The Imagine Cup Experience

The world is coming to New York! 
That’s right, the 2011 Imagine Cup World finals are going to be held in NYC!  What is the Imagine Cup you ask?  Well it is the premier student technology in the world! 
Here is how Microsoft describes it on the Imagine Cup website (
Simply put, it’s the world’s premier student technology competition. Beginning with local and regional competitions, Imagine Cup 2011 comes to an exciting finale at the Worldwide Finals held this year in New York City, United States. Want more chances to win? Sign up to compete in the additional Challenges. Overall, the idea is to show how technology can help solve the world’s toughest problems. And the solution? Well, that’s entirely up to you—and your imagination.
The world’s toughest problems that the quote above refers to are the U.N. Millennium Goals.  They range from maternal/child welfare to global collaboration.  Although there are just 8 of these goals, you would not belive that breadth of problems that they encompass.  So, they cover just about any problem you would want to address. 
There are also several different categories of competitions that you can compete in.  There is Software Design, where you create a software application to address one of the millenial goals and a business plan for it as well.  The Embedded Device competition challenges you to create a technical device using the Windows CE embedded OS.  There are also competitions in Digital Media, Game Design, and the IT challenge.
I have had the pleasure of mentoring teams for the past two years in the Imagine Cup Software Design competition and each year the team made the U.S. Finals.   Below are some pictures from yast years finals in Washington D.C.  Team MedRX created a cloud based collaborative platform for the global sharing medical research data.  The team won the Windows Azure Cloud Computing award for their innovative use of cloud computing technologies and $3000 as well! 
Their success was a testiment to the passion that these students have for technology and for making a change in the world.  If you feel the same passion, I would suggest that you go to the Imagine Cup website and sign up for this years competition.  The world is coming to New York City.  Will YOU be there with them?

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