Imagine Cup 2009 Kicks Off in Cairo

CAIRO, Egypt — July 3, 2009 — Competition begins today in Cairo for 444 students from 124 countries and regions at the Imagine Cup 2009 Worldwide Finals. Now in its seventh year, Imagine Cup is an annual Microsoft Corp. competition that challenges students around the globe to use their creative genius to build technology solutions that can help address some of the world’s toughest challenges.

This year, the students’ efforts are focused on using technology to help address the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. These goals encompass some of the most difficult issues facing our world, ranging from halving extreme poverty and halting the spread of HIV/AIDS to providing universal primary education. The Imagine Cup calls on young programmers, artists and technologists to rise to this challenge: “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems facing us today.”

More than 300,000 students from 100 countries accepted this challenge and registered for Imagine Cup 2009. Over the past year, students have participated in local, regional and online competitions, showcasing their innovative solutions to real-world problems. The winners of these initial rounds arrive in Cairo today, where they will present their entries to a panel of judges from academia and the technology industry. At stake is more than $288,000 in prize money and the chance to kick-start their careers in one of several technological fields.

“By providing students with cutting-edge technology and challenging them to address some of our world’s most challenging issues, the Microsoft Imagine Cup is tapping an incredible and limitless resource — the passion, creativity and talents of students from around the globe,” said Ray Ozzie, chief software architect at Microsoft.

Student teams compete in the Imagine Cup 2009 Worldwide Finals across nine categories: Software Design, Embedded Development, Game Development, IT Challenge, Robotics and Algorithm, MashUp, Photography, Short Film and Design. The winners will be announced on Tuesday, July 7, as part of the Imagine Cup World Festival closing ceremonies with the pyramids at Giza as the backdrop.

“Students around the world are contributing their creativity and passion in this year’s Imagine Cup, and they have developed truly amazing solutions to tackle the most pressing social problems facing our world,” said Joe Wilson, senior director of Academic Initiatives in the Developer & Platform Evangelism Division at Microsoft. “It’s clear that the leaders of tomorrow’s most innovative companies won’t be found in boardrooms — they will be discovered in dorm rooms.”

In addition to the nine main categories of competition, there are several Achievement Awards this year, including the Interoperability Award, Unlimited Potential Design for Development Award, Accessibility Award, Unlimited Potential MultiPoint Education Award, Parallel Computing Award, Tablet Accessibility Award and the H.E. Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak Special Award sponsored by the first lady of Egypt through the Cyber Peace Initiative (CPI).

Imagine Cup Sponsors

The Imagine Cup is being supported by a range of partner organizations including Paramount Digital Entertainment, Mesh Services & Live Framework, Microsoft Accessibility Business Unit, Microsoft Education Product Group, Microsoft Interoperability, Microsoft Learning, Microsoft Research External Research, Microsoft Parallel Computing Platform, Microsoft Robotics, Microsoft Unlimited Potential Group, Windows Embedded Business, Windows Mobile and Microsoft XNA Game Platform Group.

More information on the Imagine Cup is available online at

More information on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals can be found online at Up-to-date information on the finals competition is available at the official Imagine Cup blog.

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