Microsoft’s global student technology competitions encourage young people to discover their talents and experience the industry’s potential. Their Hackathon is one such competition.
Microsoft Pakistan and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) have recognised two Pakistani national champions in the Microsoft Student hackathon. The judges were blown away by the diversity of concepts and the technology that brought them to life in the semifinals, which were held electronically in Pakistan.
At the international championships, Team QueryCity from FAST NUCES, Peshawar Campus, and Team AI Based Ophthalmology Grading from NUST CEME, Rawalpindi, will represent Pakistan. Each of the National Winners received a cash prize of PKR 100,000. Furthermore, as world finalists, both teams were awarded USD 1,000 in Azure credits. The runner-up teams, which included 12 regional champions, received cash prizes and gift baskets as well. Federal Minister of Education, Shafqat Mehmood, Microsoft Country Manager, Shahzad Khan, Microsoft Country Education Lead, Jibran Jamshad, Education Lead MCC, Angela Nganga, and other top officials made the announcement at a virtual event in Islamabad.
Microsoft Pakistan and the Higher Education Commission reached out to over 100 campuses through several virtual initiatives as part of the Strategic Partnership with HEC to raise awareness about the competition, which is aligned with Microsoft’s worldwide student competition, Imagine Cup. This approach resulted in a record number of project submissions (600+) in this competition, nearly doubling the number from the previous year. Many rural and underserved communities were deliberately targeted. Students were first judged in regional finals, which were also held online, with the top teams competing for a spot in the national finals.
Shafqat Mehmood, the Federal Minister of Education, complimented HEC and Microsoft Pakistan for creating such venues that encourage young minds to showcase their talent and provide new solutions to the world’s most complicated challenges. “The government is committed to the well-being of Pakistani young because it views them as a national asset,” he continued. Competitions like these are crucial in pulling the most out of our young talented minds and showcasing them on a worldwide stage.”
“We have seen incredibly inventive concepts pouring in,” said Dr. Shaista Sohail, Executive Director of HEC. “Many of the students who have participated in such challenges have started their own start-ups that are now multi-million-dollar companies.” “We have seen incredibly inventive concepts pouring in,” said Dr. Shaista Sohail, Executive Director of HEC. “Many of the students who have participated in such challenges have started their own start-ups that are now multi-million-dollar companies.”
“This student hackathon challenge is one of Microsoft’s efforts to revolutionise skill development, educate aspiring technologists, and build collaborative,” said Mr Jibran, Microsoft Country Education Lead. It’s all about transition, innovation, and what’s next. Pakistan has incredible potential, and tournaments like these only serve to expose it and provide a platform for it to reach out to the rest of the world. I hope we will encourage these students to compete in the Imagine Cup in 2022, which aims to foster a culture of social and technological entrepreneurship by allowing students to apply their ideas to solve real-world societal challenges through technology.”
Nearly the last 19 years, over 2 million students have participated in Microsoft’s global student technology competition to design something important, make a difference in their communities, and create for impact. The brightest young minds collaborated digitally in the 2021 Imagine Cup with a chance to win USD75,000 and to create solutions to today’s global concerns in four categories: Earth, Education, Health, and Lifestyle, and we look forward to supporting these great brains again next year.