The Imagine Cup, an international set of competitions for computer college/university students, is starting up again. The theme this year is "imagine a world where technology enables a sustainable environment." This is a chance to make an impression on the world. Actually since there are 9 different events there are multiple chances.US students you may want to visit the US specific site at microsoft4me.com/ImagineCup to read about the premier event - the Software Design Invitational.
The Software Design Invitational is the one event that is run initially at the national level. The top teams from a country or region not only wins the national prize but goes to the international finals (Paris France this coming year) to compete face to face with top teams from around the world. In recent years several of the top teams have demonstrated their projects to Bill Gates and other senior Microsoft executives. Other teams have shown their projects to venture capital firms which in some cases has lead to start up funding.
An other event of interest is the Game Development event. This one is new this year but seems to be interesting to a lot of people. Getting your game before a large audience and potentially winning a major international prize has got to be a helpful kick start for a game development career doesn't it?
The world wide site is ImagineCup.com so if you are not in the US you will want to start there. If you are a college/university student with entrepreneurial aspirations the Imagine Cup may be an opportunity you want to take advantage of.