting regional events in the Kingdom helps to bolster the Kingdom’s regional and international standing.

“We are very proud to play a role in this important event. Fostering innovation and entrepreneurship will be a vital part of the future prosperity of Bahrain and the wider region. We are very pleased to support initiatives such as this which offer young people in Bahrain the opportunity to develop their knowledge and exchange their experiences with peers from different Arab countries.” Addressing the teams, Mr Al Rumaihi wished the winners the best on their journey to the global stage while encouraging all teams, including the Pan Arab champions, to build on what they’ve learned during the different rounds of Imagine Cup and use their applications and ideas to tackle tough problems and to change the world.

“Technology has become an integral part of everyday life and today, it is the reason to celebrate Bahrain and the young bright minds from across the Arab World,” said Sherif Tawfik, Regional Country Manager for Microsoft in Bahrain and Oman. “We congratulate the winners and admire the efforts of all contestants; they are all achievers in their own way.” He extended his sincere appreciation to His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Bahrain for granting his patronage to this event and inspiring the young contestants to give their best during the Pan Arab Semi-Finals round. The “Imagine Cup aims to reduce the opportunity gap and build an information society through youth empowerment and ease of access to technology, innovation and world-class skills. We hope that our students have benefited from their participation in the Imagine Cup in tackling difficult problems while learning and building their 21st century skills.” He wished the winners all the luck for the Worldwide Finals and all contestants a successful entrepreneurial journey following in the footstep of last year’s Pan Arab Champion and Worldwide finals’ third prize winner “Team Butterfly”.

The Imagine Cup Pan Arab Semi-Finals is the culmination of months-long series of contests that bring together the brightest young minds from various Arab countries to showcase the power of student innovation. Thirty-six (36) student teams, first-prize winners of the national rounds of Imagine Cup 2015 in 13 countries from Middle East and North Africa region all competed for the Imagine Cup 2015 Pan Arab Champion title.

The 36 student teams presented their projects to different judging panels, two panels for each of the 3 categories; they assessed the projects based on the Imagine Cup criteria for each category including concept, execution, use of technology, relevance to the category and feasibility. The first-place winners: Team T2 (Games), Team BCR (Innovation), and Team Freedom Fragrance (World Citizenship) then competed live on stage before an audience of 300 people where a distinguished judging panel asked them 3 rounds of questions inspired by Imagine Cup Infographic “Dream it! Build it! Live it”; Team BCR received the Imagine Cup Pan Arab trophy and a one-week internship at Tech Wadi, Silicon Valley.

As part of Microsoft YouthSpark initiative, Imagine Cup empowers students to use their creativity to solve the world’s toughest problems through technology as well as provides the opportunity to develop an idea, create a product, and set a clear business plan that will take their product to market.

Teams T2, BCR and Freedom Fragrance will join other bright young minds to compete at the World Finals taking place in Microsoft Headquarters in Seattle from 27 to 31 July 2015.

Commenting on their achievement, Team BCR said “We are delighted to have won the Pan-Arab Semi-Finals securing our place in the worldwide finals in Seattle. The competition was tough but we kept our focus on winning and representing Palestine in the next round. We cannot believe that we were awarded the special prize and will spend time in Silicon Valley gaining an insight into the life of developers. Thank you Microsoft and partners.”

”This year saw the greatest number of teams participating in the World Citizenship category and they all had fantastic ideas, we are so happy we made it! We won and can’t wait to participate in the Worldwide Finals,” said team Freedom Fragrance. The team acknowledged the efforts being made by Microsoft and partners and made a promise: “We will spare no effort or time in finalizing our project for the global stage and bring the Worldwide Cup back home to UAE and the Arab region.”

Team BCR commented on their win by saying “The Imagine Cup competition gave us the opportunity to raise our country’s name high.” They added “We are thrilled to have been given the opportunity by Microsoft and its partners, to represent the Arab World in the Worldwide Finals and keep benefiting from the wonderful experience Imagine Cup has given us.”

 CATEGORY WINNERS

Games Category:

  • First Place, $7,000 prize: Team T2, Tunisia
  • Second Place, $4,000 prize: Team Al Awar, UAE
  • Third Place, $2,000 prize: Team Awan, Egypt

Innovation Category:

  • First Place, $7,000 prize: Team BCR, Palestine
  • Second Place, $4,000 prize: Team WeLink, Jordan
  • Third Place, $2,000 prize: Team QU Mechatronics, Qatar

World Citizenship Category:

  • First Place, $7,000 prize: Team Freedom Fragrance, UAE
  • Second Place, $4,000 prize: Team Kitabi, Oman
  • Third Place, $2,000 prize: Team Captiosus, Jordan