An Auckland University team has won big with an innovative app that allows people to keep track of their punctuality-challenged friends.
The students took first place and $US50,000 in the "Innovation" category at the Microsoft Imagine World Finals in Seattle this week.
Developer Hayden Do says the app was developed because everyone had at least at one friend who was constantly late arriving at meetings.
"We noticed that a lot of people have friends who are always late when they meet up [for] social events and that's really frustrating. By using our app you can simply tell what the situation for everyone is without having to send a text or call."
Hayden, together with Jason Wei, Derek Zhu and Chris Duan, developed the app called Estimeet so that users could see how far away their friends were, how long it would take them to arrive and whether or not they were actually on their way.
The biggest obstacle to the project was time management and this was muddied by project direction changes, Hayden says.
"We were really short on time for the national finals, the semi-finals and so-on. Better time management was established and the project was completed on time."
The awards ceremony is not the end of the road for the students. The team now go to a four-week Microsoft Venture Boot Camp in either Britain, Germany or the US, and have help to develop their app for the market.
As for the money, the team has different ideas on how each member will spend their share, Hayden says.
"I guess I'd be investing it back into the business but one of my teammates Chris has gone to Las Vegas."
This is the first New Zealand team to win a top category at the Imagine Cup. The overall winning competitors were Team Eyenaemia from Australia.