Microsoft Imagine Cup: A Global Student Technology Competition



Every year for the last 12 years, the Microsoft Imagine Cup has driven young, bright minds from all over the globe to help resolve some of the world’s toughest challenges. All the innovative projects pitched for this competition stay true to the theme “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems”. Students from all over the world participate in teams of 4 or less and take part in competitions such as Software Design, Game Design, IT Challenge, Innovation Competition etc. The structure of Microsoft Imagine Cup changes every year.


Sounds Interesting? You can take part in this global competition by first competing at the National level in your country. A National Finals is held for students in many countries. Those selected then compete in a World Semifinal. In the case where no National Finals are held in your country you can still participate in the Imagine Cup by competing in the Online Finals and advance to the Semi Finals just like everyone else. To know if your country holds a Final or if you would have to compete in the Online Finals, check this link here.

For the 2015 season of the Cup, there are 3 competitions that students can participate in –

  • Games
  • Innovation
  • World Citizenship

A team can participate in any number of the above stated competitions in the Microsoft Imagine Cup. If it is a game that you are making, it will fall in the Games path. The latest and most bleeding edge technologies and concepts fall in the Innovation path. The World Citizenship path is for the softwares that have the potential to address social issues and change the world.

To help develop your idea and hone your skills, the competitions offer optional steps that you can take –

  • Step One: Pitch Video Challenge
  • Step Two: Project BluePrint Challenge
  • Step Three: User Experience Challenge

Participating in these challenges does not only prepare you for the actual competition but also offers an opportunity to win a handsome prize of $3000. A great way to boost your project :D


For each of the paths the winning team takes home a grand prize of $50,000. The only catch is that since it is a Microsoft conducted event, all the softwares need to utilise Microsoft technology. If you are into mobile apps, develop one for Windows Phone to participate. More onto Desktop or Tablets? Develop one for Windows to take part. If browser projects are your cup of tea then you will have to use Windows Azure. Give it your best shot and who knows, you might be in Seattle for the World Finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2015.

 So, what are you waiting for? Get Started.

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Shashwat Pandey

Shashwat Pandey

a Technology freak always in pursuit of the latest and greatest, a Gaming fanatic, a foodie and a traveller
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