By Ronald Musoke
An application called ‘Winsenga’ that performs ultrasounds on pregnant women and detects problems such as ectopic pregnancies or abnormal fetal heart beats has earned three students from Makerere University’s College of Computing and Information Sciences a Microsoft award.
The three, Aaron Tushabe, Joshua Okello and Josiah Kavuma in their team known as Cipher256 won the Microsoft Imagine Cup Grant of $50,000 (about sh125m) and received the award during the Social Innovation Summit held on Dec. 4 in Silicon Valley, USA.
According to Microsoft, this grant will help the students transform their projects into social enterprises or nonprofits that will address a specific social issue.
Imagine Cup and the grants are part of Microsoft’s YouthSpark programme, which is the company’s commitment to reach 300 million youths in the next three years through technology, training, and experiences that empower them to imagine and realize their full potential.
Among the applicants for this grant, 13 teams were initially selected as finalists having received the highest marks based on a combination of criteria: impact & viability, team quality & motivation, solution design & motivation and problem definition.
Apart from the cash prize, they will also receive software, cloud computing services, solution provider support, premium Microsoft BizSpark account benefits and access to local resources such as Microsoft Innovation Centers.
Microsoft will also connect grant recipients with its network of investors, NGO partners and business partners and will work with the grant recipients to tailor individual support as needed depending on the progress each team has made so far with its project.