Microsoft Launches More Expansive Imagine Cup 2013

REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 29, 2012 — Students ages 16 and older can now register for Microsoft Imagine Cup 2013, the world’s premier student technology competition, in its 11th year. To inspire more students and encourage a wider variety of aspiring innovators to participate, Microsoft Corp. has redesigned Imagine Cup around three new core competitions — World Citizenship, Games and Innovation — and more than doubled the prize money to US$300,000.

More than 1.65 million students across the globe have participated in Imagine Cup during the past decade, creating applications and games that address the world’s toughest social problems. The 2013 competition builds on the core elements that have been most popular with students in the past 10 years — social impact and gaming — while expanding the competition’s focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. In Imagine Cup 2013, students may compete in the following competitions:

• World Citizenship. Honors the software application developed on Microsoft platforms with the greatest potential to make a positive impact on humanity. For example, a project might address education-, social- or healthcare-related problems.

• Games. Honors the most engaging and entertaining games targeting teens and youth, built on Microsoft platforms (Windows 8, Windows Phone, Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit, and Xbox Indie Games).

• Innovation. Honors apps that give consumers inspiration and innovation at their fingertips, whether it be a new spin on social networks, online shopping or search, built with Microsoft tools and technology.

In addition to the competitions, students can register to compete in online Challenges focused on specific technologies and platforms, including Windows 8, Windows Azure and Windows Phone.

Imagine Cup is a global, yearlong competition that culminates in a Worldwide Finals event, to take place in St. Petersburg, Russia, July 8–11, 2013. Worldwide Finalists will also have the chance to apply for Microsoft Imagine Cup Grants as part of a three-year, $3 million investment by Microsoft to help students turn their ideas into reality.

“Imagine Cup is the beginning of a lifelong journey for a young entrepreneur, inventor, designer, developer or innovator,” said John Scott Tynes, Imagine Cup competition strategy and development manager. “With the evolution of Imagine Cup, we’re further inspiring students from all academic backgrounds to collaborate on applications and seize opportunities post-Imagine Cup to polish their applications, gain the support they need to bring their technology to market, and fully realize their potential to impact their local communities and the world.”

Many Imagine Cup participants, such as team Wormhole IT, which competed in the Worldwide Finals in 2007, have taken lessons learned from Imagine Cup to enhance their projects and launch small businesses post-event. “Without Imagine Cup, we would have never received the feedback that we needed to turn our application into a reality,” said Sally Buberman, of Wormhole IT, who participated as judge at this year’s competition. “It was more than a competition; it was the chance to showcase our application and learn what it would take to launch a profitable business based upon our idea.” Wormhole IT, with locations in Argentina and the U.S., offers webconferencing and online platforms that can be used for educators to communicate with students in different locations, especially in developing regions where connectivity is poor.

Students interested in signing up for Imagine Cup 2013 may register on the website, http://www.imaginecup.com.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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