logo For years, Microsoft has been running a competition for university developer and programming students called the Imagine Cup. In the Imagine Cup we challenge teams of students to find and build technology solutions to real-world issues. We encourage the world's most talented software designers, programmers, game developers, and digital media enthusiasts to tackle, head on, issues related to hunger relief, poverty, education, disease control, healthcare, the environment and other critical problems facing our world today.  

Stuart and I don’t usually mention Imagine Cup to this audience, but this year things are a bit different. As the competition is open to teams of students ages 16 and older who are currently enroled in school or university, we wanted to make you all aware of this opportunity for your students.

The theme for this year’s competition is: "Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems." Here in the UK we’re working with key charities to provide students with inspiration for their entries.

If you think you have students who are exceptionally talented in the area of technology and would be interested in participating in the Imagine Cup, direct them to this link for further information, including eligibility requirements, links to the participating charities and project briefings for the problems they would like help solving, and steps to register for the Software Design Competition. http://imaginecup.com/gb/sd.aspx 

As the competition brings the top talents from around the world together for this competition (the 2010 finals are in Poland), it’s a great opportunity for your students.