Over in India, where BlackBerry are rather popular to say the least, the company has been working with youngsters at an innovation camp and the lucky winners have now been announced. 

The following press release pretty much speaks for itself and from where I'm sitting this goes a long way to help BlackBerry in the marketing department. Will we see events like this in other regions? I'd like to think so but I'm not holding my breath.

With BlackBerry 10 getting a software update in the near future - to 10.2.1 and improved Android application accessibility, events like this will do nothing but portray BlackBerry in a the media as being proactive and supportive to developers old and new. Nice work BlackBerry India! 

Press Release


Mumbai, Nov 26, 2013: BlackBerry in association with Junior Achievement India, today announced the winners of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) 2013 Camp. The STEM Innovation Camps are jointly developed by Blackberry and Junior Achievement India, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness.

As part of the camp, students in the age bracket of 15-18 years spent the day working on a business challenge in the field of mobility. Given the ubiquity of mobile technology and the multitude of ways in which it can be deployed or utilized, students at the STEM innovation camp were encouraged to push its boundaries into newer territories and develop a business plan around it. As students worked on their challenge, BlackBerry volunteers supported these young minds in terms of advice and guidance thereby enhancing their business skills to solve real world problems.

The innovation camp spurred many creative ideas, but the one that stood out securing the winning position was presented by ‘The Food Detectives’ - Harmanan Singh, Rahul Bhope, Kshitij Madekar and Anish Chaurasiya from R.N Podar School, Lokhandwala Foundation School, IES VN Sule School and Patuck Technical High School respectively. The teenagers came up with the idea of increasing the Smartness Quotient of phones by having food sensors in them. An analyzer antenna, an external portable gadget, can be attached to the phone which when inserted into the food can reveal the chemical components of it. The sensors will help health conscious smartphones users to keep a tab on their eating habits and know what they’re consuming. The smartphone will then provide a detailed analysis of the food through a mobile application.  A total of 72 students from 10 schools participating in STEM Innovation Camp.

Commenting on the initiative, Varghese Thomas, Director, Corporate Communications, BlackBerry, India, said “The aim of the event was to encourage and enhance entrepreneurial skills in these young students who find themselves on the cusp of their academic and professional life. Apart from their daily educational curriculum, it is imperative to develop their understanding of practical business. The results have been very gratifying and we’re proud to have been able to partner in the success of these young achievers.”

The winning team from each national competition will compete with 13 other countries in a global online competition. Other participating countries include Italy, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, South Africa, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and China.

About Junior Achievement India

Junior Achievement (JA) India is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness. We work with industry to provide students with perspectives and insights to help them make informed career choices and open their minds to their potential. JA India is part of Junior Achievement Worldwide™, the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about Work Readiness, Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship, through experiential, hands-on programs. The organization is dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Since its founding in 1919, JA has contributed to the business and economic education of 79 million young people around the world. Today, JA Worldwide reaches out to around 9.3 million students in over 130 countries around the world.

JA India was founded in 2006 and commenced classroom operations in January 2007.  JA India runs programs impacting over 250,000 students and 250 institutions across 6 different Indian cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore and neighbouring regions. JA India has been growing consistently over the last 5 years and is the fastest growing region among the 18 largest JA regions worldwide. In FY13, JA India reached out to over 100,000 students across the country