To mark the 10th anniversary of the Imagine Cup, Microsoft has announced which student teams will be travelling to Australia for the 2012 finals.
Seventy-five student teams from throughout the world, with projects that tackle humanitarian issues including health, accessibility, the environment, education, will be competing at the Worldwide Finals. This event takes place in Sydney from July 6 - 10 and there's $175,000 (U.S.) in cash prizes in categories including Software Design, Game Design: Phone, Game Design: Xbox/Windows, Windows Phone Challenge, IT Challenge, Windows Azure Challenge, Kinect Fun Labs Challenge and the Windows Metro Style App Challenge.
In addition two new awards, sponsored by Coca-Cola, have been announced for the Worldwide Finalist teams: Environmental Sustainability and Health Awareness.
Commenting on the Imagine CVup's 10th anniversary, Moorthy Uppaluri, general manager, Academic Programs at Microsoft said:
“During the past decade, students have taken the lead in adopting new technologies and championing social transformation. Ten years ago, we created Imagine Cup with the idea that students can change the world — and every year they continue to demonstrate their passion and creativity in creating technology that makes the world a better place.”
During the first Imagine Cup in 2003, there were a little more than 1,000 registrants from 25 countries, with only 15 finalist teams competing at the Worldwide Finals in Barcelona. Since then, the Imagine Cup has inspired a generation, with 1.65 million students from 190 countries participating in the competition during the past decade. Since last year, students from 29 new regions and countries, including Haiti, Rwanda, the Republic of Kosovo and Myanmar, have registered for the competition.
This year is the first time that the Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals event takes place in Australia. A full list of the 72 teams that will be making their way to Sydney can be found here. Three more teams, winners of the Kinect Fun Labs Challenge, will be selected in June. Stories of local finals can be found on the Imagine Cup Blog.