Sorry, it took me a while - after coming back from 3 weeks on the road for the Sales & Marketing event and the Imagine cup , as you can Imagine (no pin intended), I had a million things to take care of. Finally, here are most of my photos of the event itself:

Imagine Cup photos

The final event was fantastic. Here is a short recap of the winners:

Rendering - The two teams that tied for first place in rendering produced a pair of animations that left everyone amazed. One of them was a humanoid that broke walls to get out into the real world. The Chinese team did a video about crazy squirrels which combined great graphics, comady, music, and gameplay. Simply amazing.

Algorithm - A student from Vietnam won the algorithm competition, beating the US and many European competitors. This was a very close competition. Every one of the competitors was top-notch.

Short Film - Mexico won this competiton with a pair of awesome videos. If enough people ask for them I will post them somewhere. The Candian team produced a super funny video in Japan, they deserve honorable mention as well as the INdian team, who just there at the last minute dure to the monsoon in Mumbai and had to work extra hard to produce a dinalist video.

Office Design - I was very glad to see such high quality applications in office design. The Brazilian team won, and they got a super warm welcome when they got back to their country. They were received by the press and featured in national news - every winner (and many finalists) get hero treatment in their countries.

Software Design - Russia was the winner with a very clever application that lets perople play music together through the internet - I have no clue how they solved the latency issues. The Greek team had a winning application also that enabled deaf people to communicate using sign language. It is already being tested in Greece and received government endorsement.

Visual Gaming - Poland tool 1st and 3rd place. The whole Hoshimi application (3d engine, etc) is available at http://www.getexpress.com as a free download - test your skills programming the AI nanobots to save Hoshimi!

IT - France got the first prize. I saw all the effort and passion of every one of the competitors and I wish I had 6 first prizes. Especially for Valy Greavu and Emmanuel Pentescu (3rd place) from Romania. Great guys. They gave me a Romanian flag as a gift which amde me feel honored. The difference between winner and loser was a combination of strategy, focus, process an luck. I would hire any one of these 6 guys to run my IT infrastructure in a heartbeat. The US won the HIgh-SchoolIT competiton, which was announced before the finals.

Technology Business Plan - The ProGreen team from Inda got the first prize in this competition.

The awards ceremony took place in a modern auditorium overlooking Yokohama bay. About 20 diplomats and many other VIPs attended along with some 2500 Japanese students. After the event, everyone got first row to look at the Yokohama fireworks celebration. One hour of fireworks unlike any you have ever seen. Over a hundred thousand people crowded the streets to watch the show. It was a great finale to a great event

Also, we launched theSpoke v2 - the next generation of our student community.

Last, but not least - we announced the next Imagine Cup will have its final event in New Delhi, India. I bet it will also be fantastic.