In the next few blog posts, I'll set the stage to explain what the Imagine Cup is all about - then we'll start taking a look at some of the specific Canadian entries. The theme of this year’s Imagine Cup is "Imagine a world where technology enables a better education for all." The first category in this competition is the Technology Solutions. There are three types of technology solutions for students to build:

There is one element which is in common with these solution types - they require some great inspiration, co-ordination and teamwork. The Software Design solution challenge is one of the most prestigious of the Imagine Cup - the grand prize winning team has the chance to walk away with over $25,000 USD! In this challenge, the participants have to use their creativity and knowledge of Microsoft tools and technology to solve real world education-related problems.

The Embedded Development challenge allows participants to build solutions on top of mobile devices, using technologies such as Windows Embedded CE and hardware that is provided (specifically an eBox-2300). The cool part about this particular challenge is that it has both a hardware and software component to manage.

In the Web Development challenge, the participants build websites on top of ASP.NET and AJAX and the .NET Framework 2.0, using Visual Studio. The goal is to create a powerful online experience that will help with improving education. The websites are rated based on reach, accessibility, usability, innovation, differentiation and maintainability.

I've learned that one of our Canadian MVPs Etienne Tremblay (known by his friends as "ET") has been selected to be a judge for the Software Design category! To learn more about Etienne, read this interview posted by John Bristowe