Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems

IC-Logo_300pxWideThe Imagine Cup is a world wide Microsoft competition where we ask students to address problems faced around the world and use technology to help. Monday April 30th in Waterloo the top Canadian entries will be competing on stage at the Canadian Imagine Cup Finals! Come out and be inspired!

It starts with an idea, a problem that inspires a student. It could be poverty, healthcare, the environment, hunger, any problem that has a negative impact on others. Now the student puts together a team and they try to use technology to solve those problems. There are lots of different categories: Kinect, Metro, Windows Phone, Azure, Game Design, and Software Design.

This year in Canada we decided to host Canadian Finals in Windows Phone game design and Software Design. The students have been working hard, and our judges (which included a couple of Microsoft MVPs from the community, thank you for your help guys!) selected the top 3 teams in each Canada. Those teams are now coming to Waterloo Monday April 30th to present their solutions on stage to a panel of judges. The Phone Game teams could win mentorship, Xboxs, phones, and interviews. The Software Design teams could win the opportunity to represent Canada at the World Wide finals in Sydney, Australia this July.

The students, the guest speakers and the judges are sure to leave you feeling inspired and empowered! This is a day to celebrate what happens when you combine passion, creativity and technology. We want you to be there!

Who: You!

What: Canadian Imagine Cup Finals

Where: University of Waterloo, Kitchener, Ontario

When: Monday April 30, 2012

Why: because this is going to be one of those days where you walk away feeling energized, inspired and empowered! Two great speaker keynotes, amazing ideas from students as they present to our celebrity/invited experts panel, even a showcase area to see the entries up close or check out the latest Microsoft technologies.

How: Register today!

Price: Free! but space is limited make sure you register!

Take a look at the incredible speakers and judges you will see at the finals!

In order of appearance:

Gladstone_Grant_Small Welcome and opening keynote by Gladstone Grant the Vice President of the Developer and Platform Group at Microsoft Canada.

The Developer & Platform Evangelism Group (DPE) mission is to “Secure the Future of the Microsoft Platform” by ensuring that students, startups, developers, IT Pros, and ISVs choose Microsoft platforms. This group’s mission is critical to the long term success of Microsoft. It is a unique group that combines product marketing, audience marketing, sales, business development and technology evangelism


Presentations by our teams in Software design and Windows Phone game design will be judged by an accomplished celebrity panel!

Carol Leaman

Carol Leaman is the CEO of Axonify, a software company that uses technology to identify, measure and close critical knowledge gaps in employees.  Using principles of behavioural psychology the company provides an interval reinforcement platform that quickly and easily enhances knowledge retention of key policies and procedures.

Prior to Axonify, Carol was CEO of PostRank a software company that tracked where and when online audiences were interacting with content in the social sphere.  After receiving acquisition interest from a number of parties Carol sold PostRank to Google in June 2011.

Carol has also been CEO of RSS Solutions and Fakespace, two other tech companies that she sold to strategic acquirers in North America.  She has a finance background and a Master of Accounting from the University of Waterloo. 

Carol was recently recognized for her contributions with an Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Intrepid Award for being an entrepreneur who is a strong leader and has great promise for future contribution. She loves all things technology, and sits on the boards of several organizations.

Michael Furdyk

Michael Furdyk is the Co-founder of TakingITGlobal, which provides innovative global education programs that empower youth to understand and act on the world's greatest challenges.

In the past, he turned his interest in technology into several successful online companies, including, which sold to in 1999. In 2008, he was named by Contribute Magazine as one of 10 Tech Revolutionaries Redefining the Power and Face of Philanthropy.

Michael has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, presented at TED, and was named one of Teen People's "Twenty Teens that will Change the World". Over the last decade, he has keynoted over 100 events across sectors, sharing his social media expertise and insights on youth engagement and educational reform to audiences in over 30 countries. He sits on several non-profit boards, including the Re-Inventing Schools Coalition, and on the International Advisory Council for Microsoft's Partners in Learning program

Marc Saltzman

Marc Saltzman has reported on the high-tech industry since 1996 as a freelance journalist, author, lecturer, consultant, and radio and TV personality. His specialties lie in consumer electronics, computers, Internet trends, video games and DVD/Blu-ray reviews.

Along with his weekly syndicated columns with Gannett ContentOne (formerly Gannett News Service), and, Marc currently contributes to more than 50 prominent publications, including USA Today,, AARP - The Magazine, The Costco Connection (U.S. and Canada), MSN, Yahoo!, Sympatico, Toronto Star, PostMedia (CanWest), Connected (Rogers Publishing), Telus Talks Business, IT Insider Online, Common Sense Media,, Playboy, Movie Entertainment, Chill, Homefront, and others.

Tim Jackson

We’ll wrap up the day with an inspiring keynote from Tim Jackson, someone who is living the theme of Imagine Cup “Making a Difference” as a founder and partner of Social Venture Partners of Waterloo Region, a venture fund that blends volunteerism and philanthropy together to invest in social/community initiatives.

Tim has a long history as an entrepreneur and business leader. A founder and partner of Tech Capital Partners, he was earlier CFO and CEO at PixStream. He has also acted as CFO, CEO, or board member for numerous other technology companies. Tim is a frequent speaker on innovation, corporate culture, leadership, community building, acquisitions and investing, and related topics.

Active for many years in the not-for-profit sector, in 2009 Tim was awarded the inaugural annual Barnraiser Award for “inspirational, collaborative achievement” in Waterloo Region. In 2007, he was honoured with the Legacy of Leaders Award from the City of Waterloo and the Leadership Award from the Volunteer Action Center.



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