13:11 | 17.07.13 | Articles | exclusive 4976

Microsoft Imagine Cup 2013: А Few Days in Future

Last week, on July 8-12, more than 300 innovative young people from 71 countries of the world came together in Saint-Petersburg, the Northern capital of Russia, to compete in the final round of the 11th Microsoft Imagine Cup.

There is no other students' technological contest which could compete with the Imagine Cup by the number of participants - around 27 thousand students from over 70 countries took part in the qualification round of the Cup.

From South Caucasus, it was only Armenia represented by Lionsharp Solutions team which presented his innovative Voiceboard idea visualization tool which is already in demand on the global market that took part in the final round.

Though our team didn't win the contest, we can definitely claim Voiceboard was one of the brightest visit cards of Imagine Cup. The Armenian pavilion was one of the most crowded in the exhibition which comes to prove the participants' and visitors' interest in the product made by our young team.

The Armenian team presents Voiceboard to the jury.
Photo: Itel.am.

The contest itself was a real technological holiday. The present of the IT sphere, representatives of world-famous corporations and investors, and the future - students who managed to come up with innovative ideas which weren't known to the world so far- gathered from all over the world in one place. Microsoft organized the event on a high level and that should be specially assessed, it made those several days a real holiday both for the participants and the guests.

Imagine Cup participants at Peterhof.
Photo: Itel.am.

The corporation did its best for the participants not only to show their technological skills but have fun and get to know the history and culture of Russia, the host country.

To this end, the half of the second day was announced "Cultural Day" during which the participants visited Shuvalovka Village Ethnographic Park near Saint Petersburg which shows the best way to those who just gets acquainted with the national traditions of the country. Then they visited Peterhof summer residence of Russian Tsars.

The Armenian pavilion at Imagine Cup was one of the most crowded ones.
Photo: Itel.am.

The most touching part of the whole event, the awards ceremony, took pace in the luxurious Alexandrinksy Theater located in the historical center of Saint Petersburg and the awards ceremony was led by English actor Matt Smith, the famous Doctor Who.

The winning projects were announced in three main nominations - Innovation, Games and World Citizenship. British Colinked team with its SoundSYNK took the first place in "Innovation" nomination. SoundSYNK is an application which synchronizes the music on mobile phones allowing young people to organize a disco even if they don't have a full audio system at their disposal.

Winning teams of the contest.
Photo: Itel.am.

Austrian Zeppelin with its Schein game which resembles Super Mario was announced the best in "Games" nomination and Portuguese For a better world team with the project of the same name stood out from others in "World Citizenship" nomination. The project allows finding out people's blood group in a few minutes which is of utmost importance especially in emergency situations. The teams which took the first positions were awarded USD50 000 each by Microsoft to complete their projects and start a business.

Kurt Steck, General Manager for Audience & Platform Marketing at Microsoft, who is one of Imagine Cup responsible persons, said talking to Itel.am that more and more innovative ideas and complete projects are presented to Imagine Cup and as a result, this year one more nomination, "Innovation", where the Armenian team competed, was added to "Games" and "World Citizenship" nominations.

Lionsharp Solutions with Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Steve Guggenheimer and other top managers of the corporation.
Photo: Itel.am.

"This year's contest surprised us in a pleasant way as 36 of the presented projects were built on multiplatform systems and both "client" and "cloud" applications were included", says Kurt Steck.

According to him, the organizers mainly aimed at allowing students to put their ideas into practice turning them into a complete technology or fostering business.

General Manager for Audience & Platform Marketing at Microsoft Kurt Steck.
Photo: Itel.am.

"In several cases, the project presented at Imagine Cup Finals was either purchased by other companies or became a successful startup", Kurt Steck says.

Ruben Harutyunyan