The U.S. Imagine Cup Finals took place in Seattle this week during an exciting three-day event where Microsoft exposed students to networking opportunities, innovative technology and community celebration. Out of nearly 3,000 students across the U.S., 12 student finalist teams competed to win up to $6,000 and the chance to advance to the Imagine Cup World Finals, where one team will win $100,000. The competing teams presented and demoed their tech projects to a panel of VIP judges, gained exposure to industry pros and received invaluable tech and startup mentorship from senior leaders across the community. The 12 teams were (in alphabetical order):
1. Æffective Robotics (Arizona State University)
2. Brazilian Students Association (Stanford University)
3. Convergent (University of Washington, Bothell)
4. Farmalytics (Stanford University & UC San Diego)
5. Fluency (MIT)
6. –less is more (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
7. Milestone (UC Berkeley)
8. NGNL (UC Berkeley & UC Santa Barbara)
9. Oculogx (Georgia Tech)
10. Orai (Drexel University & University of Rochester)
11. Pulse Pal (Princeton University)
12. SocialQ (Stanford University)
U.S. Winners Announced!
Six winning teams took home cash prizes and advanced to the Imagine Cup World Finals this summer, where they will represent the United States for the chance to take home the trophy and win the $100,000 grand prize:
1st Place Winner ($6,000)
Farmalytics from Stanford & UC San Diego
Team Farmalytics includes Grad Students Alok Shankar Mysore from UC San Diego and Chiraag Sumanth from Stanford. Farmalytics uses field sensors that measure important parameters vital for crop growth, providing intelligent analysis and actionable info in several languages to farmers through a web and mobile app.
2nd Place Winner ($5,000)
Orai from Drexel University & University of Rochester
Team Orai includes junior Paritosh Gupta and senior Danish Dhamani from Drexel, as well as PhD student Daniel Pontillo from University of Rochester. Orai app helps people improve their speech content and delivery through instantaneous, on-demand, and personalized feedback, including insights about pace variation, pauses, and filler words.
3rd Place Winner ($4,000)
Oculogx from Georgia Tech
Team Oculogx includes juniors Wenqi Zian, Sarthak Srinivas, and senior Cheng Hann Gan. Together they created a mixed reality app that uses HoloLens and Azure to improve order picking in warehouses by integrating waypoint navigation, barcode scanning, and direct communication with warehouse management systems to improve warehouse efficiency.
4th Place Winner ($3,000)
Brazilian Students Association at Stanford University
The Brazilian Students Association includes sophomores Daniel Crisóstomo Wainstock, Gustavo Torres da Silva, and Michael Troute. These students created Cheque, an app that allows Brazilians to access political info, provide feedback to their representatives, and participate in debate, while tracking every decision a representative makes on behalf of their districts, showing how well legislators represent their constituency over time.
5th Place Winner ($2,000)
Fluency from MIT
Freshmen Stella Yang, Su Yang, and Kentaro Tanaka built Fluency, which is an immersive language-learning web app, transforming the way people learn foreign languages by connecting users with native speakers, who can practice with each other over message and video chat. Fluency provides an alternative to classroom-style or textbook-based learning and emphasizes actual speaking and conversational practice in real-time.
6th Place Winner ($1,000)
Pulse Pal from Princeton University
Team Pulse Pal includes juniors Aana Bansal, Juan Sepulveda Varon, and Sara Fridovich-Keil. Together, they created a low-cost mobile tool that uses an algorithm and video camera to digitally monitor heartrate by measuring minute skin tone fluctuations through a 30-second video recording of a person’s face.
More About Imagine Cup
Imagine Cup is Microsoft’s global student tech competition that empowers the next generation of computer science students to team up and use their creativity, passion and knowledge of technology to create applications that shape how we live, work and play. Every year tens of thousands of high school (16+) and university students from across the globe compete for cash, travel and prizes, and for the honor of taking home the Imagine Cup! It is an opportunity for each student to break new ground, solve problems facing the world today and maybe even turn their idea into a business. Last year’s U.S. winner, HealthX, from the University of Utah, developed a comprehensive solution for the diagnosis and treatment of amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye, using Windows and Visual Studio. Since winning, they have begun clinical trials with patients working with several leading clinics across the US.
Highlights from the 2017 U.S. Imagine Cup Finals
• Demo Expo and Networking Event – Student finalists showed off their tech projects to the public, networked with industry pros and recruiters, tried out the latest Microsoft innovations (like HoloLens), and heard inspiring words from Margo Day, VP of U.S. Education at Microsoft!
• Competition Day – Each U.S. Finalist team battled it out in front of a panel of VIP tech and startup judges!
• Awards Ceremony – Microsoft announced U.S. Imagine Cup winners atop the Space Needle, overlooking the city of Seattle – followed by food, drinks, and celebration!
A panel of six VIP judges chose the U.S. winners, judging the team demos and presentations based on their concept, technology, innovation, and feasibility.
• Dalal Al-Waheidi, Executive Director, WE
• Ashley Crowder, Co-Founder & CEO, VNTANA
• Larry Hryb, Xbox’s Major Nelson, Microsoft
• Erin Rothman, Co-Founder & CEO, StormSensor
• Tal Saraf, SVP, Engineering & Architecture, Starbucks
• John Shewchuk, Technical Fellow DX, Microsoft
Join us for the U.S. Imagine Cup Finals Online Broadcast on Thursday, April 27 at 10AM.
Save the date for Thursday, April 27 at 10AM PST to watch key moments from the U.S. Imagine Cup Finals, hosted by YouTube star Sabrina of Nerdy & Quirky. During this online broadcast, viewers can watch all 12 teams compete, hear tips and tricks on how to perfect their business pitch, as well as learn how to turn an idea into a viable business from startup experts. Visit imaginecup.com/usa for more details.