It was suddenly the final day… literally the day of judgement! It had flown by, and we had had such an amazing experience, but it wasn’t all over just yet. Our last day consisted of another showcase, but this time demoing to the young Russian community and then finally the moment we had all been waiting for- the awards ceremony!
We absolutely loved the Community showcase, It was amazing and probably one of the most enjoyable parts of the competition so far! SoundSYNK are very big on giving back and we help out at our own university already with students who want to start companies. We came from the same humble beginnings as they did, and if we could help people have the same amazing experiences as we have had, that is incredible. We are very proud of where we come from and we loved to see that the Imagine Cup have similar values to us. We really tried to put on a show for all the kids and even started to attempt our first stunt of catching a tune in mid air!
After the fun of the showcase and the amazing feelings we got from the smile and awe on the kids and parents faces, we were ecstatic, but again didn’t have much time to think before we were whisked away to go to the awards ceremony!
Our emotions had rapidly developed from nervous to Scared witless. We almost had prepared ourselves to lose as the thought of winning seemed so far from reach. At that point we had finally had time to have a sneak preview of the other teams and they really were as good as everyone described, which really didn’t help the nerves!
When we reached the venue for the awards ceremony it was beautiful, which doesn’t surprise us, as it matched the whole of St. Petersburg. We were lucky enough to get to go to the Alexandrovsky theatre which was jaw dropping and truly majestic. It was awesome that the core team at the Imagine Cup had been able to secure such an amazing place it really made the ending!
The ceremony started, and in true Imagine Cup style, it was stunning. They had the Russian Ballet perform, traditional Russian folk dancers and many more performances that stunned us. It was more than we could ever expect and it was made better by the whole ceremony being presented by a UK local, Matt Smith (Doctor who). What a show!
The closer we got the the Innovation category announcement the worse our nerves got. We were picking up the itinerary every 2 mins in the hope that the innovation category would move closer. Having to sit through an, albeit epic, 2 hour ceremony before your own category is announced, really doesn’t help with your heart rate!
But finally it started! They had saved the best till last and Innovation category was announced. Steve Guggenheimer, the Chief Vice President and Chief Evangelist at Microsoft, presented the award alongside Matt Smith, and went through the runners up of the category at what seemed like a painstakingly slow pace! First came 3rd place, which we were hoping like crazy wasn't us. Then came second and it was the exact same feeling same with second. But that’s when the nerves really started to kick in. It dawned on us it was all or nothing. This was it… Could we have actually won!?
They opened the first place envelope and a smile spread across the Dr’s face and the mention of ‘You will like this one Matt’ gave us a rush of excitement. We honestly had no idea until that moment that we could even have won it. Then they announced ‘And the winners are team Co-linked from the UK’... I don’t think happy describes it. You can see in the image, that moment was truly Epic. We SoundSYNK had represented our University, our friends and family and more importantly our country and managed to actually win! it was one of the best moments of our life and we will never forget! The support everyone has given us is what got us there.
It’s true what they say about life-changing moments, and the Imagine Cup was definitely one of those for SoundSYNK and our own lives. We couldn’t recommend the process more to young people out there the competition is 100% worth it! We have learnt more through this process than 2 years at university and no internship could provide any where near as many skills as we have learnt on this process. Not to mention the adventure is just amazing! To think that without this competition there would be no SoundSYNK or Co-linked is completely alien, and we are forever thankful to everyone who has supported us from the Microsoft Representative Natasha Joseph, Tracy Costello and the amazing people from the Exeter Guild, Setsquared Camps, Exeter Business School, our mentor Calum Cawley, Creative England and every single person who has liked a post or given us criticism or praise. Every single person is key to the journey we have been on and they are all a part of our family. We are so grateful to all of them for helping us!