Microsoft has been holding the Imagine Cup annually for six years now. Here's how the event is described:

Everything that the world may become "someday" lies in the hands of young people today. As they look at the road ahead, their close relationship with technology enables them to dream in ways we never have before. Put the two together, and you have young minds holding the tools that can make their vision a reality.

This is the recipe that inspired Microsoft to create the Imagine Cup. What begins with a burst of inspiration and a lot of hard work can become a future software breakthrough, a future career, or a flourishing new industry. The Imagine Cup encourages young people to apply their imagination, their passion and their creativity to technology innovations that can make a difference in the world – today. Now in its sixth year, the Imagine Cup has grown to be a truly global competition focused on finding solutions to real world issues.

Open to students around the world, the Imagine Cup is a serious challenge that draws serious talent, and the competition is intense. The contest spans a year, beginning with local, regional and online contests whose winners go on to attend the global finals held in a different location every year.  The intensity of the work brings students together, and motivates the competitors to give it their all. The bonds formed here often last well beyond the competition itself.

One of my colleagues recently attended the events in Paris and was super impressed by not only the event itself, but the quality of the students and entries. The theme this year was “Imagine a world where technology enables a sustainable environment.” If you check out the website, I think you will be reallly impressed with the creativity of these project teams. The reason why this gets me excited is that my role is now focused on global technical talent (more about that later) and seeing such incredible talent at the college level is really encouraging for our hiring down the road.