For those of you, who are new to the Imagine Cup; it’s a worldwide competition organized by Microsoft with the continuous theme of solving some of the world’s greatest problems with technology. And it is huge. Thousands of student’s from all around the world get together at the finals each year to compete for the main prize and the kudos. Dozens more compete on a regional level and the amount of teams sending in the initial application to the competition are in the hundreds for each country. So even landing a place in the worldwide finals or regional semifinals is a big deal, not to mention a great addition to one’s CV.
So what do you need to do the get involved?
- Gather a Team of up to 4 students
- Register at Imagine Cup Website
- Come up with an awesome idea (get inspiration from UN’s millenium development goals (PDF))
- Get cracking with development
- Impress the judges in the application
- Impress the judges at the semifinals
- Impress the judges at the finals in Australia
- Win the competition!
Finland has already had some really great representation in the competition and great products put out there through this competition. A couple of examples are Greendel, Vigilis and SignBook. And remember, it’s not only about the main prize, but also the opportunity to get some real development experience and getting to build something from the ground up. It’s a challenge, but you’ll learn more with one project than in your average academic year. Not to mention you’ll probably be doing it with friends and having a great time while at it. More often than not the Universities also recognize your efforts and sometimes give your product free publicity in newsletters or by co-operation or even academic credits. Be sure to make some noise over your product!
Jesse (@JesseSanttila) is an IT student at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences. He loves technology, gadgets, design, punk rock and videogames. He has been lately very excited about the upcoming Finnish startup-scene and brilliant ideas people come up with.