How AI can make a difference: Meet the winners of the 2024 Microsoft Sri Lanka Imagine Cup

Microsoft Sri Lanka kicked off their regional Imagine Cup, the student developer competition that empowers students to create innovative solutions with AI. Students from across Sri Lanka participated, and among them, Teams HearMe, DevRelax, and Team Autumn emerged as regional winners in the Microsoft Sri Lanka Imagine Cup. Since then, HearMe and DevRelax have been selected to advance to the Imagine Cup Global semi-finals. This achievement marks a milestone as Sri Lanka will be represented by two teams out of the nineteen teams selected to advance to the global semi-finals.

All three regional winners had the opportunity to visit the Microsoft Sri Lanka office, where they interacted with the other teams and witnessed their innovations. Moreover, they presented their innovative solutions to Puneet Chandok, President of Microsoft India and South Asia, and Harsha Randeny, Country Manager for Microsoft Sri Lanka and Maldives. Both leaders were deeply impressed by the talent showcased by these students and provided invaluable advice to help refine and enhance their solutions further.

Teams HearMe and DevRelax, consisting of students from Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), presented their solutions, where Team HearMe demonstrated their innovative learning tool designed to accelerate vocabulary and language skills in children who are hard-of-hearing. The team, expressed their excitement, stating, “We are immensely grateful for the opportunity to showcase our creation, aimed at making a positive difference in the lives of children with hearing disabilities. We aspire to assist in building their confidence and providing them with a supportive companion in their language learning journey.”

DevRelax presented a desktop application designed specifically for IT professionals with the goal of providing a comprehensive stress reduction solution tailored to the unique demands of the industry. Speaking about their project, they emphasized, “The wellbeing of individuals in the IT and Technology Industry is a pressing challenge, and we have developed a technological solution aimed at managing emotions and stress. As a team, we are eager to leverage our innovation and establish a startup that can support this growing industry in Sri Lanka.”

Team Autumn from General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) created a solution to help parents identify signs of autism in their children. “With our solution, we plan to support parents in detecting early signs of autism in children and offer personalized support through interactive activities, subsequently improving communication and emotional regulation.”

Speaking about the students’ achievement, Harsha Randeny expressed, “Microsoft Imagine Cup Sri Lanka is a testament to the boundless potential of young minds shaping our future through technology. I encourage their perseverance in creativity and problem-solving, as they have the potential to significantly contribute to our nation’s development and be globally competitive in an ever-changing world. To Teams HearMe and DevRelax, as they advance to the semi-finals, we extend our best wishes for refining their solutions and pursuing innovation.”

The 2024 Microsoft Sri Lanka Imagine Cup is dedicated to empowering young talent capable of driving impactful innovation using AI and contributing towards Sri Lanka’s journey of unlocking potential with AI. Following the global semi-finals, the 2024 Microsoft Global Imagine Cup World Champion will be crowned in May during Microsoft Build. The winner will receive the grand prize of USD 100,000 along with a mentoring session with Microsoft Chairman and CEO, Satya Nadella.

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Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

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