Today, Microsoft hosted the 2013 U.S. Imagine Cup Finals Demo Day in Silicon Valley. The top 10 U.S. teams pitched their ideas and solutions to investors, entrepreneurs, and technology professionals for a chance to win cash prizes and support for their businesses.
WORLD CITIZENSHIP: Students had the opportunity to create an app that will help solve global challenges, such as reducing world hunger, providing better treatment for disease, raising awareness around environmental issues or providing better access to education. The top team in this category wins $5000.
The winner of the World Citizenship Competition is: Project SAM from the University of Chicago
INNOVATION: Reinvent social networks, transform online shopping, experience music in a new way or do something amazing with GPS. The top team in this category wins $5000.
The winner of the Innovation Competition is Kinect PT from the University of Virginia
GAMES: Using Microsoft gaming platforms such as Windows PC, Windows Phone, Xbox or Kinect students are tasked with creating a new game, changing a current genre or developing a new visual style of game. The top team in this category wins $5000.
The winner of the Games Competition is Gigaloth from the University of Colorado.
SKYDRIVE BOOST AWARD WINNER:
The following teams have won the SkyDrive Boost award for building SkyDrive support, in a meaningful way, into their projects. Each of the following teams will receive $1,000 to be divided equally among teammates and each team member will receive an additional 30 GB SkyDrive card. The winning teams are:
ACCELERATOR AWARD WINNERS:
These teams win $2,000 each as the top three online accelerator teams, for the quality of their projects and the improvements they made during the online accelerator program.
DEMO OF THE DAY AWARD WINNER:
This team wins an additional $5000 for the top performance of the day.
The Demo of the Day winner is: Gigaloth, from the University of Colorado
NATIONAL TEAM AWARD:
We are proud to unveil the team that will represent the U.S. at the Worldwide Finals in St. Petersburg, Russia:
The 2013 National Team is Team P’oli Ahu of the University of Hawaii at Hilo.
In the United States this year, Microsoft hosted a set of programs to help student teams create successful businesses, including a virtual accelerator, a Startup Boot Camp in Silicon Valley, and today’s U.S. Imagine Cup Finals Demo Day.
Microsoft would like to thank all the teams for participating in the competition and making the event a huge success. Continue to stay up-to-date on all Imagine Cup news and announcements via the Imagine Cup website.
Don't miss the live stream of the 2013 U.S. Imagine Cup Finals this Monday, May 13 from 8:45 am - 2:15 pm PST! RSVP for the virtual event here. If you're reading this on the day of the event (5/13), you can catch the live stream on Channel 9 and on our Facebook page!
Team Presentations Schedule
Time Slot (PST)
9:30 - 9:43 am
University of Chicago
9:45 - 9:58 am
The Miracle Workers
Harvard University &
Winona State University
Cambridge, MA /
10:00 - 10:13 am
10:15 - 10:28 am
University of Hawaii at Hilo
10:30 - 10:43 am
University of Virginia
10:45 - 10:58 am
University of Houston & University of Texas
Houston, TX /
11:20 - 11:33 am
University of Colorado
11:35 - 11:48 am
University of Houston
11:50 - 12:03 pm
12:05 - 12:18 pm
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Little Rock, Arkansas
1:30 - 1:37 pm
California State University - Los Angeles, Computer Science Department
Los Angeles, CA
1:39 - 1:46 pm
The Mobile Lab
Florida State University
1:48 - 1:55 pm
WORLD CITIZENSHIP COMPETITION
Team DePauwsome, DePauw University. WeAssist: The team developed a Windows Phone 8 app that allows a user to share their location and share a message in an emergency. WeAssist also has an optional location tracking service called WeFind, which runs in the background and uploads the user’s location history to the cloud.
Project SAM, University of Chicago. Project SAM: The team developed a mobile application that streamlines a health clinic’s inventory and provides real-time updates to suppliers via text
The Miracle Workers, Harvard University/ Winona State University. Cloud Monitor: The team developed a baby monitor app for Windows Phone 8 that tracks respiration, heartbeat and body movement of an infant. In case of an emergency, the application sends an alert to parents on their smartphone. Parents are also able to check the live streaming of baby's vital signs in on their phone.
Pitch, Boston University. Pitch: Using Windows 8 and a Windows Azure backend server, the team created an account-less yet secure system for creating meetings, in which documents of any file type can be quickly and easily shared with all meeting members.
Team Poli`ahu, University of Hawaii at Hilo. Help Me Help: The team developed an application that aides the community in times of need by utilizing the smartphone’s camera and location capabilities to get images and locations of hazards as they are introduced.
Kinect PT, University of Virginia. Vitrunetics: The team built an application that allows doctors to administer and receive real-time feedback on physical therapy exercises that are performed by patients at home using Microsoft’s Xbox with Kinect.
Lost Spectrum, University of Houston/ University of Texas. Chroma Tales: The team developed a fast-paced 2D action game on Windows Phone 8 where each level lasts approximately five seconds. Each player’s mission is to restore color to the world.
Gigaloth, University of Colorado. Produce Wars: The team developed an "Angry Birds" style physics game evolved with dynamic platform and puzzle elements for young children.
Skyline Studios, University of Houston. Zipline Hero: The team developed a puzzle-action platform game where the player uses the touch screen input to rescue animals.
Team SwagFace, Rice University. FaceFun: The team developed an innovative facial recognition game for Windows Phone 8, where players mimic amusing, famous and funny faces using their smartphone and win points.
TOP ACCELERATOR TEAMS (DEMONSTRATION TEAMS, NOT COMPETING IN THE FINALS)
Verbatim Signers, University of Arkansas. Word of Hand Project: The team developed a project using Kinect to interpret American Sign Language. The user simply signs in front of the Kinect, and the application translates it into both written and spoken text, thus bridging the gap between the hearing and the deaf
Team Defenstrate, California State University - Los Angeles. Slash Admin: The team developed an Internet themed RTS game, where some of the key features include being able to play a consistent game save across multiple platforms including smartphones, tablets, and PCs.
The Mobile Lab, Florida State University. Ryder Fall Response: The team developed an application for Windows Phone 8 that monitors if someone has fallen and notifies a pre-identified contact in the event of an emergency.
You may have heard about cloud-computing and all the cool ways you can use it to boost your projects, but did you know it could also land you more job opportunities as a mobile app developer? Take Microsoft’s cloud-computing platform Windows Azure for example. A rising number of businesses and companies out there are looking to hire developers who have experience creating apps on the cloud platform. In fact, according to Elance.com, job listings looking for Windows 8 and Windows Azure developers have more than doubled since January 2012 and over 250 listings are added every month. There has seriously never been a better time to add cloud-computing to your resume, no matter how impressive it already is!
Elance and Microsoft are hosting a webinar tomorrow, April 23, 2013 at 11 am PST to talk about how to find more job opportunities and monetize your existing skill-sets. Whether you’re a student looking to make extra money, or a professional developer seeking out your next big project, here are the top reasons why you should attend this webinar.
Find more job opportunities with Elance!
Elance is the largest and most popular freelance platform for businesses looking to hire and work with top freelancers. Over 500,000 businesses and 2 million freelance professionals in more than 150 countries use the platform and each year, more than 1 million freelance jobs are completed through Elance! Combined, its users have earned nearly $700 million in revenue. The best part is that with the growing number of jobs seeking out developers with experience in Windows 8 and Windows Azure development, developers like you have a greater chance of making more money for your skills.
[Above: Windows Azure and Windows 8 job trends since January 2012]
During the webinar, the Elance team will go over how developers can leverage the freelance platform to explore the growing job marketplace, submit client proposals, and lock down new job opportunities – all at no cost. On top of that, Elance will be providing everyone who attends the webinar with a promo code for a FREE 3-month premium membership which gives users the ability to apply to more jobs and receive preferred search placement ($30 value) – don’t miss this opportunity!
Learn about the benefits of using Windows Azure Mobile Services.
If you want to learn more about Windows Azure Mobile Services and how it can benefit you as a mobile app developer, Microsoft Technical Evangelist, Brian Hitney,will cover the many different ways adding a cloud back-end to your app can help you streamline the development process. Here are a few examples:
1) Easily save data in the cloud
2) Include custom business logic with server-side scripting
3) Add users to their apps
4) Quickly integrate push notifications
In addition, Mobile Services now fully supports Windows Store, Windows Phone 8, iOS, Android, and web app development and are free for your first ten apps so you have the option of leveraging Windows Azure across the board.
Meet the Speaker: Brian Hitney
We will be joined by Microsoft Technical Evangelist, Brian Hitney, a seasoned developer with a focus on developer and cloud computing technologies. Brian has worked with the Windows and Windows Azure platforms for years and will be sharing his knowledge on how to best leverage these platforms in your upcoming projects. If you are just starting out, you won’t want to miss Brian’s presentation on how Windows Azure Mobile Services can save you time and help you make more money from your apps.
Watch his 5-part DevRadio series on Channel 9 on How to Use Windows Azure to Build Back-End Services for Windows 8 Apps which provides a great overview for what we’ll be covering during the webinar.
See you there!
The webinar will take place on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 11 am PST on the Microsoft Developer Facebook page. Check out the Facebook event page for more information and RSVP to reserve your spot!
Don’t forget, you can get ahead of the game by trying out Windows Azure FREE for 3 months with our trial offer! Quickly build, deploy & manage apps using any OS, language or tool: http://bit.ly/ZiN3P5.
UPDATE - May 8, 2013
We will be streaming live from the U.S. Imagine Cup Finals Demo Day on Monday, May 13 from 8:45 am-2:45 pm PST. RSVP for the virtual event here: http://po.st/uEd5Jl.
REDMOND, Wash. – April 16, 2013 -Microsoft today announced the 10 teams who are advancing to the 11th annual U.S. Imagine Cup Finals Demo Day. Demo Day will take place on May 13 in Silicon Valley and will be streamed live on the U.S. Imagine Cup Facebook page.
The list of finalists include:
Lost Spectrum, University of Houston/ University of Texas
Chroma Tales: The team developed a fast-paced 2D action game on Windows Phone 8 where each level lasts approximately five seconds. Each player’s mission is to restore color to the world.
Kinect PT, University of Virginia
Vitrunetics: The team built an application that allows doctors to administer and receive real-time feedback on physical therapy exercises that are performed by patients at home using Microsoft’s Xbox with Kinect.
Team DePauwsome, DePauw University
WeAssist: The team developed a Windows Phone 8 app that allows a user to share their location and share a message in an emergency. WeAssist also has an optional location tracking service called WeFind, which runs in the background and uploads the user’s location history to the cloud.
Team SwagFace, Rice University
FaceFun: The team developed an innovative facial recognition game for Windows Phone 8, where players mimic amusing, famous and funny faces using their smartphone and win points.
Team Poli`ahu, University of Hawaii at Hilo
Help Me Help: The team developed an application that aides the community in times of need by utilizing the smartphone’s camera and location capabilities to get images and locations of hazards as they are introduced.
The Miracle Workers, Harvard University/ Winona State University
Cloud Monitor: The team developed a baby monitor app for Windows Phone 8 that tracks respiration, heartbeat and body movement of an infant. In case of an emergency, the application sends an alert to parents on their smartphone. Parents are also able to check the live streaming of baby's vital signs in on their phone.
Pitch, Boston University
Pitch: Using Windows 8 and a Windows Azure backend server, the team created an account-less yet secure system for creating meetings, in which documents of any file type can be quickly and easily shared with all meeting members.
Gigaloth, University of Colorado
Produce Wars: The team developed an "Angry Birds" style physics game evolved with dynamic platform and puzzle elements for young children.
Project SAM, University of Chicago
Project SAM: The team developed a mobile application that streamlines a health clinic’s inventory and provides real-time updates to suppliers via text.
Skyline Studios, University of Houston
Zipline Hero: The team developed a puzzle-action platform game where the player uses the touch screen input to rescue animals.
To advance, students ages 16 and older competed in three major competition categories, including:
The team that will represent the U.S. at the Worldwide finals in St. Petersburg, Russia July 8-11, 2013 will be unveiled at the U.S. Finals.
As a key program of Microsoft YouthSpark, Imagine Cup inspires students to tackle software development projects using Microsoft’s tools and platforms from the initial brainstorming phase through final release and beyond, transforming them from passive consumers of technology to skilled creators. Imagine Cup uses the thrill of competition to drive students to develop new skills, test themselves in new ways, lead multidisciplinary teams and take command of their future careers.
The future is now, which makes for the perfect time for students to start turning their dreams into realities. Please visit Microsoft’s Imagine Cup website for more information on the competition.
Keep up with live updates from the Imagine Cup 2013 U.S. Finals!
We will be providing live coverage from the U.S. Finals Demo Day on May 13 in Silicon Valley, CA through our social channels! Keep up with us on Twitter @MsTechStudent and Facebook for live updates and watch the official hashtag #ICUSFinals for additional coverage.
Tom Kosnik, Professor at Stanford University, spoke at Microsoft Startup Boot Camp in Silicon Valley this week and shared his advice on how startups can successfully cater to their customers in a way that makes sense for their business goals. Here are the top 5 must-dos to help narrow your focus and get to building the app your customers actually want.
1.) Why will customers buy your product over a competitor’s?
If you’re in the early stages of development, take a break to go out and find out about your potential customers. Why are they going to use this product over what they’re using now or what they’d buy from a competitor? You must answer this question conclusively before moving on.
2.) Stop selling, start listening.
At the beginning stages you should be continuously discovering what your target customer base wants. Don’t wait until you have a finished product to do this. Remember the 80/20 rule. Listen for 80% of the conversation and talk for 20%.
3.) Test your hypotheses.
Turn customer guesses into facts through constant research and analysis.
4.) Keep a clear focus.
At some point you need to filter those customer suggestions and use only the ones that make sense for the success of your product. As Tom stated during the workshop, “customers are not product developers. It’s your job as a business owner to understand which of their asks make sense to focus on.”
5.) Don’t be afraid to pivot! Change course if required.
Great entrepreneurs realize that at some point their company needs to pivot so do not be ashamed to do so, especially when you have a strong conviction that the market is changing. However, diminishing returns result when you pivot too frequently so make sure it is the right move to make.
Keep up with live updates from Startup Boot Camp!
If you can follow these steps you will be able to develop iteration after iteration of your product without crisis and will have built a fast, agile and opportunistic company capable of disrupting markets.
Follow the hashtag #MSBootcamp or follow the Tech Student handle on Twitter for tips, quotes, and insights from angel investors, startup leaders, evangelists, and students between now and the end of the week. We’ll also be highlighting events and fielding questions on Facebook.