Saturday, April 13, 2013

MainOne Cable restates support for local software innovation

Group pix of representatives of sponsors at the just concluded Microsoft Imagine Cup 2013 in Lagos.
The first private undersea fiber optic cable into Nigeria and Ghana, MainOne Cable Company, has restated its support for local software innovation, hence it partnered Microsoft in the Imagine Cup competition 2013.

ITRealms gathered that Imagine Cup contest is a premier student technology challenge on innovative production of various applications deployable on computers and mobile devices that are original in concept to marketplace with Microsoft resources.

And as part of Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative, it is a way for young entrepreneurs, innovators and developers to have the opportunity to develop an idea, create a product, set a clear business plan and eventually take their product to market.

ITRealms also gathered that all Imagine Cup Worldwide Finalist teams are eligible to apply for Imagine Cup Grants, a three year USD3-million investment by Microsoft to help students turn their ideas into reality. Microsoft BizSpark, another YouthSpark initiative, enables Imagine Cup participants to launch startup businesses in their communities and across the web.

As part of the sponsorship, Main One was the sole bandwidth sponsor, providing 20 MEG of broadband capacity to the event for live-streaming.

The National finals of the competition, and the Stakeholders’ Forum, which held at a prestigious location in Victoria Island, had in attendance over 80 students with participants competing for a place in the worldwide finals, previously hosted in Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Korea, France, Egypt, Poland, USA and Australia, now to be held in St. Petersburg, Russia from July 8 to 11, 2013.

In total, 12 teams from Nigeria competed during a challenging day of presentations, which brought together students from universities across the country with Team Life Saver emerging winner, which interestingly, cut across two of Nigeria’s foremost tertiary institutions, Obafemi Awolowo University and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology.

The team will represent Nigeria at the global finals where the lucky winner stands the opportunity to win $300,000 prize.

Speaking to ITRealms at the event, Head, Marketing at Main One Cable, Mrs. Jumoke Akande, noted that new technologies have rapidly changed businesses, socio-political landscapes and the lives of consumers in Nigeria, Africa as a whole, and other parts of the world, and the speed of adoption is inspiring.

“Main One has consistently recognized the opportunities software development, especially indigenous, will play in this critical phase of Nigeria’s human development, and supported the equipping of young people with necessary technology competencies, to put the future of our nation in their hands” she said.

In his remarks, National Technology Officer, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Mr. Yinka Oni,  said “Each team that competed in the regional finals is deserving of the highest recognition for the creativity and imagination applied to some of the world’s biggest challenges. We’re proud to honour these young students who we believe truly exemplify the spirit of the Imagine Cup competition, and we’ll be cheering Team Life Saver on as they compete on the world stage in St Petersburg”.

As said by him, Imagine Cup is directly aligned with the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative that was launched earlier this year as it drives access to technology, innovation and world-class skills.

“We believe deeply that technology can accelerate growth for Africa, and Africa can also accelerate technology for the world, and we are honoured to engage with these young people to help bring their innovative ideas to fruition,” he said.

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