Do you know a student that has an idea for an app or is building one for class? If yes, please share with them these two words, Imagine Cup. It’s Microsoft’s premier global student technology competition, and it’s just launched the 2014 competition season with over $750,000 in cash and prizes.
How it Works
Students from all over the world register at imaginecup.com, form teams, and then choose to compete in one of three technology competitions: Games, Innovation, and World Citizenship. Then, over the course of the next few months, they build and tweak their projects until their National Finals are held in early 2014. (Different dates depending on the location.)
Competition winners from all the National Finals are selected and then advance to the World Semifinals. This online round held at imaginecup.com will determine the teams that make it to Seattle, WA, in late July to compete in person at the 2014 World Finals. First place at the World Finals in any of the three competitions yields a cash prize in the amount $50,000 (USD). In addition to the ability to attend learning sessions taught by the Microsoft engineers that built the Windows Phone OS and the opportunity to get feedback from leading industry experts. 2013 World Finalists got to interact with judges from Facebook, Twitter, Dent the Future, Revision3 Games and the creator of Tetris.
A lot more details about the World Semifinals will be coming in the months ahead, so make sure you follow the Imagine Cup blog. (Important side note: If your country isn’t holding a National Finals, there will be an Online Finals component available at imaginecup.com.)
What Makes a Winning App
One of the 2013 winning teams, Solite Studio from Indonesia is pictured here. Their game is entitled Save the Hamsters, and in it, they combine a fun hamster game with math. Their ingenuity and creativity won them second place in the 2013 World Finals in St. Petersburg, Russia and $10,000. Check out their app.
New for 2014
In addition to the competitions, Imagine Cup also offers three global online challenges, Pitch Video (going on now), Project Blueprint (Oct-Nov) and UI/UX Design (Jan-Feb 2014). These contests focus on the key steps involved in the Software Development Life Cycle that allow a student to not only create a project, but determine how to bring it to market. The Pitch Video Challenge is live right now through October 25. It will award three winning teams $3,000 for just having a great idea and an even better 5 minute video pitch.
Imagine Cup 2014 offers many levels of participation. Whether a student wants to compete in an online challenge that does not require code, or they are looking to go all the way with one of the three big competitions, they will finish competing having had the opportunity to grow their skill set, network with industry leaders and possibly even obtain a bigger bank account.
As they say in the Imagine Cup team, Dream it. Build it. Live it.
For complete details including dates, eligibility, and competition details, see the Official Rules.