Microsoft Crowns Winners of Imagine Cup for Student Innovation
In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth of the Harry Potter books, wizarding students from around the world gather to compete in the Triwizard Tournament. The prize for the winner is a pile of golden Galleons (coins, not massive sailing vessels).
Recently, as recounted in a post at the Microsoft Learning Born To Learn blog, Microsoft similarly invited tech students from around the world to go for the gold in its annual Imagine Cup. While the competition initially involved tens of thousands of students from more 100 countries, only 33 teams traveled to Seattle to showcase their technological wizardry in front of a panel of judges at the Imagine Cup World Finals.
Each of the student teams involved in Imagine Cup (which goes all the way back to 2003) cooks up a bright idea (one that utilizes Microsoft technology) that fits one of three categories: Games, Innovation and World Citizenship. The team then executes its vision and rides the result through as many levels of the competition as it can.
Also, unlike in the Triwizard Tournament, nobody wins the big prize and then gets killed to bring Lord Voldemort back from the dead. (Poor Cedric Diggory. At least you also introduced the world to Robert Pattinson.)
At the 2015 Imagine Cup World Finals, held during the final week of July in Seattle, three student teams rose above the rest to claim the top prizes. The big winners were as follows:
In the World Citizenship category, 1st place and a prize of $50,000 was claimed by Virtual Dementia Experience (the name of the prize-winning creation) from Australia. Runners-up were Singapore's Motzer ($10,000) and Prognosis ($5,000) from Greece.
In the Innovation category, Brazil's eFitFashion grabbed the top spot (and $50,000), followed by NoObs ($10,000) of Azerbaijan, and the United Kingdom's Siymb ($5,000).
The Games category was locked up by IzHard from Russia (with love, no doubt), which claimed the $50,000 top prize. Kuality Games from the Netherlands took 2nd Place ($10,000), followed by China's Thief ($5,000).
For any students who are enticed by the sound of those cash prizes, or who simply have a cool technology concept that the world needs to know more about, the 2016 Imagine Cup is already open for business.