MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- At the Social Innovation Summit today, Microsoft Corp. announced the winners of the second annual Microsoft Imagine Cup Grants program, a three-year, $3 million competitive grant program that provides students with funding and support to help transform their projects into social enterprises or nonprofits that will address a specific social issue. The Imagine Cup Grants program is part of the Microsoft YouthSpark initiative, which aims to create opportunities for 300 million youth during the next three years. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO) The grand prize grant of $100,000 was awarded to Team Graphmasters from Germany for its solution called nunav that reduces vehicle carbon emissions through an innovative navigation system. The second place grant of $75,000 went to Team StethoCloud from Australia, which developed a solution to diagnose childhood pneumonia. There were also grants of $50,000 to Team Vivid from Egypt, which built a mobile app to access medical records using the cloud; Team Cipher256 from Uganda for its mobile app and listening device to analyze fetal heart rates; and Team QuadSquad from Ukraine, which created a solution that transforms sign language into verbal communication. The teams used technologies including Windows 8, Windows Azure, Windows Phone, Bing Maps and more. "The Imagine Cup Grants will help students evolve a great idea for addressing a societal issue into a real-world business," said Dan'l Lewin, corporate vice president, Strategic and Emerging Business Development, Microsoft. "These students have developed incredible approaches that show great potential for positive local impact. We are excited to offer financial and other support to help them transform these ideas into businesses with real-world impact."
Microsoft released upgrades and products Wednesday including "Surface Studio" for artists. Bill Gates, Microsoft's Co-Founder, appears below with an early computer running the Paint program, the first of its kind.