Microsoft announced that it has redesigned the upcoming Imagine Cup 2013 around three new core competitions — World Citizenship, Games and Innovation — and significantly increased the prize money to encourage more young developers and aspiring entrepreneurs to participate in the annual event.

In its 11th year, the Worldwide Finals of Imagine Cup 2013 will be held in St. Petersburg, Russia, from 8 to 11 July 2013. The competition will build on the core elements that have contributed to the Imagine Cup’s popularity with students in the past 10 years — social impact and gaming — while expanding the competition’s focus on innovation and entrepreneurship.


Under the new competition structure of Imagine Cup 2013, students can take part in the following categories:
• In World Citizenship, competing students are required to develop software applications on Microsoft platforms with the greatest potential to make a positive impact on humanity.
• For the Games competition, Microsoft will reward the most entertaining games targeting teenagers and youth, built on Microsoft platforms such as Windows 8, Windows Phone, Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit, and Xbox Indie Games.
• The Innovation competition honours the development of apps that offer consumers inspiration and innovation at their fingertips, built with Microsoft tools and technology.


In addition to these competitions, students can register to compete in Online Challenges focused on specific technologies and platforms, including Windows 8, Windows Azure and Windows Phone.
Microsoft has also more than doubled the Imagine Cup prize money to US$300,000, with the aim of influencing more students who may be considering careers as innovators. Worldwide Finalists will have the chance to apply for the Microsoft Cup Grants, a three-year scheme with a US$3 million investment by Microsoft.
“With the evolution of Imagine Cup, we are further inspiring students from all academic backgrounds to collaborate and enhance their applications. Ultimately, we hope that by giving these students the support they need to bring their technology to the market, they will be able to fully realise their potential to impact their local communities and the world,” said John Scott Tynes, Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition Strategy and Development Manager.
As the world’s premier student technology competition, Imagine Cup provides students with the opportunity to tackle global issues through technology and helps to turn their innovative ideas into reality. More than 1.65 million students from 190 countries have participated in Imagine Cup during the past decade, creating applications and games that address the world’s toughest social problems.
“Without Imagine Cup, we would never have the chance to learn what it takes to turn our idea into a profitable business,” said Sally Buberman, an Imagine Cup 2007 participant who will be a judge at the Imagine Cup 2013.