The categories in Imagine Cup are more flexible than ever! Taking a project course? Building a game? Got a good business idea? Your code could take you to world finals in St. Petersburg Russia!

They just announced the rules and competitions for Imagine Cup 2013 and this is the year to enter! We’re still sorting out what we are doing in Canada in terms of a local final (we’re doing our best to make sure there is a Canadian team at the worlds again). Whatever happens at the Canadian level the categories for entering are all driven by the world wide Imagine Cup rules and competitions that were announced today. So you can start planning your entry today. I’m really excited about some of the new categories! Let me give you a quick overview.

Don’t forget we’ll be providing resources and having events to help you get coding on Windows 8, Windows Phone, and Azure, all skills you can use to enter Imagine Cup 2013!

Games

I have travelled across Canada and seen so many amazing games built by Canadian students. But last year you could only enter the games category if your game followed the Imagine Cup theme “Change the World”, there were also multiple game categories with different rules. This year it is simple, build an awesome game! Windows 8? Windows Phone? Xbox Indie Games? Kinect? You’ll be judged on whether your game is fun, innovative, the execution, and its business viability.

Innovation

Facebook and Microsoft, just two companies that were created by students, yet none of them would have qualified for the Imagine Cup because they weren’t tied to the theme of changing the world. Well with the innovation category we’re looking to see what amazing things you can do with Microsoft technology: Windows 8? Windows Phone? Azure? .NET? Kinect? Xbox Indie Games? You’ll be judged on innovation, impact, and execution. So that idea you’ve had in your head, that project you were planning for senior year? This is the year to enter it in Imagine Cup!

World Citizenship

This is similar to the Software Design category of years past. We’ve been blown away year after year by the ideas students have come up with and developed to help others using Microsoft technologies and we want that to continue! So the Citizenship category asks you what can you do to make the world a better place through technology. Entries are judged based on Impact, feasibility, and execution. Use Windows 8, Windows Phone, ASP.NET, Azure, you decide!

The Challenges…

Challenges are usually a slightly different sort of competition, but they can still get you to world finals in Russia! If you don’t have time to build a full project with a team, this might be the best way for you to compete.

Windows 8 Challenge

Pass the quiz on Windows 8 knowledge, build a Windows 8 app. Apps will be judged based on Topic definition and business viability, Windows Experience and User Design Experience, Windows 8 platform Originality and Innovation. The top 3 entries worldwide will fly to the world finals to show the world what they’ve accomplished!

Windows Azure Challenge

Pass the quiz on Windows Azure knowledge, build a cloud based app, and you could find yourself in St. Petersburg! Apps will be judged on Originality and Innovation, Windows Azure Platform Functionality and Solution Detailed Design, and User Experience. The top 3 entries worldwide will attend the world finals.

Windows Phone Challenge

Pass the quiz on Windows Phone knowledge, build a Windows phone app. Apps will be judged based on Innovation and feasibility, Solution design architecture and functionality, and utility and delight. The top 3 entries worldwide will fly to the world finals.

Could you enter?

Are you a student at least 16 years of age? Undergraduate or graduate student it doesn’t matter. You can have a team of up to 4 students and one faculty member. Find out more at the Imagine Cup website, this is the year to enter Imagine Cup! Find out more then Dream it! Build it! Live it!