Below is Team Hermes celebrates winning the Software Design first Prize at the Imagine Cup World Wide Finals

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Through the Imagine Cup, Microsoft continues to pursue and fulfil its vision to inspire students around the world to Innovate and create what’s next!

Winners of the ninth annual Microsoft Imagine Cup, were announced the world’s premier student technology competition, honouring student innovations that address global problems such as improving road and fire safety, eradicating poverty, and creating a more sustainable environment. The company also unveiled plans to launch a three-year, $3 million competitive grant program to help recipients realize their vision of solving the world’s toughest problems.

The award ceremony was held in the Koch Theatre at New York’s Lincoln Centre, students were excited and the mood was amazing. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg thanked and encouraged students to keep innovating and take their ideas to the next level. There were other several high profile guests including Eva Longoria, who by the way was very popular with the students. Eva also presented the People’s Choice Awards which was won by Team Rapture from Bangladesh.

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Team South Africa was in high spirits so as the other teams, speaker after speaker students were reminded that they were already winners since they represented their countries, universities and departments. Out of 350 000 competitors only 400 made it to the worldwide finals which is a great achievement.

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During the opening ceremony on Monday, Steve Ballmer (Microsoft CEO) encouraged students to think of the next big thing, he encouraged students to think of creating new experiences on devices that are powered by cloud services and also to focus on natural user interfaces. He then offered each finalist a Kinect Sensor to take home and start building Kinect Apps for PCs using the publicly available Kinect SDk for PC. Walid Abu-Hadba ( VP Developer and Platforms) offered each finalist a Windows Phone “Mango” device .Finalists will be recieving these as they launch in the different countries. I can’t wait to see the Apps this super group of students will be developing.

Walid also  sponsored first place winners in all categories to attend BUILD in Sept 2011! WOW!

This year’s finals have been great indeed, I can’t wait for our next Imagine Cup South Africa local finals December 2011 and the world wide finals in Australia next year.

For a full list of winners in all categories visit the Imagine Cup news feed at http://www.microsoft.com/Presspass/press/2011/jul11/07-13IC11PR.mspx

Or the official website site www.imaginecup.com

NM