Today at the Imagine Cup World Finals, we're in someplace special: a giant white tent on a soccer field at the Microsoft Commons! The Imagine Cup Showcase here at Microsoft global headquarters is where our teams are competing today but it's also where Microsoft staff are coming to check out the projects. We had a huge crowd last night of Microsoft technical evangelists, lining up at our students' booths to see what they've made. It's a thrilling opportunity for the students to tell their stories, get experience pitching their project, and for our staff to see just what makes Imagine Cup so special.
We've just concluded our second day of competition with the hands-on judging. Each judge spent fifteen minutes with each team, trying out their project directly and having an informal conversation about what they saw. Then each judge moved on to the next team and repeated this for the rest of the process, so that in the end every team spent 15 minutes with every judge in their contest.
Whew! It's a lot of work, but as we heard from World Finalist students last year, it's some of the most valuable time they'll spend all week. The chance to get face time with each judge directly, getting valuable questions and feedback, is something our students really value.
This marks the end of our competition, so now we'll just need to tally up scores and determine who won for our World Championships event tomorrow.
We do have exciting news to share! At the end of our hands-on judging, our students assembled in the showcase tent on the Microsoft campus. It was time for Microsoft staff to come through and see the students' projects. We took that opportunity to announce the winning teams for two of our great partner awards, and here they are!
Team IJ Developers won a $25,000 Facebook advertising credit for their project Ladybug, a household electricity monitoring and automation project that beautifully integrated Facebook functionality into their community features.
Two teams were chosen for their outstanding Windows Phone apps. Each team will receive 20,000 Euros from AppCampus, a mobile innovation program funded by Microsoft and Aalto University, Finland.
Team Tep from Hungary won for their project, Tep, a virtual pet whom you care for by exercising and getting fit.
Team Brainy Studio from Russia won for their project, TurnOn, a clever game about using electricity to light up a dark town.
Tonight, these three teams will join the winners of our Apps for Office Challenge and our Windows & Windows Phone Challenge at a celebratory dinner high atop the Space Needle! Congratulations to all of these great teams for their hard work and much-deserved recognition.
Will any of them also take home a first, second, or third place trophy? Find out tomorrow at 0830 Pacific time right here on our homepage when the Imagine Cup World Championships livestream kicks off. It's going to be incredible!