imagine cup

Microsoft Announces This Year’s Imagine Cup Finalists, With Satya Nadella As VIP Judge

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For the last 11 years, Microsoft has been running its worldwide Imagine Cup student software competition, and every year, it invites the best teams to the world finals. Last year’s event was in St. Petersburg, Russia, for example. This time around, the finals will take in Microsoft’s backyard in Seattle from July 29 to August 2 and the company today announced the 35 teams that have made it into the final round of the competition.

In addition, Microsoft announced that the finals judges will include Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, as well as Reddit General Manger Erik Martin and Code.org Co-founder Hadi Partovi.

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Last year’s winners (plus Dr. Who)

In total, over 1.75 million students from more than 190 countries have now participated in the event, which has evolved over the years. Early iterations mostly focused on what Microsoft called the “World Citizenship” challenge, which asked students to write applications related to social good. But now the focus is more on innovation and entrepreneurship. Microsoft has also elevated the games competition quite a bit from earlier iterations and it now sits side-by-side with the innovation and world citizenship categories.

As Microsoft’s Imagine Cup lead John Scott Tynes told me this week, one of the major changes this year was the addition of a number of smaller challenges (with cash prizes) early on in the competition that were meant to help students refine the ideas for their projects. Students had to create a video pitch, for example, as well as develop a detailed blueprint for their applications and to create user interface mock-ups. The idea here was to get teams started down the path to the regional finals early, though there were no requirements for finalist teams to participate in any of the challenges. In the end, Scott Tynes tells me, almost half of the teams that made it into the semi-finals this year had participated in the earlier challenges, though.

As always, the finalists cover a wide array of topics. There are a number of hardware-centric groups, for example, that include a Japanese group that built a robotic teddy bear that is remote-controlled by a Kinect and a nail polish printer, for example, that was developed by a group of female students from Bahrain. Other projects include an anaemia-screening tool for use by anybody with a smartphone and an app that lets you snap pictures of your food and provides you with nutritional information about it.

Here is a full list of this year’s finalists:

Category

Team Name

Country

Project Name

Games

Liaison Team

Brazil

Liaison

Games

Illogic

Egypt

Puppy in Bubble

Games

AnarTeam

France

Anarcute

Games

Spotlight Games

Germany

Mr. Skyjump

Games

Genesis

Greece

Dementia: Tales of
Blackthorn Manor

Games

Seven Summits

India

Petite

Games

Team NewAge

Jamaica

Project Exit

Games

Bomon

Korea

Under bed

Games

Animus

Philippines

FitPals

Games

Brainy Studio

Russia

TurnOn

Innovation

ButterFly

Bahrain

Nail Polish Mixer

Innovation

Chemicalium

Bosnia and
Herzegovina

Chemicalium

Innovation

claVision

Canada

claVision (Visual
Automatic Piano Music Transcription)

Innovation

ij Developers

Cyprus

LADYBUG

Innovation

Tep

Hungary

Tep

Innovation

Reverse

Italy

Reverse

Innovation

Kazokugurumi

Japan

Kazokugurumi

Innovation

Meep

New Zealand

Meep

Innovation

Vanguard

United Kingdom

Ripple

Innovation

flipped.uy

Uruguay

flipped

Innovation

Food&Gram

Venezuela

Food & Gram

World Citizenship

Eyenaemia

Australia

Eyenaemia

World Citizenship

Imagine The
World

China

PersePhone

World Citizenship

Access Earth

Ireland

Access Earth

World Citizenship

High Rise

Nigeria

CATARA

World Citizenship

Amplifiers

Pakistan

Project AMP

World Citizenship

Power of Vision

Poland

Face Controller

World Citizenship

The Dians

Portugal

Nuada

World Citizenship

I Copy You

Qatar

Mimicking Robot for
Autistic Children

World Citizenship

SMT

Romania

sMilestone

World Citizenship

BarFoo

Serbia

Sonochrome

World Citizenship

SMART crew

Taiwan

Versatility of
Usens: From Lab to Life

World Citizenship

AfriGal Tech

Uganda

mDex

World Citizenship

Grant Fellow

United States

Grant Fellow

As Scott Tynes also told me, this year’s winners won’t just get a $50,000 cash prize, but in addition, Microsoft will continue to work with these groups to help them develop their projects. The most innovative project, for example, will be automatically accepted into one of Microsoft Ventures’ accelerator programs. The winner of the games competition will be invited to the PAX Dev and PAX Prime events in Seattle to present the winning game, and the World Citizenship winner will get a return trip to Seattle, which will include help from Microsoft engineers and introductions to nonprofit organizations that can help further the project.