Code FTW. Sign up for Imagine Cup today!

Imagine Cup is all about innovation, transformation and what comes next. Through Imagine Cup, Microsoft provides student developers with the opportunity to mold the world of tomorrow in their eyes by combining their ideas with the power of technology.

Now celebrating its 15th anniversary, I want to share some exciting new changes we’re making to Microsoft’s marquee global student technology competition in the spirit of empowering students to tap into their passion and creativity.

Microsoft Chief Evangelist Steven “Guggs” Guggenheimer announced that we’ll be doubling the competition’s top prize from $50,000 to $100,000 for the team that is crowned the next Imagine Cup World Champion. Student commitment to Imagine Cup has been incredibly inspiring since the competition’s inception, and we felt strongly that their enthusiasm should be met with equal commitment on our part.

We wanted to do more, however, to make this 15th anniversary of Imagine Cup special, and so, true to the ever-evolving nature of our industry, we’re making a few more innovations to Imagine Cup.

First, as cloud technologies become more and more pervasive, we feel it’s paramount that Imagine Cup help student developers prepare for their futures by building skills using today’s premier cloud platforms. To that end, we highly encourage all Imagine Cup projects to showcase one or more Microsoft Azure services within their solutions.

Also, we’re changing the way we judge projects. For the 2017 Imagine Cup competition, we’re placing greater emphasis on each project’s underlying technology. What that means is that Imagine Cup will be on the lookout for deep technology integration in fully formed apps, services and games with the potential to be viable in the commercial marketplace.

Finally, we’ve decided to forego categories in favor of opening the competition up to apps and solutions that might not have neatly fit into one of those categories in past years . . . in other words, all big ideas are welcome in Imagine Cup.

I hope you’re as excited about the upcoming Imagine Cup season as I am. The innovations student come up with year in and year out never cease to amaze and inspire me, and I’m eager to see what the next generation of developers comes up with this year!

Take your first steps into a larger and thrilling world and register for Imagine Cup today!

Good luck to you all,

Pablo Veramendi
Imagine Cup Competition Manager


Comments (14)

  1. Chris says:

    The article says that Azure is encouraged, but the competition page says that Azure is required. Is Azure really required for all projects? What about game projects? The official rule doc doesn’t say anything about Azure at all.

    1. Chris – the Competition rules have just been posted. Yes, Azure is required for all Imagine Cup projects including game projects. Almost all of our games World Finalists in the past have used Azure for savegame data as well as leaderboards. I’m sure there are much more innovative ways of using Azure for games projects as well! Good luck!

  2. Navi says:

    One thing I wanted to ask as a previous imagine cup participant is that, earlier there used to be categories. Now since you have removed categories how will you rank the applications of different categories (like how will a good 3D game ranks against a smartphone based malaria detector? what will be the weight-age points) and since the price pool is same now does that means lesser chance of winning since all categories are now clubbed into one 100k challenge?

    Moreover, what is the main thing you are looking for ? I mean are you looking for applications with larger social impact or the applications with larger market potential like consumer applications .


    1. Navi – please take a look at the Official Competition Rules and Regulations and focus on the Judging Criteria:

      We are focusing on the technology used for the solution this season which will count for 50% of the judging criteria. All projects will be judged from that lens. A games team will need to focus more on the technology they are using, AR/VR, machine learning etc… while the smartphone app will also need a strong and compelling technology platform. We removed the categories as we wanted to see all innovative technology projects, not just projects that fit into specific boundaries. As always, the judging criteria should the guide for all competitors. Good luck!

  3. Kishan says:

    Who are eligible????i am 15 years old

  4. Kishan says:

    Is imagine cup earth is again in 2017

    1. Kishan – students 16+ are eligible to participate – eligibility requirements for all competitions can be found in the Official Rules and Regulations here: There will not be an Imagine Cup Earth competition this year.

      Thank you for your enthusiasm!

  5. emad khan says:

    Hi. I want to know that this competition is only for the computer science students or what ?

    1. Emad – as long as a student meets the eligibility requirements, they can participate! You do not have to be a computer science student.

      1. Sebastian Calvo says:

        Hi I’m a graduated student, at this moment I’m not studying. Can I participate? otherwise, What can I do to participate?

  6. badya says:

    Hello, i’m an undergraduate student from Russia. I would like to know these things;
    1) When does the first stage of the competition start and end?
    2) Is it possible to compete alone? If not, then how can i join a group instead of creating a new one?

    1. Badya – please see the Imagine Cup Russia page here:

      One, two and three person teams are allowed. So you can either enter as one person or find other students to join your project. Good luck!

  7. Ritika says:

    If Imagine Cup will begin on 1’Jan, are we supposed to present our project in Jan or in July.Is the period between Jan-July- for preparing our project or presenting it?

    1. Ritika – it depends on what country you are in. For those countries who have already launched their National Finals, you should see the deadlines on your Account page:

      If you do not see the details it is because your country has not yet launched. You will receive notification via e-mail when your country has an active National Final or Online Final!

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