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ST. PETERSBURG, July 12 (Itar-Tass) - Microsoft Corp. has 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.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announces the location for Imagine Cup 2014.
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 U.S. dollars 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,” Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president and chief evangelist at Microsoft, said. “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 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,” Jon Bassett, DFJ Frontier analyst and a judge at this year’s Imagine Cup, said. “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.”
A group of students from the United Kingdom won 50,000 U.S. dollars as the first-place winners of the Microsoft Imagine Cup Innovation Competition with their mobile phone application “soundSYNK,” which creates impromptu social networks that allow people to stream music simultaneously through a group of phones, effectively creating a symphony of speakers.
Prizes were awarded in the following categories: Innovation, Games and World Citizenship.
This year, Imagine Cup also 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 awards were given in the following categories: Windows Azure Challenge, Windows Phone Challenge, and Windows 8 Apps Challenge.
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: Team Banzai Lightning, France; Team Flying Ship, Brazil; Team Lumos, Korea; Team MASKed Ninjas, Egypt; and Team TapBoarders, Poland.
Boost awards also were distributed in recognition of the outstanding achievements of many winning teams.
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 Centre.
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.
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, Imagine Cup said.