UAE students win prizes and internships for building Nokia Apps
Two UAE university students have created 'BonAppetit' - an app which lets users search for UAE restaurants by cuisines and locations - and have walked away with a $5,000 cash prize, a trip to Finland to visit the Nokia Research Center, and most importantly, an internship at Nokia UAE.
Nabeel Kassim (American University of Sharjah) and Zulqarnain Mehdi (Troy University) became the first ever winners of a Nokia's university challenge, which invited students across the UAE to create their own mobile application.
Students Tasnim Al Khaldi and Ruba Awadallah from Al Ain University received the second cash prize of $3,000 for their app “iMonitor”, which lets parents track their teenagers’ driving habits by sending warning messages when their children go above designated speed limits. Third place was won by Rishit Kedia and Jobin Babu from Manipal University, who shared $2,000 for their app “Make-a-Meme”, which 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.
Indian university BITS Pilani, was awarded “Best University” for its commitment to the initiative and received a $10,000 scholarship grant, aimed at supporting deserving students pursuing innovative mobile related projects.
Almost 200 students from eight of the top universities in the UAE took part in the ‘Nokia University App Challenge’.
“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 also 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.
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.