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12 May 2017

Hi-Tech Park, Microsoft choose best Belarusian startups

MINSK, 12 May (BelTA) – The national final stage of the international technology contest Imagine Cup 2017 took place in the business incubator of the Minsk-based Hi-Tech Park under the aegis of Microsoft Corporation, BelTA has learned.

Ten teams took part in the regional round of the contest. Those were graduates of secondary schools, students of Belarusian universities, including master’s degree and post-graduate students.

Thousands of young talents show up every year to present their projects during the Imagine Cup contest. The world’s best 30 teams go to Seattle, USA in order to compete for the grand prix — $100,000 for the consequent development of the winning project. This year Microsoft has loosened up the requirements, this is why young programmers are free to implement any ideas. The idea has to be innovative and unique and reliant on the Microsoft Azure cloud technologies as well as the Visual Studio IDE. Most of the projects demonstrated last year have been implemented in education, healthcare, and other social spheres.

Vsevolod Yanchevsky, Director of the Hi-Tech Park administration, thanked Microsoft for supporting Belarusian startups and education industry as a whole. “We have great plans for joint cooperation and education is a key area in this cooperation. It is the foundation, the soil from which stems everything in information technologies: startups, companies, and success,” he said.

Anton Myakishev, head of the Microsoft representative office in Belarus, noted that the Belarusian Hi-Tech Park is going through a new stage in its development just like the IT industry, which enjoys support at the top level. Microsoft cannot stay away from these processes, he said.

In Belarus Microsoft works with government agencies and the education system. “We support young endeavors, which are just making the first steps in their own business. This contest is a case in point. Hundreds of young teams can try to prove their worth. Even if they don’t win, they will get valuable experience and a bunch of useful recommendations and advice,” said Anton Myakishev.

Each team had three minutes to present their project and two minutes to answers questions from the judges and the audience. Three winners were named. The Scrawless team won the first place and will go to the Imagine Cup 2017 semifinals in Kiev where it will compete with the best teams in the Commonwealth of Independent States. The team includes Dmitry Kuzmich and Yevgeny Kravchenko, who are students of the Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics (BSUIR) and the Belarusian National Technical University (BNTU). They came up with an idea to make a website to help kids with problems with fine motor skills study.

Winners of the semifinals in Kiev will go to Seattle, USA for the final stage of the Imagine Cup 2017.

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