Microsoft's challenge competition for teams of students is now underway for its ninth year. The Imagine Cup involves students from all over the world and acts as a showcase for young developers, designers and IT pros to demonstrate the use of technology for creating change.
Open to students around the world, the Imagine Cup competition begins with local, regional and online competitions. The finalists go on to compete at the Worldwide Finals, which will be held in New York City in July 2011. Last year's competition attracted more than 325,000 students from more than 100 countries.
With competitions for software design, embedded development, game design, Windows Phone 7 and more, participation in the Imagine Cup is open to students aged 16 and over (18 in the UK) registered in accredited educational institutions. For most of the events students compete in teams of up to 4.
The most recent challenge is Imagine Cup Solve This. For this Organizations such as NetHope, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the United Nations Programme on Youth (UNPY), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have submitted real problems that student teams can work on, with a goal of developing an innovative solution that will help make a real and direct impact on society. This is intended as an opportunity for students to learn new skills and gain experience while making a difference in the world.
Deadlines for registration differ across the participating countries so check out the important dates by visiting the Imagine Cup website and choosing your region.