In the last three weeks, we have highlighted student tips and resources for Windows Azure, Windows 8 Apps and Windows Phone Challenges. We will continue to do so for our upcoming competitions as well (so stay tuned). However, as we wrap up the week, we also wanted to share some tips for the other really important student team resource, their mentor. 

So imagine our excitement when we came across the following helpful tips on Twitter from Richard Costall  (MVP, MCSD.NET), co-founder of NxtGenUG and previous Imagine Cup mentor. We hope you will take a minute to review, and let us know if you have questions or other tips to add. You can connect with us and Richard on Twitter, @imaginecup and @Costall.

  • find resources, support the team, use your connections to accelerate the learning
  • get your hands dirty, mockup screens, help bring the presentation together, write code.
  • know when to suggest something and when to let the team work it out for themselves
  • treat it as YOURS, not theirs -be a part of it, enjoy it. You'll be like a proud parent at the end.
  • make your presentation different, use humor. The judges will see a lot of pitches, make yours stand out.
  • guess what will be all the difficult questions the judges will ask, and have answers with justifications.
  • present their pitch to them, show them how its done, get stats and backup your solution.
  • don't be afraid to change the solution to make it commercially viable, define the target audience.

Our thanks again to Richard for not only sharing the above tips, but for also being such an amazing resource for our student competitors.

More about Richard: International Speaker, Author and Podcaster, Richard spends most of his time developing, presenting and training on Microsoft technologies including Silverlight and MVC3. Richard spends the majority of his spare time co-running the Next Generation User Group (NxtGenUG), a not-for-profit UK Community, with 8 regions across the UK and 3,000 registered members.