The Imagine Cup World Finals kick off this week and we couldn’t be more excited to meet the teams of talented student developers from around the world who are coming to Seattle to compete in the world’s premier global student technology competition. We’re bringing students from 35 countries to Microsoft’s hometown for the World Finals so they can show off their innovative projects during a week of competitions and activities starting tomorrow.

This year's Imagine Cup finalists will get unprecedented opportunities and experiences throughout the competition. They'll visit Microsoft headquarters in Redmond and experience some of the things that make Seattle, the Emerald City, so great. A variety of fun-filled events have been planned to celebrate our student finalists and their months of hard work, dedication and innovation.

Get to know the World Finalist teams doing this incredible work and learn more about these young entrepreneurs and the games, applications, and software they have created. We guarantee you’ll be impressed! We also encourage you to join the conversation during the finals and show your favorite teams some love on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram during the festivities.

Who will win it all? Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will announce the champions, joined by VIP judges Hadi Partovi, co-founder of education nonprofit Code.org, and Erik Martin, general manager of internet phenomenon
Reddit.com. Those are just a few on the long list of leading industry professionals who will help judge the competition and offer the students expert feedback and advice.

Hundreds of students and thousands of coding hours all comes down to this! New this year, you can watch Satya Nadella crown the 2014 Imagine Cup World Champions LIVE at the awards ceremony on Friday, August 1 at 8:30 a.m. PDT. Mark your calendars! Come to our home page and see it all happen. We’ll stream the World Championships event right there so you can catch every minute of it and see the dreams of these students fulfilled.

We’ll all be eagerly waiting to hear the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams revealed for each category – Games, Innovation and World Citizenship. The 1st place teams win $50,000 and a “Boot Camp” experience where they’ll receive hands-on mentorship and project development support from Microsoft and industry experts. The second place team receives $10,000; and third place $5,000. Excitingly, the overall winning team takes home the Imagine Cup and gets a private meeting with Bill Gates!

All of this excitement is part of the year round Imagine Cup experience. Don’t miss out! You can register online now for Imagine Cup 2015 and be the first to know about upcoming challenges and competitions. Use your imagination and passion to create a technology solution and you might be the next big winner!