If you are not familiar with Imagine Cup, it’s Microsoft’s way of fostering development of the next generation of individuals who will impact our world in ways we could not imagine. To put it bluntly, Microsoft leverages its technology to help students create game changing applications that can solve world problems.
In 2011, Microsoft started something new. Rather than place just the technology in to the hands of these groups, Microsoft is also giving out grants to make sure that these excellent application of ideas do not fall because of one common hurdle, startup capital.
To that note, Microsoft has awarded $300,000 in grant money to four teams to help kick start their products; that’s 300k in cash folks. Even though this is the first year of giving out grants, Microsoft has committed to help fund two additional years, through 2013, for Imagine Cup finalists.
There were four groups who were awarded grants this year; Team Apptenders (Croatia), Team Falcon Dev (Ecuador), Team OaSys (Jordan) and Team Lifelens (United States). Each team received $75,000 to invest in to their project to keep the momentum moving forward. Even better, each team captain got to meet Bill Gates at a round-table event.
In a conversation Neowin had with Microsoft’s Suzi LeVine, Director of Academic Programs, she stated that it is Microsoft’s goal to change the world with Imagine Cup. LeVine’s enthusiasm in supporting Imagine Cup and the student’s involved, prescribes how Microsoft is committed to developing the minds of tomorrow with world changing challenges today.
Microsoft’s commitment to fostering game changing applications in the education sector is encouraging. Imagine Cup has been a fantastic way to get the conversation started and in many cases developed new businesses around previous challenges.
With 2012 challenges kicking off in the near future, Neowin will be following Microsoft and its Imagine Cup participants as they use Windows 8, Windows Phone, Kinect and other Microsoft products to take on a global effort to make this world a better place.
To learn more about Imagine cup, you can see our previous posts here, or you can visit the Imagine Cup website. The World finals will be held in Australia in July and we will be there to cover the event and all of the upcoming applications that are fundamentally important to evolving our race.