Randy Guthrie – Microsoft Academic Developer Evangelist
http://blogs.msdn.com/MIS_Laboratory

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The student tee shirt for this year’s Imagine Cup

Today July 8th was the first day of the 2011 Microsoft Imagine Cup World Finals. For the first time the finals are being held in the United States. Previous years have been held in locations that include Japan, Brazil, India, France, Korea, Egypt, and Poland. Our day started at 7am with press briefings that included some of the student teams CNN, BBC, Reuters and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer meets with the Notetaker Team representing the United States in the Software Design Competition

Throughout the the day most of the 425 student competitors arrived at the various New York area airports and were brought by bus to the Marriott Marquis Hotel on Times Square; the venue for this year’s event.

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Marriott Marquis Times Square – Venue for the Imagine Cup World Finals

The first event of the week is the “Opening Ceremony”. The highlight of the opening ceremonies was a high-energy keynote by Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. The student competitors were especially excited with his announcement that they would all be receiving a Kinect to take home. This was Steve’s first Imagine Cup. The closer was Dennis Crowley, founder and CEO of Four Square.

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Steve Ballmer gives a high-energy keynote at the Opening Ceremonies

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Dennis Crowley, founder of Four Square was the final speaker at the Imagine Cup opening ceremonies

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US Windows Phone 7 competitors The Life Lens Project shows a little pride after the Opening Ceremony

Tomorrow at 8am the formal competition begins. More to follow…

Cheers,

Randy