Nokia Empowers Local Talent with University App Challenge
- A total of US $ 20,000 given away as cash prizes to students
- BITS Pilani University receives $10,000 scholarship grant from Nokia
- Winning team also secures study tour in Nokia Finland and internship at Nokia UAE
Dubai, UAE, 30 May 2012: Nokia has announced the first ever winners of a special university challenge, which invited students across the UAE to create their own mobile application as part of Nokia’s commitment to drive innovation and entrepreneurship among the local community.
Almost 200 students from eight of the top universities in the UAE took part in the ‘Nokia University App Challenge’, which saw Nabeel Kassim and Zulqarnain Mehdi, from American University of Sharjah and Troy University securing first prize. The duo joined forces to create “BonAppetit”, an app which lets users search for UAE restaurants by cuisines and locations, as well enabling them to contact the restaurant directly. They walked away with $5,000 cash prize, as well as a trip to Finland where they will have the unique opportunity to visit the Nokia Research Center and a coveted internship at Nokia UAE.
Tasnim Al Khaldi and Ruba Awadallah from Al Ain University received the second prize for their app “iMonitor”, which lets parents track their teenagers’ driving habits by sending warning messages when their children go above designated speed limits. They walked away with a cash prize of $3,000 and an N9 smartphone.
Third place went to Rishit Kedia and Jobin Babu from Manipal University, who share a $2,000 cash prize and an N9 smartphone for their app “Make-a-Meme”. The app lets users create the funniest memes on-the-go from a searchable list of over 150 images which can be shared on their social networks.
BITS Pilani, the Indian university based in International Academic City, was awarded “Best University” for its commitment to the initiative. Indeed, it saw the highest number of submissions from its students, as well as highest number of teams ranked within the top 10 finalists. The university walked away with a trophy and a $10,000 scholarship grant, which will be used to support a deserving student pursuing innovative mobile related projects.
“It was a fantastic opportunity for students to get real life experience in designing, developing and distributing a mobile app for consumers,” said Praveen Prabhakaran, Head of Ecosystem and Developer Experience, Nokia Middle East. “We designed this competition to maximise the learning process of this entrepreneurial journey – that is, how to go from an abstract idea to a fully-developed app available to millions of consumers worldwide.”
The two-month competition gave students exposure and training in the latest mobile and app development technologies. Participating universities received technical training and coding sessions with Nokia software experts to help them conceptualize their ideas. Nokia also worked closely with the universities to ensure faculty support for students who entered the competition.
In addition, an online helpdesk was set up and 40 Nokia smartphones were distributed to provide support for the students as they go through the app development process and ensure they come up with an app that will have commercial value for millions of Nokia smartphone users across the world.
The winners were chosen by a judging panel comprising of Tom Farrell, VP of Nokia Middle East; Abed Agha, developer of the Arab Idol app and Tom Shambler, editor of Stuff magazine.
All the apps developed during the competition including the winning apps will be soon available on the Nokia Store to download for all Nokia users.
At Nokia, we are committed to connecting people. We combine advanced technology with personalized services that enable people to stay close to what matters to them. Every day, more than 1.3 billion people connect to one another with a Nokia device – from mobile phones to advanced smartphones and high-performance mobile computers. Nokia’s NAVTEQ is a leader in comprehensive digital mapping and navigation services, while Nokia Siemens Networks provides equipment, services and solutions for communications networks globally. This Nokia press release and other news are available at http://press.nokia.com.