Microsoft’s Hometown Welcomes World Finals

Seattle has always been a pioneer town. Out here in the Pacific Northwest the rugged terrain and the roar of the ocean have marked the frontier, the wilderness, the place where you go to start something new. The city is a young one, founded in 1851, and the twentieth century showed it was a place for new kinds of pioneers: from the aerospace innovations of Boeing to the software powerhouse of Microsoft to the trailblazing online retailer and many more. Today it’s an innovation hub littered with startups, megacorps, and development centers for companies such as Facebook and Twitter.

It’s fitting that this year, Microsoft will be hosting the Imagine Cup world finals in our hometown. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome talented young people from around the world to the Pacific Northwest and offer them a taste of the local culture.

This year’s finalists will get unprecedented opportunities and experiences throughout the competition. They’ll visit Microsoft headquarters in Redmond and experience some of the things that make Seattle, the Emerald City, so great. Today we’re pleased to announce strategic partnerships with Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI), the city-wide Seafair celebration, and the iconic Space Needle. Imagine Cup world finalists are in for an amazing week!

New Partnerships

Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) MOHAI’s mission is to spark the innovator in all of us, and on Saturday, August 2 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, MOHAI and Microsoft will host Imagine Cup Day when the museum will open its doors to the public for free and the Imagine Cup finalists will showcase their projects as part of a special one-day only event. Residents of Seattle – techies and families alike – will meet our students and see their projects in action.

Highlighting innovation and education, MOHAI collects and preserves the diverse history of Seattle and Puget Sound in an effort to inspire people to create a better future for themselves and their communities. MOHAI’s Bezos Center for Innovation explores our world’s challenges and presents the next big idea, inspiring innovation. We’re proud to join MOHAI in challenging students to break new ground and solve tough problems facing the world today – exploring the “big idea” and how it might be scaled into a real enterprise.

At the MOHAI Imagine Cup showcase, visitors will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite Imagine Cup project, and the team with the winning project will receive the People’s Choice Award: a $1,000 prize and a donation of $1,000 to their university.

We invite all of Puget Sound to come see our finalists’ incredible talent and creativity, and we encourage visitors to bring school supplies that will be donated to a local charity to help ensure all students have the tools to succeed.

Seafair A Pacific Northwest tradition, Seafair has been a part of the Seattle summer calendar for more than six decades celebrating the water and the engineering innovation that has been a part of the city’s DNA since the early days of Boeing. This eight-week festival encompasses over 75 events, reaches nearly 2 million people annually, and culminates in Seattle’s favorite summertime celebration: Seafair Weekend. Three days of hydroplane racing, a spectacular air show featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and performances by some of the top wakeboarders in the world bring Seattleites and tourists alike together on the shores of Lake Washington year after year. The event is uniquely “Seattle,” and our world finalists will attend the Saturday evening fireworks display and concert. One lucky student team will earn the chance to drop the flag on a hydroplane race.

Over the years, the festival has evolved in a way that delights Seattleites, by continuously incorporating new activities and events that are as diverse as the community it serves. Seafair is a part of what makes up a “Quintessential Northwesterner”—so what better way to showcase Seattle culture to our Finalists from around the World!

The Space Needle Seattle’s most iconic landmark and a symbol of the city’s innovation, the Space Needle is the defining image of the city and a visually stunning encounter.

Built as the centerpiece and inspiration for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the Space Needle has become a part of the Seattle experience and the globally recognized icon for the city. This year the Space Needle joins with Imagine Cup to help empower the next generation of thinkers and entrepreneurs to foster positive global change through technology innovation, welcoming all the student finalists to experience the view from the 605-foot spire on the day when students take a break from the competition and explore the magic of the city. The top three teams from this year’s Imagine Cup competition will also win the opportunity to take a rare and unforgettable visit to the Space Needle rooftop!

Dreams of the Emerald City

Are you excited yet? I’ve lived here since 1994 and every year this city shows me a new face. It’s an incredible place and all of us at Microsoft are thrilled to welcome our student finalists this July. What Seattle experience do you want to have? Tell us in the comments below and on Facebook and Twitter. And stay tuned for more big news in the coming weeks as we all walk the road to the Imagine Cup 2014 World Finals!

John Scott Tynes
Imagine Cup Program Lead
Microsoft Student Developers

Comments (17)

  1. Chusek Phientharntham says:

    You’ve lived Seattle since 1994. Hmm…well, I’ve lived since 1994.
    I’ve research and had known that Seattle is Microsoft’s base. I’ve had a funny theory like, you guys don’t want to get jet lagged so you settle for Seattle. 😛

    1. John Scott Tynes says:

      Haha! Well, I love traveling and it was great to visit Russia last year, but it will be fun to show off our wonderful city. And skipping the jet lag is great. 🙂

      1. vivek gandhi says:

        hello sir
        i have created team of 3 people ,we are trying to develop a game a FPS
        you can see here
        so my question how i can participate or win imagine cup ??

        1. John Scott Tynes says:

          Our current season is in its final months so it’s too late to compete this time. But our next season launches this fall and you should compete then!

  2. Temidayo Adefioye says:

    We just concluded our imagine cup national finals in Nigeria.What’s next?

    1. Jermaine McDonald says:

      I believe you’ll need to complete the requirements for the online semi finals. Depending on your category, it could mean completing a video presentation, online survey and submitting your app to the windows store. You can send an email to for more information.

    2. John Scott Tynes says:

      Hi Temidayo, you should have received an email from us by now telling you that you’re now in the World Semifinals round and you can submit your project.

      1. Jermaine McDonald says:

        Hi John, If my Nationals were on April 28, after we submit our requirements for the semi-finals, do we have time to make any revisions if we need to? We were told we have until April 30, 2014 in the guidelines but on the Dashboard is shows the May 31st I believe.

        1. John Scott Tynes says:

          The dashboard is incorrect and we’ve fixed that. Our judges are starting work this week.

          1. Jermaine McDonald says:

            Thanks a lot John, I see the change made. We did an initial submission, but at least we can make some final touches before it is judged.

  3. orane campbell says:

    Awesome I would really love if i can advance from semi finals i would certainly love to take in that atmosphere

  4. Jermaine McDonald says:

    Looking forward to it, should be a great time…

  5. Anto Yesuraj says:

    Please give chance to poor students plz understand the pain of poor student. Next big unimaginable things happens. Poor students facing so many problems plz give a platform for poor student

  6. Anto Yesuraj says:

    I want to build but in village i have no source and facility because i am poor no one helping hands here.

  7. Anto Yesuraj says:

    Please respond to me poor student need platform please understand the pain of poor student

  8. Iyanu Olabode says:

    Mr John Scott Tynes please watch out for #Team HighRise. They are from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology. They represent Nigeria. They guys that represented Nigeria last year at Russia were also from this school. They cool guys filled with innovative stuffs.

    1. John Scott Tynes says:

      Glad to hear it! Team High Rise’s project CATARA looks good:

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