This blog has a whole host of information specific to the UK Imagine Cup, that will allow you to get started in preparation for your submission for Microsoft Imagine Cup 2017.
Who can enter the Imagine Cup?
Any University student in the UK can enter the Imagine Cup! Whether you are in your 1st year of University, or finishing up a PhD, you are eligible to enter. All you need is to be in a team of 3 and for at least one person to have strong technical capabilities.
Dates to remember
· Create your team and register for the Imagine Cup – Opened on November 18th, 2016
· Registration and submissions close – March 24th 2017
· UK National UK Finalist Announced 6pm 31st March 2017
· UK National Finalists Announced – 6pm April 3rd 2017
· UK National Finals – April 21st, 2017
· Worldwide Finals – July 2017 (specific date and location to be confirmed)
Submissions and selection process
Once you have created a team and registered, you will then need to consider the following items for submission. These include:
· Project Title
· Project Description
· Project Proposal – either a Microsoft Word document or a PDF – Maximum of 10 pages, or a Microsoft PowerPoint – Maximum of 20 slides
- Details of your project
- Who is your team, what skills do they each have?
- Any research you have done
- Screenshots of the software in action
- Business proposal, looking at how you could take your idea to market
· Project Software
· Project Software Instructions
· Project Video OneDrive URL
- Maximum of 10 minutes
- Pitch your idea, as if delivering it to a panel of judges
- Explain your project and your team
- The whole team must appear on camera
UK National Finals
The National Finals will be a whole day event in London on the 14th of April, bringing together 10 teams.
Each team will have:
· 10-minute presenting slots
- 5 minutes to present their ideas
- 5 minutes for questions from our judging panel
This year we do not have any categories, making the competition a lot more open to all projects. However, it is vital that at least 50% of the back end of the idea is on Microsoft Azure. The judging criteria is highlighted in the table below. It is important that not only do you have an innovative idea built around technology, but it also has a strong business model. This could include ideas for a Go2Market strategy or a marketing plan.
Blogging and Social media
Throughout your team’s journey, we would actively encourage you to share your experience via a blog or through social media. Documenting your key stepping stones will be a great way to show the world and future employers how you got from your idea, to the finals (hopefully), and beyond! Using the following hashtags (#ImagineCup2017 #UKIC2017) will also allow us to see how far you have come and the development of your idea. Include regular pictures and posts of your team collaborating on the project, any whiteboarding sessions you might have etc.
This year it is crucial that at least 50% of the project is based on Microsoft Azure. This can be through the utilisation of anything from web apps to machine learning. To ensure you can develop the skills to meet this requirement, have a look at the following resources:
These have a variety of resources, workshops and online tutorials ready for you to use, to enhance your skills on Cloud computing.
How to get started
Based on previous successes from winning Universities, we have some suggestions for getting your University involved and thinking about how you could form ideas for the Imagine Cup.
Why not run a pre-hack campus event, where any students interested in the Imagine Cup can come along and form teams? For these hacks, we suggest that any attendees come along with possible ideas that they could develop with a team. Anyone without a team can join a speed-dating style session, where they can find team mates. From there teams can pick an idea to run with at the next event. The best mix for a team is both technical and business/entrepreneurial students. Therefore, inviting anyone from Computing or Entrepreneurial Societies is highly recommended.
Following a pre-hack, where individuals can form teams and select an idea, a follow-up hack can be ran. Here the aim is to develop the ideas to the next stage where something tangible can be created. At the end of hack, teams can present to a panel of judges and students to receive feedback and ideas for further development. Following this hack, teams can go away as a group and look to finalise their proposals, software development and video submissions ready for the deadline of March 24th 2017.
Last, but by no means least is the prizes for the Imagine Cup 2017 Worldwide Winners!
1st – $100,000 prize money, $120,000 Azure grant, Experiential Award
2nd – $25,000 prize money, $25,000 Azure grant, Experiential Award
3rd – $15,000 prize money, $25,000 Azure grant, Experiential Award
(If that’s not enough motivation to apply, I don’t know what is!)