Luke Smith was a competitor back in 2004 and also a Microsoft Student Partner. I caught up with him recently to hear his thoughts on life since the Imagine Cup. He's gone on to do lots of interesting things including working at a cool mobile sports service called SportsDo and I recently spotted that he is working on Windows Live stuff in his spare time (maybe a useful tool for building this year's Imagine Cup entries ;-)).
Mark: When did you enter the Imagine Cup?
I first entered the IC in 2004, and reentered the following year.
Mark: What was your idea?
My original idea was to use mobile devices and location based technology to help the ambulance service better coordinate and track their personnel, in both day to day operations as well as during major incidents. It also allowed paramedics and the casualty department to share information about a patient before arriving at the hospital, paramedics could upload details including photo imagery to a Doctor who could then be annotate it using a Tablet PC and push it back to the ambulance crew. During my teams second entry in 2005 we expanded on the idea, incorporating both the Fire and Police services and focusing on major incident management.
Mark: Anything fun happen at the UK competition?
At the final in 2005 Microsoft had rented the Namco Station in London, so after the final at the top of the BT Tower, there was pool, bowling and unlimited gaming fun.
Mark: What did you do after the IC? (job wise)
Mark: Shipped any products?
We’ve recently released a beta of TrackMe (http://www.trackme.com), which is a social tracking portal aimed at sharing location based data and aggregating geodata from multiple sources. TrackMe was demoed during the keynote at the Microsoft Mix:UK 07 conference.
Mark: How do you think the Imagine Cup helped kick start your career?
The IC gave me an opportunity to dig into certain technologies that i would otherwise not have had a reason to use whilst at university, which I believe helped me to stand out from fellow students as well as giving something different and interesting to talk about in interviews.
Mark: What’s it like working at a start up type company?
It’s great fun, taking the ideas and building something from the ground up with much less bureaucracy than you get in a larger company. Also being at a small start up company it’s all about getting ourselves and products known about, which has meant exhibiting at shows (which isn’t your typical developers job).
Mark: Any advice to current competitors?
Have fun and network with people from the other teams.