Just an hour ago, Microsoft announced the Imagine Cup Grant recipients for 2012. I've included a snippet of the press release as well as a link to the full article below. If you are unsure about participating in this upcoming year's Imagine Cup, please take a minute to read this article. All these teams, Germany, Egypt, Uganda, and the Ukraine, are receiving grants, trips around the world, and introductions to powerful people that can help them further refine their technology and business. These types of opportunities are also available to you in 2013. 
 
How do you get started? I'm so glad you asked. Take a minute to be inspired by our amazing 2012 grant winners, and then begin your own journey by creating an Imagine Cup 2013 account.    
   
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Dec. 4, 2012 — At the Social Innovation Summit today, Microsoft Corp. announced the winners of the second annual Microsoft Imagine Cup Grants program, a three-year, $3 million competitive grant program that provides students with funding and support to help transform their projects into social enterprises or nonprofits that will address a specific social issue. The Imagine Cup Grants program is part of the Microsoft YouthSpark initiative, which aims to create opportunities for 300 million youth during the next three years.

The grand prize grant of $100,000 was awarded to Team Graphmasters from Germany for its solution called nunav that reduces vehicle carbon emissions through an innovative navigation system. The second place grant of $75,000 went to Team StethoCloud from Australia, which developed a solution to diagnose childhood pneumonia. There were also grants of $50,000 to Team Vivid from Egypt, which built a mobile app to access medical records using the cloud; Team Cipher256 from Uganda for its mobile app and listening device to analyze fetal heart rates; and Team QuadSquad from Ukraine, which created a solution that transforms sign language into verbal communication. The teams used technologies including Windows 8, Windows Azure, Windows Phone, Bing Maps and more.

“The Imagine Cup Grants will help students evolve a great idea for addressing a societal issue into a real-world business,” said Dan’l Lewin, corporate vice president, Strategic and Emerging Business Development, Microsoft. “These students have developed incredible approaches that show great potential for positive local impact. We are excited to offer financial and other support to help them transform these ideas into businesses with real-world impact.”

Read the full article.