Imagine Cup 2013 approaches

imagine cup

Like clockwork every year, Microsoft invites students around the world to innovate, compete and get a ridiculous amount of prizes as reward for awesome ideas and software. Now even more so as the prizes, categories and competition all scale way up!

First off: Happy 2013 to all our beloved readers! This year brings a lot of cool new stuff to the world of .NET and we’re super excited to bring you news and events around Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and of course the Microsoft Student Partners Program! Now, back to business!

If you aren’t yet familiar with it, Imagine cup is the premiere competition for students working with Microsoft technologies and a super opportunity to take your skills and software ideas to the test. Not to mention the free PR for yourself professionally and for your product if you aim to build it into a business.

This year’s main venue is St. Petersburg in Russia from July 8th to 11th – and let me tell you – the game has been taken to a whole other level. First of all, the prize budget is 300 000 for this year’s competition. Not to mention the 3 million in Imagine Cup grants to make competition entries into real world businesses after the competition ends.

Among the new features is the past flagship category of software development being divided into three new(-ish) categories:

  • World Citizenship: Basically what used to be the software competition, save the world with Microsoft technologies, target problems with universal consequences and so forth. 
  • Games: This one’s also familiar, but the save the world attitude has been toned down a bit from past years. I’d imagine you still can’t make a sexy-bloodbath-murder-shoot-explosion-avenger-games, but more along the lines of happy-puppies-entertainment for “teens and youth”.
  • Innovation: This is a bit of a wildcard-category. I think this is the one where you can compete with an awesome product that’s completely new with a little less regard for the  “oh the humanitee”-mentality. Seems like this is their take on the startup-phenomena spreading across the world.

All the above competitions have 50 000 USD rewards for the winning team and 10 000 and 5 000 for the runner-ups. The other challenges include:

  • Windows 8 Apps
  • Brain Games
  • Windows Azure
  • Windows Phone

All with prizes ranging from 10 000 USD to 1 000 USD. In addition to all these prizes, the teams participating in the global finals have pretty consistently been awarded with the latest Microsoft products just for securing a spot in the finals.

Important dates for the entire competition:

August 30, 2012
Competition began.

February 15, 2013
Deadline to register your team.

April 15, 2013
Deadlines for online submissions and local finals. The actual event days vary by region. You will get more information when registering.

May 15, 2013
Finalist teams announced at

July 8-12, 2013
Worldwide Finals in St. Petersburg, Russia

Further reading:

Tech Crunch reports on Imagine Cup 2013

Official Imagine Cup website


About Jesse Santtila

Jesse is an IT student at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences. He loves technology, gadgets, design, punk rock and video games. He is fanatic about the Finnish startup- and games development-scene and brilliant ideas people come up with.
This entry was posted in Azure, Development, Imagine Cup, Students, Windows 8, windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 8 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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