Microsoft Corp. has announced the winners of the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2014, the company’s premier competition for student technologists, developers and aspiring entrepreneurs from across the globe and a cornerstone of the Microsoft YouthSpark initiative.
Imagine Cup is focused on providing students with the opportunities, resources and experience to become the brightest young minds worldwide. In addition to skills and training that launch incredible careers, students receive unparalleled hands-on experience, guidance and mentorship from industry luminaries, opening doors to a future as an entrepreneur, innovator and technologist. Each of the first place winners in the competition’s three categories — Games, Innovation and World Citizenship — will receive a “boot camp” experience from Microsoft Ventures, Microsoft YouthSpark or PAX during which they will receive hands-on mentorship and project development support from Microsoft and industry experts.
A first place team was chosen in each of the three competition categories: Games, Innovation and World Citizenship. One of those three winning teams was then named World Champion, taking home the Imagine Cup and receiving a private meeting with Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and technology advisor.
The winners were announced at the Imagine Cup World Championship ceremony during Microsoft’s TechReady conference at the Washington State Convention Center, in front of an audience of 5,000 students, judges, partners and Microsoft employees. The ceremony was the culmination of a weeklong event and celebrates the power of student innovation.
“There is not a business, vertical industry or person on the planet untouched by technology,” Nadella said. “Imagine Cup empowers students to hack tough problems, while learning and building off the work of others. Student developers play a huge role in bringing new technologies to life in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. Congratulations to all the competitors for their hard work and creativity.”
Also announced was the expansion of the Imagine Cup program to make it available for even younger students worldwide who have the desire to create and code using Microsoft technology. Through the Imagine Cup program, students are empowered to dream big, build creatively, learn through competition and boldly bring their ideas to life as they gain lifelong career skills throughout their journey.
“Imagine Cup is about fostering new ideas and encouraging students to push the boundaries and imagine what’s possible now and in the future. Student developers play a huge role in helping to bring new technology innovations to life in ways that shape the way we work, live and play,” said Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president and chief evangelist, Microsoft. “Going forward, Microsoft’s Imagine Cup program aims to empower even more students, at younger ages, with the technologies, skills and resources to build a lifelong passion for technology, helping to grow the next generation of innovators. We’re very proud of the Imagine Cup program and even more proud of our student competitors from all around the globe.”
Imagine Cup trophy and private meeting with Bill Gates: Team Eyenaemia, Australia, Project: Eyenaemia; Winner of the World Citizenship Category
First Place, $50,000 prize and PAX Boot Camp: Team Brainy Studio, Russia, Project: TurnOn
Second Place, $10,000 prize: Team Bomon, Korea, Project: Under Bed
Third Place, $5,000 prize: Team Illogic, Egypt, Project: Puppy in Bubble
First Place, $50,000 prize and Microsoft Ventures Boot Camp: Team Estimeet, New Zealand, Project: Estimeet
Second Place, $10,000 prize: Team Tep, Hungary, Project: Tep
Third Place, $5,000 prize: Team Butterfly, Bahrain, Project: Nail Polish Mixer
World Citizenship Category:
First Place, $50,000 prize and Microsoft YouthSpark Boot Camp: Team Eyenaemia, Australia, Project: Eyenaemia
Second Place, $10,000 prize: Team SMART crew, Taiwan, Project: Versatility of Usens: From Lab to Life
Third Place, $5,000 prize: Team Access Earth, Ireland, Project: Access Earth
Thirty-four student teams representing 34 countries competed in the World Finals after winning national and online competitions around the globe. Microsoft awarded cash and other prizes to the winning teams, valued at more than $1 million across the yearlong Imagine Cup program. Other prizes include boot camps focused on career skills and project support, plus airfare and accommodation packages, and awards for the winning teams at the World Finals event this week.