Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Students heading to Microsoft comp

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Sukhans Asrani, Andrew Hu and Winston Zhao will head to Seattle in July to compete in the Microsoft Imagine Cup finals.

The invention of a savvy new app has paved the way for three local engineers to make it to Seattle.

Former Macleans students Winston Zhao, Sukhans Asrani and Andrew Hu will be heading to America in July to compete in the Microsoft Imagine Cup finals all thanks to a carpooling app they’ve created.

The app, called UniRide, aims to connect students with other students looking to carpool.

So far the three software engineering students have partnered with Auckland University as well as allowing students to sync with their Facebook friends list to help pair you with a suitable carpool based on mutual friends and class timetables.

They will be up against people from all over the world who have also come up with a genius invention in hopes of winning a $100,000 they will use to kick-start their new business venture.

“With the way traffic is and the travel time from east Auckland, we had always tried to carpool but it was always difficult to organise,” says Winston.

“In our experience, whenever we would try and carpool, there was nobody else available to jump on board and then when people wanted to carpool we always had too many people for one car.”

He says it was this simple problem that sparked the idea.

The team of three recently competed in the Microsoft competition in Melbourne which earned them their placing in Seattle.

They say the focus was on connecting university students with other university students to create a community of people interested in ride sharing into the city.

“We found through a survey that the main deterrent for people to partake in carpooling was that they didn’t want to carpool with strangers, so we have worked really hard to create an app which pairs people with other like-minded people,” he says.

Their app is currently in the Beta testing phase and is due to launch in January next year.

For more information on the app visit

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