This post is admittedly a little late up so apologies!
Once again on 20th April I was off to Microsoft HQ, as one of the lucky ones to be invited to the UK Imagine Cup Finals at Microsoft’s UK HQ in Reading.
So before I start talking about how awesome the day was, let’s first cover what the Imagine Cup is.
What is the Imagine Cup?
The Imagine Cup is the worlds biggest and best Student Technology Competition. Created by Microsoft almost a decade ago, the competition spans one year, starting with local, regional and online contests across over 100 countries/regions.
The lucky finalists can get to attend the – all expenses paid – Worldwide Finals which are held in a different country every year. This year the Worldwide Finals are in New York City, one of the most exciting and famous cities in the world.
The Imagine cup is a great competition which brings students together, providing the opportunity to innovate and help shape the future through technology.
Also check out this video which explains it with some awesome footage from last year’s world wide final in Poland! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRnH_tefgcc
The UK Finals
Ben Nunney kicked off proceedings in the opening ceremony of the UK Imagine Cup Finals with some inspiring words as well as info about the day, as well as the obligatory “message from the legal team”, and as expected many mentions of cake. Which for anyone which knows Ben is to be expected.
We then saw some words from Emanuele Ognissanti, from Microsoft Corp and head of the Imagine cup program globally to welcome us all and shared his excitement in the projects which come from the Imagine Cup competition and the 300,000+ Registrants world wide!!
We also caught a peak at a brilliant IE9 video with Microsoft humourlessly self-mocking past failures *cough* IE6 and celebrating the launch of IE9.
Video from Alex Oliver, hopefully Microsoft will YouTube an original copy soon…
The day proved to be a fantastic way for MSPs, Passionate Students and Imagine Cup hopefuls to mingle and network. With mouth watering food from the wonderful Microsoft hospitality team it was geek heaven. A truly fantastic experience meeting some great geeks, enjoying delicious food, and obviously free Wi-Fi.
As well as great food and awesome geeks we also had a short presentation from Chris Leydon, the Project Manager of TinyGrab.com a fantastic project offering “Simple. Screenshot. Sharing.” – With over 300K user base and some impressive 3,000,000 screenshots shared over 2 years, add the fact the everyone involved in the company is under 22!
Chris also shared some inspiring stories from his experience in the industry and some sound advice when starting your own Start-up, was great hearing from someone who seems to operate on a similar wave-length, and someone I’d love to hear more from in the future.
A very interesting chap and a fantastic product too, which I have now been using on a daily basis since installing!
After the event we all packed off to Pizza Express, after getting a little lost in a car park with @KirisuteRanza we found our way there and enjoyed a great meal and some fantastic conversation with both Students & Microsoft guys.
I particularly enjoy the informality of events such as this, it’s a fantastic way to talk to many people at a variety of levels within the Technology Industry from different areas, different ages, backgrounds and hold open honest discussions. I look forward to more in the future!