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The Story of VivaStudio: The Best is Yet to Come

22 July 2011

We are a team of five from the Diploma in Information Technology (DIT). We formed the team VivaStudio to participate in the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2010 with a simple idea – “Quit smoking”. During March holiday, we drew the outline of the project, put it into proposal and crashed into all kinds of organizations asking for partnership. Despite countless rejections, a few organizations were willing to provide precious feedback and be our pilot users, thankfully.  Working together, we modified the project scope and finalised the proposal with sweat and tear. With all the hopes and ambitions, we submitted the proposal to Microsoft.

Things did not go as we expected. Our idea was rejected from the first round of selection. Disappointment and discouragement fell onto us like a disaster. It seemed like all the efforts, the concern and the time for the past 2 months, were meaningless.

Thankfully, though we lost in the competition, we did not lose faith. We stood up as soon as we fell down. We believe that if we are gold, there will be a day for us to shine – The best is yet to come.

Soon, we were given a new opportunity – SLA Spatial Challenge 2011 and SiTF Award 2011. We were required to use the provided government dataset to develop a Geographic Information System (GIS) Application to touch on security issues. This is a totally unknown field which felt like swimming in an ocean, where we cannot see the depth and destination. However, the fear did not overwhelm us. With faith, we decided to take up the challenge.

Working Till Canteen 6 Lights Off!

Nothing starts easy. Uncertainties filled every aspects of the project. Instead of officially 16 FYP hours, we spent more than 40 hours weekly in researching and learning. Despite the frustration and exhaustion, we enjoyed the time that we spent together from dawn to dusk.

After we had developed certain functions successfully, the school invited officers from civil defence agencies to see our system. Gratefully, they greatly encouraged us by positive feedbacks and enlightened us with suggestions. Based on their comments, we implemented new functions and enhanced usability to bring the system to a higher level.

Having an impressive application without proper presentation is not enough to win the judges’ hearts.  Through rounds and rounds of presentation rehearsals with different people our presentation skills were refine and sharpen our presentation skills as time went by.

The first formal presentation was the most stressful one. However, perhaps it is true that greater pressure leads to better performance. Our presentation was able to impress the judgers. It gave us tremendous encouragement and confidence for the next few presentations.

Efforts were finally paid off. We won 5 awards in a row – First Prize, Most Like and Best Presentation award for SLA Spatial Challenge 2011, and First Prize and Best Presenter for SiTF Award 2011. We screamed like babies, and we hugged each other. Looking back the road we walked through together, all the sweat, tear, exhaustion and frustration were worthy for this moment.

The team leader, Liu Junhua, quoted, “summarizing my experience, I would say that taking up challenge and stepping into the unknown with faith, the greatest award may not be the trophy or the money, but the smiles from the people that care about us and walk with us along the way.”

Remembering the moment when the team went on stage to receive the First Prize for the SiTF Awards (Tertiary category), the assistant leader, Nguyen Doan Hong Nhat, quoted "We will never forget this experience in our lives, our effort, our pain, our tears, it is finally rewarded. The moment we were on stage was speechless; you could feel the taste of victory. It is indescribable."

SLA Spatial Challenge 2011
First Prize for the GIS Application( Tertiary Category)
The "Best Presentation" Award
The "Most Like" Award

Team VivaStudio:
Liu JunHua, Nguyen Doan Hong Nhat,
Lee Kiang Hui Gordon, Tan Jian An, Yang He

SiTF Awards 2011
First Prize (Tertiary Category) And “Best Presenter” Award



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