What if all of your hard work came down to a single moment?
For many of us, success is gradual and certainly this is true for each of the 33 teams who competed in multiple rounds of competition before arriving in Redmond, Washington last week for the global competition known as the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2015.
Last week Emily and I were invited to the Microsoft Campus to witness this year’s Imagine Cup. We watched as teams competing in the categories of Games, Innovation, and World Citizenship took on their most daunting challenge- a 10 minute presentation before a panel of judges. Sounds stressful, right?
You only had to step in Microsoft’s Building 92 to grasp the seriousness of the competition. Throughout the second floor, teams huddled together, talking in hushed tones and rehearsing their presentations over and over again, ensuring that they would finish before the clock ran out and then waiting until the next morning to hear if they placed in the top three in their category.
But if you ask Emily what her favorite part of the Microsoft Imagine Cup was, she’ll tell you it was the presentations.
Skilled presenters shared their products before a panel of judges and audience members, sharing their concept, technology, and business plan. S.E.C.S. from Cyprus drew us in as they started their presentation with a real life scenario about monitoring crops that would help with subsistence farming. The lead presenter on Poland’s Bandbarian donned a helmet with horns as the team demonstrated their virtual reality game that paired with a fitness wearable to help motivate kids to maintain an active lifestyle. Walkly from Canada explained how the technology behind their free app would provide safety and security to walkers who download it when it becomes available later this summer. Team U.S.A.’s described how their StudyTree app is like the Uber for connecting college students with tutors on campus and shared a detailed plan for funding their concept.
While Emily sat riveted to the presentations, I Periscoped (I’m TechSavvyMama on Periscope) what we were seeing for audiences around the world, including this presentation from Brazil’s eFit Fashion.
The next morning we set foot on the Microsoft Campus, greeted by a brass band who ushered us to an awards breakfast to celebrate the students’ achievements. The mood was festive yet tense at the same time as teams awaited their fates.
There were joyful celebrations among winning first, second, and third place teams who jubilantly hugged while obvious disappointment was seen on the faces of other teams who had competed in the same category.
For the first place finishers in Games, Innovation, and World Citizenship, their competition wasn’t over yet as they went before another set of judges on Friday for a chance to win it all but ultimately it was the Brazilian eFit Fashion team who was named the 2015 Imagine Cup World Champion.
This video explains the innovative idea of eFit Fashion.
Here is the full list of winners in the Games, Innovation, and World Citizenship categories with links to their projects and what each team received for placing in the competition:
- 1st Place: Virtual Dementia Experience, Australia: $50,000 and a Microsoft YouthSpark Boot Camp
- 2nd Place: Mozter, Singapore: $10,000
- 3rd Place: Prognosis, Greece: $5,000
- 1st Place: eFitFashion, Brazil: $50,000 and a Microsoft Ventures Boot Camp
- 2nd Place: NoObs, Azerbaijan: $10,000
- 3rd Place: Siymb, United Kingdom: $5,000
- 1st Place: IzHard, Russia: $50,000 and a PAX Boot Camp
- 2nd Place: Kuality Games, Netherlands: $10,000
- 3rd Place: Thief, China: $5,000
For more information about Imagine Cup, read my other posts that went live last week:
- An Inside Look at the 2015 Microsoft Imagine Cup
- Seattle Bound for the 2015 Microsoft Imagine Cup Global Competition
Emily and I were guests of Microsoft for the Imagine Cup. All opinions are our own.