ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, July 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. today announced the winners of the 11th annual Microsoft Imagine Cup, the world's premier competition for student technologists, developers and aspiring entrepreneurs to create innovative projects and ultimately bring those ideas to market. Winning projects were announced for the three major Competition categories — Innovation, Games and World Citizenship — as well as three product-specific Challenges and eight special awards from Imagine Cup sponsors.
The winners were announced at the Imagine Cup Awards Ceremony, held at the historic Alexandrinsky Theater and attended by more than 800 students, judges, awards Partners, Russian dignitaries and members of the media from around the world. The ceremony was the culmination of a four-day competition and celebration of bringing ideas to life through technology and teamwork.
Eighty-seven student teams from 71 countries competed in the Worldwide Finals after winning local and online competitions around the world. Microsoft has awarded cash and other prizes valued at more than $1 million throughout the yearlong Imagine Cup competition, including awards for the winning teams at the Worldwide Finals event this week.
"For the past 11 years, Imagine Cup has been a place of inspiration and innovation for students around the world," said Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president and chief evangelist at Microsoft. "The students participating in this competition demonstrate the very best in innovation from their home countries and together are creating new apps, innovations and services that will change the way the world works, interacts and learns. We are incredibly proud of the finalists who competed in Imagine Cup this year and stand in awe of the projects and technology they brought forth during this exciting week."
Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals winners
"Imagine Cup is a forum for exceptional students from around the world to channel their passion and creativity into thoughtful, innovative solutions that have the potential for real-world impact," said Jon Bassett, DFJ Frontier analyst and a judge at this year's Imagine Cup. "Their commitment to their teams and projects demonstrates these students are finding ways to address everyday problems through technology and to make the world a better place."
The winners of the 11th annual Imagine Cup Competitions are the following:
First Place, $50,000 prize: Team Colinked, United Kingdom, Project: SoundSYNK
Second Place, $10,000 prize: Team DORA, Slovenia, Project: DORA
Third Place, $5,000 prize: Team MYRA, Thailand, Project: SkyPACS
This year, Imagine Cup offered three exclusively online Challenges to students, providing additional opportunities for learning, prototyping and creating apps using the newest Microsoft technologies. The top three teams in each category were awarded the opportunity to travel to Russia to compete at the finals. The Challenge winners are the following:
Windows Azure Challenge
First Place, $10,000 Prize: Team Y-Nots, India, Project: Zoik It!
Second Place, $5,000 Prize: Team nlife, Ukraine, Project: onQuests
Third Place, $3,000 Prize: Team LetssGo, China, Project: Get & Put
In addition to the Competitions and Challenges, students competed for the following special awards from Imagine Cup sponsors:
AFT Excellence Award. Five teams will receive AFT (App Fast Track) review by the Windows Team. In recognition of their outstanding Windows 8 Apps projects, the following teams will receive a review process to enhance their projects and deliver great Windows 8 apps:
AppCampus Award.Team Flying Ship from Brazil won 50,000 euros in funding, airfare and accommodations for its app Callvenient. In recognition of their great project that could be the next big thing on Windows Phone, the team members will fly to Finland for a four-week AppCampus training event.
DreamSpark Learning Award.Team AuThink of Croatia won $5,000 for its project focused on helping autistic children and their parents, which showcases how software creates new ways of learning and teaching.
Facebook Creativity Award.Team AYNi from Ecuador and its volunteering social-network based project took home $25,000 in Facebook advertising credits.
KFC Russia Award.Team Sano from Canada won $10,000 for its health and wellness project. The team's project will be showcased in KFC Russia's flagship restaurant in Moscow.
Mail.Ru Group Connected Planet Award. Three teams met Mail.Ru Group's challenge to develop a project that embraces online communication and entertainment in fun, useful and innovative ways. The following are the winners:
First Place, $10,000 Prize: Team Y-Nots, India, Project: Zoik It!
The following Boost awards also were distributed in recognition of the outstanding achievements of many winning teams:
The DevExpress Boost. The first-place winning teams in the three Competitions and three Challengesreceived a DevExpress Universal Subscription that includes a comprehensive and feature-complete software development toolset for .NET developers. The total value per subscription is $8,799.96 per team.
Windows Azure Boost. First-place winners in the three Competitions and in the Windows 8 Apps and Windows Phone challenges whose projects used Azure Cloud Services won an extra $1,000. In addition, projects that included Windows Mobile Service won an extra $1,000, while projects that included both Azure Cloud Services and Windows Mobile Service qualified for the Double Shot bonus of $3,000.
Windows 8 Boost. First-, second- and third-place winners of the three Competitions and the Windows Azure and Windows Phone challenges whose projects included a Windows 8 Store App received an extra $1,000 through this boost.
Imagine Cup comes home to Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Wash.
In 2014, Imagine Cup is headed to Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Wash. As part of this year's awards ceremony, Steve Ballmer addressed the audience via a prerecorded video announcing next year's competition. The video is available on the Microsoft News Center.
About Microsoft Imagine Cup
Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world's premier technology program and competition for students to learn, build and compete with innovative tools, platform and services. This is the 11th year of Imagine Cup, which was celebrated at the Worldwide Finals in St. Petersburg, Russia, July 8–11. Students are eligible to register and compete in Imagine Cup by visiting http://www.imaginecup.com. A full list of competition categories is available at http://imaginecup.com/main/compete.
In addition to providing a platform for students to demonstrate and share their next great technologies, Imagine Cup has taken on an increased focus in preparing these students to be young entrepreneurs in the global marketplace. All Imagine Cup Worldwide Finalist teams whose projects focus on social good are eligible to apply for Imagine Cup Grants. All Worldwide Finalists teams received grant applications at the finals event in St. Petersburg, and the process will officially close Aug. 16, 2013. In addition, through the Microsoft BizSpark program, Imagine Cup participants can launch startup businesses in their communities and across the Web.
Imagine Cup was made possible by support from key partners that are committed to helping students embrace the full potential of technology. These partners include the Agency for Strategic Initiatives, Avanade Inc., AppCampus, Developer Express Inc., Microsoft DreamSpark, Facebook, KFC Corp., Mail.Ru Group, Samsung, Skolkovo Foundation, UN Women, Windows Azure and Windows.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.