Microsoft, USAID Recognize Thai Students with Solutions to Development Challenges

Team We Heart won the World Citizenship category of the Microsoft Imagine Cup Thailand 2014.
Team We Heart won the World Citizenship category of the Microsoft Imagine Cup Thailand 2014.
Richard Nyberg

For Immediate Release

Thursday, April 24, 2014
Richard Nyberg
(66)-2 257-3000

BANGKOK – Students from King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi and Chulalongkorn University today won the World Citizenship category of the Microsoft Imagine Cup Thailand for “We Heart,” an app to combat HIV and AIDS stigma, encourage early testing, and remind people living with HIV to take their medication on time. 

On awarding the top prize to We Heart at an award ceremony in Bangkok, judges noted the team’s online campaign that enlisted endorsement of several Thai celebrities and prompted over 600 people to join in the first week.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) partnered with Microsoft on the Thailand competition of this year’s Imagine Cup, a leading student technology competition. We Heart will now compete with winners from other countries for a chance to reach the World Finals in Seattle in the United States.  

 “The Imagine Cup is a great example of how science, technology, innovation, and partnership with the private sector can lead to the development of potentially transformative solutions,” said Michael Yates, director of the USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia. “We hope that for many of these students this is just the beginning – that their experiences with the Imagine Cup will lead them to become entrepreneurs, and that they will continue to believe in the power of their ideas to help make a better world for all.”

The World Citizenship category challenges students to design software products for social good.  Under this partnership, the Thailand contest focused on HIV/AIDS, governance, biodiversity, food security, clean energy, and forests and ecosystems.  USAID partners working on these challenges in Thailand provided mentoring to the 10 finalist teams.

The first runner up in the World Citizenship Contest was team Locaze (Sripatum University, Assumption University, Chulalongkorn University and Chitrlada School) for their mobile app that aims to decrease traffic congestion and reduce air pollution by promoting the use of public transport by tracking the position of buses and providing accurate estimations of arrival times. 

Second runner up was team Zero Gravity (Sripatum University, Mahidol University, King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, and Mahanakorn University of Technology) for Len-Din, a smart phone app that connects to a device that analyzes soil quality, enabling farmers to optimize planting using real-time information.  Finally, the winner of USAID’s online Popular Vote contest was team Public Mind for their app, Maja, developed to help people adopt stray dogs and improve shelter management. The winning teams received a range of prizes from Microsoft, USAID, and other partners at the awards ceremony.  To encourage these innovative products to reach the marketplace, USAID will provide additional 20,000 baht cash prizes to these four winning teams after they publish their products.

To see more photos from the event, click HERE