Imagine Cup Personal Experience

Imagine Cup is a global student technology program and competition that provides opportunities for students across all disciplines to team up and use their creativity, passion and knowledge of technology to create applications, games and integrate solutions that can change the way we live, work and play.
Last year, 5 teams with 6 projects successfully made it to the Algerian Finals. That was held in “ESAA” School of business Algiers.
Usually Algeria takes only one good project from the three categories of Imagine Cup to the regional finals, Last year however, we were surprised to hear the news that one team from each category will represent Algeria in the Pan Arab regional finals of IC.
After we were announced as “2nd Place Winners” in finals (even though we belong to different categories) and having believed that only one project will be taken to Pan Arab regional finals, I cannot describe the feeling that I got hearing that the three categories will make it! and I don’t think my friends that were in the campus can either.

Winning Teams in Algeria:

SeeCure (World Citizenship Finalists):

Team of four students of IGEE (ex-INELEC) gathered to make a solution for car crashes, they succeeded to make a car extension that works for any vehicle, it detects accidents occurrence, so that their web app will automatically detects the closest emergency service, and finally contact it to help the victim in the right time.
 

H-4 Hestia (Innovation):

H-4 team from the ESI school (Higher School of Computer Science) rocked the innovation category using IoT technology based application that relies on Cortana to make your life easier. The project was a low cost home automation that allows users to voice command pretty much everything that works on electricity at your home.

Reload (Game):

Another team from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (looks like these guys do not only rock the electronics world). This team brought a RPG Online game, that shines in terms of both graphics and gameplay. Unity 3D was used to bring their characters to life, in addition to Azure as a backend for Online Support.
 
Back to our project, I and the rest of the team were more determined than ever, we carried on working on our project, adding more features to it and more user friendliness, including a mobile application that connects t it, where users can login to their account, check their subscription status, edit the emergency number… and so on.

Pan Arab Finals

The Pan arab finals was held in Zellaq, Bahrain, in Sofitel Hotel. And to be fair, I have never seen the hospitality that we knew from Bahrainis, they made sure to do the impossible so we can be best comfortable, and listened to all our demands and needs to further improve our project.

Yes, we were still developing our idea and refining it until the last breathe, in a matter of fact. We made a whole video montage inside f the plane, and Hocine, the team leader and business plan developer of our team, was keeping a paper with the pitch written on it, so he can keep memorizing it, on the plane, the bus, his room, whenever he finds an free three seconds period of time.
We were supposed to pitch our project on our second day in Bahrain, and then live demonstrate our project to another group of juries in the same day. As always, the presentation would never go as perfect as expected, there was only one American jury that seemed to find interest in our project, asking really tricky and interesting questions. And in the other hand, a typical Arab was checking his iPad for the whole presentation, which got me a bit frustrated as I felt lack of respect to our team and project. And I am not even going to go deeper in what we’ve seen in this kind of snobby Arabs.
Overall, we were really satisfied with our performance, especially on the demo. We brought a small toy car to test our device with… and also had some fun with it on the go.
The four days we spent in Bahrain were surely an unforgettable experience, meeting such young technology passionate students and creatives from around the arab world, has opened our mind wider, and further push our creativity to a whole new level.
 
Unfortunately, the Pan Arab finals were the last stop for all of the Algerian teams in Imagine Cup. However, this was not the end of their journey with their projects. In fact it was just a starting point to implement their ideas, and solution to the real world.
[References]
https://www.imaginecup.com
https://www.facebook.com/DZMSP/
https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Imagine-Cup/ICPanArab15