Irish students go to Silicon Valley

8 Feb 2008

An Irish team which came in among the top six in the software design category of last year’s Imagine Cup has been selected to go Silicon Valley to take part in the third annual Microsoft and BT Imagine Cup Innovation Accelerator programme.

Entitled Team inGest, the Irish team’s Signal project is a sign language learning environment, a tool that teaches sign language and allows users to chat online using sign language.

The Irish team will join 24 other aspiring software developers from Jamaica, Korea, Mexico, Poland and Thailand.

The competition will challenge students to apply their technical talents to create solutions to real-world problems and gives them the opportunity to learn from technology leaders at Microsoft and BT how to take their ideas a step further toward commercial reality.

“These students potentially represent the next generation of technology business leaders, as well as those who will create technology that positively impacts people’s lives,” said Joe Black, director of business development for emerging technologies at BT.

“The goal of the Innovation Accelerator is to provide the guidance and education they’ll need to turn their passion for technology and helping others into real-world applications and businesses,” Black added.

More than 100,000 students from over 100 countries entered the 2007 Imagine Cup competition.

Last year, two final-year computer science students from Dublin Institute of Technology, Mohammed Al-Tahs and Marouf Azad, beat off competition from 100,000 entrants and won second place in the web development category at the 2007 Microsoft Imagine Cup finals in South Korea following a week of extreme competition.

By John Kennedy