REDMOND, Wash. — July 13, 2010 — As the curtain closed on the 2010 Imagine Cup, attention now turned to next year’s competition, and the message to students thinking of competing is, “Think Big, Act Big.” The Embedded finalists this year were phenomenal and have set the bar high.
Now it’s time for the next class of students to embark on their own inspirational journey and start thinking about the projects they want to enter into the 2011 Imagine Cup competition, which will continue to focus on how technology can help solve the world’s toughest problems.
Competition will begin with local and regional contests taking place around the world before the exciting finale at the Worldwide Finals in New York City, the first time that Microsoft’s Imagine Cup has been held in the U.S.
A recognized hot bed of technology entrepreneurialism, New York is seen as an exciting and inspiring venue for Imagine Cup 2011. A city of dreams and diversity, with the showmanship and creativity of Broadway to the business acumen of Wall Street, NYC represents a melting pot of talent and opportunity. It is also symbolic, representative of where some of the toughest decisions have been made on the world’s toughest problems. For the competitors in 2011, it will be the setting for a very personal and compelling journey.
The Windows Embedded Development category is getting more and more competitive as the teams tackle increasingly sophisticated problems. The new crop of competitors is going to have to be on their A-game, able to demonstrate and explain in-depth just how technology can be used to address some of the toughest challenges in the world. On top of that, they must address the marketability of their solution and present not just a technically advanced project, but one that displays business nous and practical application.
Final teams in Embedded Development competition take the stage at Imagine Cup 2010.
“The Imagine Cup truly ramps up the experiences the students are used to in an academic setting. Once they hit this competition, all that experience goes out the window and it becomes an interesting way to test the students’ ability and understanding of their market and technology,” said Scott Davis, group marketing manager for Windows Embedded and the Embedded team captain. “The Imagine Cup challenges both the students and mentors in a way that no other competition does.”
This year’s Embedded teams were a prime example. They harnessed great ideas and built innovative creations from Robonanny, a handcrafted robotic teaching aid, and the WiziTank, an unmanned ground combat vehicle, to a simple but effective vaccine tracker that helps medical personnel record and track patient immunizations in remote regions of underdeveloped countries.
“This is a chance for students to get involved, get others involved and start the conversation and keep it going,” said Jon Perera, general manager of Microsoft Education. “Don’t stop dreaming — the Imagine Cup is the starting point for something special.”
Robonanny, from Team Russia, hits the Imagine Cup stage.
It’s not all about the winning projects either. It’s about students from all over the world having the opportunity to take their project from nascent idea to business opportunity. “We are contemplating starting our own company and looking for investors,” said Team France, which placed third in the Embedded Development competition.
To help them and all the finalists achieve this dream, they will be given access to Microsoft’s BizSpark program, an ecosystem that includes 8,600 startups and more than 750 Network Partners in Europe, and operates in more than 100 countries globally. Through BizSpark, students can learn the basics of business, get tips on how to look for funding and receive free access to Microsoft technology and tools to help them evolve their projects.
The 2010 Embedded Development finalist teams shared these words of wisdom for students considering entering next year’s competition.
“Expect the best and prepare for the worst.” – Team France, GERA
“The Imagine Cup is a great experience; we will be back next year.” – Team Germany, SmartTT
“The Imagine Cup is a great opportunity to learn from others; the kinds of technology and different ideas from the different parts of the world are very visible out here, and seeing the competitive spirit of the different students is very motivational. Think of a device, something that really hits the masses, the solution should be new and something that really helps solve the world’s biggest problems.” – Team India, WiziTank
“Be prepared, for anything and everything; things change quickly in a competition like this.” – Team Japan, CLFS
“Imagine an idea and if you think it’s good, don’t hesitate to do it.” – Team Thailand, SuperLoveFactory
“You have to be both mentally prepared and technologically equipped; think about the problem and how technology can be applied to solve it.” – Team Russia, MCPU
For additional Imagine Cup images, visit the Windows Embedded Flickr page and the official Imagine Cup Flickr page. A complete list of winners from all categories can also be found on the official Imagine Cup website.