Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Final – Day 6 – Awards Ceremony

Today is the final day of Imagine Cup 2011 at New York. All competitions were already over but there are still lot of activities waiting for the competitors today such as student learning sessions, student showcase, award ceremony and farewell party! Which team will bring home the ultimate golden trophy and golden belt? We shall found that out today.

Today we have a lot of interesting learning sessions for the competitors especially for those who is going to graduate anytime soon. For example, Take Your Imagine Cup Experiences to the Next Level, What it Takes to be a Researcher, Insider Tips for Excelling in Technical Interviews and etc. Each learning sessions will be giving out a XBox to a lucky student who attend the session.  For those students who yet to grab a XBox, today will be their last chance to grab a XBox in one of the learning sessions on the morning.

On the afternoon, we are moving from the hotel to Lincoln Center for the Student Showcase and World Festival Awards Ceremony. Student Showcase is where student showcase their project and exchange ideas with other students, judges and guests. All competitors are very initiative to share their solution to everyone while learning the idea from other competitors at the same time. Learning from each other, that is the way how the competitors improve continuously every year.

Now the most exciting and climax of Imagine Cup, the Awards Ceremony. Just like Olympic, each team is proud of the country they represent by holding the country flag on the stage. All competitors are very excited in this ceremony even before the ceremony start. Flying their own country flag and shouting for they own country name are every corner of in the hall. This year we have a very impact opening of award ceremony with 3 big screen and a performer telling the world toughest problem that are waiting to be solve. Yes, there are still many problems awaiting for the students to solve no matter what is the outcome of this competition.

We have some very interesting guests this years on the awards ceremony such as Michael R. Bloomberg (Mayor of NYC) welcoming every one of us to New York City. This is also the first time ever for Microsoft to invite Eva Longoria at Imagine Cup and she is excited to talking about Imagine Cup project created by the student on how they can help on huge disaster. Wait, we even got the Master Chief from Halo game appear out of sudden to deliver the result of Game Design and have a big picture with Game Design winner. Cool!

Microsoft continue to throw more surprise to competitors during the award ceremony to make the excitement go on and on. Walid Abu-Hadba (VP of Developer & Platform Microsoft) announced that each first place winner will get an invitation to /*build*/ conference and each finalist competitors will get a Windows Phone 7 with Mango update. While S. Somasegar (Senior Vice President, Developer Division of Microsoft) announced a 3 million USD grants open for Imagine Cup participations to apply. No matter if the competitor had won any prize tonight or not, they all are already the winner with Microsoft Kinect (announced on Day 1) and Windows Phone 7.5.


Enough of the talk, the result of Imagine Cup 2011 New York are…

Software Design Winning Team

  • First Place: Team Hermes (Ireland)
  • Second Place: Team Note Taker (United States)
  • Third Place: Oasys Team (Jordan)


Embedded Development Winning Teams

  • First Place: NTHUCS (Taiwan)
  • Second Place: Harmonicare (China)
  • Third Place: Endeavour_Design (Romania)


Game Design (Windows/XBox) Winning Teams

  • First Place: Signum Games (Brazil)
  • Second Place: JubJub (Thailand)
  • Third Place: WickedTeam (Czech Republic) 


Game Design (Web) Winning Teams

  • First Place: Cellardoor (Poland)
  • Second Place: Signum Fidei (Philippines)
  • Third Place: Quegee Team (Slovakia) 


Game Design (Mobile) Winning Teams

  • First Place: Geekologic (France)
  • Second Place: Close World Mobile (France)
  • Third Place: Team Dragon (United States) 


Digital Media Winning Teams

  • First Place: M.N.A. (Romania)
  • Second Place: Brothers Forever (Oman)
  • Third Place: Cottoncandy (Taiwan) 


Windows Phone 7 Winning Teams

  • First Place: HOMERUN (Korea)
  • Second Place: Zipi Zigi (Korea)
  • Third Place: The LifeLens Project (United States) 


IT Challenge Winning Individuals

  • First Place: Jean-Sebastien Duchene (France)
  • Second Place: Blazej Matuszyk (Poland)
  • Third Place: Yunheng Mong (Singapore) 


Interoperability Challenge Winning Teams

  • First Place: alaniarides (Greece)
  • Second Place: Bells Team (Brazil)
  • Third Place: DemosceneSpirit (Poland) 


Orchard Challenge Winning Teams

  • First Place: MP Brun (Denmark)
  • Second Place: Virtual Dreams – Orchard (Brazil)
  • Third Place: Zveen Zveen Team (Serbia) 



Windows 7 Touch Challenge Winning Teams

  • First Place: India Rose (France)
  • Second Place: _dreambender_ (Indonesia)
  • Third Place: IUVO (Japan) 


2011 People’s Choice Award Winning Team

  • Team Rapture (Bangladesh)

Although Imagine Cup 2011 had officially ended but this should not be the end of the journey for the competitor but the this should be the beginning of their journey to create a better world. This should not be end of the story for those who can’t made it into the final, it should be just end of a chapter and a new chapter should beginning for Imagine Cup 2012. With the Imagine Cup flag passing ceremony, Gerard Seeber (Deputy Consul General & Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner Austrade) and Pip Marlow (Managing Director of Microsoft Australia) officially announce Imagine Cup 2012 will be at Australia

After the awards ceremony, all competitor are having the farewell party back at hotel. Time to throw everything about competition behind of the mind and dance! No alcoholic drink for those who under 21! The Microsoft Student Partners Social Media Team having our farewell party together with the competitors too as 25 of us will be depart and go back to our own country after that. Sorry pal, we are there to party so no photo at party for you all to see! Party go on until 2 in the morning.

I’m, gone miss all the competitors from around the world especially those team I’m keeping in charge, the 24 MSPs in Social Media Team that we had work out together every day and night through out the event, our team lead Michelle Fleming who taking good care of us, Ali, Milo and many more who I can’t mention them all here. As I said, this should not be a good bye, so let’s kick start the Imagine Cup 2012 at Australia then! Hope to see you all next year!

by Ooi Keng Siang – MSPSMT via Ooiks’s Blog

Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Final – Day 5 – Finalist Presentation

After the fun Culture Day yesterday, we are back into competition again. Today we will have all the finalists of Software Design, Embedded Development and Game Design presenting their solution on the stage to the judges and it is open to all students to watch as well. They will compete for the top 3 places in each category.

Idea can be very simple, but it some can create a big impact in our world. For example Right!! This Way created by NTHUCS from Taiwan that can guide people safety get out of the building during fire emergency. Come to think about this, who really know which route is safe without any burning fire or smoke by using only the simple “Exit” sign board right? This is one of the many problems around us that exist for a long time yet we didn’t really realize it. I love the way they stress that, this is a life saving business and they are saving life! Good said!

The Note-Taker solution developed by Note-Taker from United State was simply so cool. Helping student with visual problems to take note while it is a green solution that can help to save paper at the same time. The tool is proven very useful by the developers themselves as one of the team member is facing visual problem during his study. Even myself who don’t have any visual problem, I don’t mind to get help from that tool to assist me in note taking because it is simply easy to use and amazing.

I always have a very hard feeling watching how people without their arms using a stick or eye blink to control the PC. It is a very tedious task that require a lot of patient. But my mind was complete blow away by the Mind Touch solution developed by Care Everyone from China.  The solution to control computer with their head and voice.  This is what they really need! Low cost but it has high impact on those disability peoples’ life. I really glad to see such solution that can help disability people to get back their own normal life.

If you think that the game created by student is usually simple and easy, then you are very wrong. The 3D graphic and gameplay in FireFighters: Whatever It Takes designed by WickedTeam from Czech Republic is really up to the standard of commercial product. It is a strategy game with the mission to save the jungle and life during wide fire. I’m really impress with their jaw dropping 3d graphic and effect.

I love the cute character in Hilomi designed by Close World Mobile from France. The character was a cute little girl that go on an adventure. They only use image with the cute little girl to tell the story of the game during their presentation which I think it is very interesting to keep me continue to watch what will happen on the little girl next. I do hope if I can try the game on my own mobile phone in coming future.

There are just too many great games and solutions developed by students which is impossible for me to mention one by one here. You can always check out the other 24 Microsoft Student Partner (MSP) Social Media Team on the story of other team. All 25 MSPs who bring all the updates on the social media are having a little rest on this afternoon where 25 of us went out for lunch together with Michelle Fleming who lead us all the way in Imagine Cup. I’m so glad to be part of the team and I’m really happy to work with the other 24 MSPs and Michelle to bring all the news and update on social media to let more people know about Imagine Cup and inspiring more students to change the world at the same time.

Tomorrow will be the last day of Imagine Cup and we shall know who is the best out of the best during World Festival Awards Ceremony which will be at Lincoln Center. Before that, we also have a series of learning sessions going on the morning and public showcase of students’ project too. Let’s have all the fun tomorrow before we said good bye to everyone.

by Ooi Keng Siang – MSPSMT via Ooiks’s Blog

Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Final – Day 4 – Culture Day

OK, enough of competition and all the stress. Imagine Cup is not just about competition, but it is also for students to have fun. We have something really interesting going this year as we have student citizenship activity for students to participate. Is time to get the student out from their computers and work out something really meaningful to help the community without the computer!

(I will let the photo to tell the story in this post)

Students are building and painting rack while some other students are painting art. The best part of this event is, we are having all those activities at Centre Park of New York City. Finally we can go out of the hotel and have some activities surrendered with green! This is also a great chances for student to meet new friends from other countries and work out the same piece of project. Aren’t this is so meaningful where students can gather together and do some thing great regardless of races, culture and background.

After that, students will be on a culture tour around New York City to learn more about the culture and history of New York City. Students have 3 choice for the city tour as it is impossible to cover the whole New York City within one day. They can choose South New York City Tour, Manhattan Walking Tour or Centre Park Tour. Each bus of students is lead by a professional tour guide that explain the culture and history of New York City as the tour go on.

All tours will end up going taking ferry to Liberty Island to watch The Statue of Liberty which is the icon of United State and New York. The whole island is fully booked by Imagine Cup! How cool is that? This is the day where the student can enjoy the most as they can left all competition stuffs behind and have fun, taking photo and exploring New York.

The day end with a barbecue dinner at Ellis Island. We also have a student group photo where all students came together and take a big family photo. Tomorrow we will have the finalist presentation on the stage! They are the best out of the best team in the category. I’m looking forward to see what kind of mind blowing solutions and superior presentations given by the students.

by Ooi Keng Siang – MSPSMT via Ooiks’s Blog

Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Final – Day 3 – Competition Continue

The competition continue on day 3 of Imagine Cup 2011 at New York. Today we have a lot of activities going on around. The top 15 teams compete in second round of Embedded Development, top 18 teams compete in second round of Software Design, hand-on time for judges on Game Design, Windows Phone 7 competition and Interoperability Challenge competition while IT Challenge and Digital Media is going on.

The second round of Software Design and Embedded Development will be harder than first round as they will not have 6 judges instead of 4. I had a chance to sit in listen to the presentation of Team Cyber Knightz from Malaysia in Software Design and Team MACARA from Indonesia in Embedded Development, they are doing a great job impressing the judges with their solution. Be sure to check out Team Cyber Knightz story and Team MACARA story and vote for team in the People’s Choice Award if you like their projects.

How can you know a game is interesting or not without playing right? So judges for Game Design will have their time playing on the game designed by the competitors. They are enjoying it as if they are not here to give mark to the project but as a gamer who enjoying the game. All the fun laughing and satisfying face of the judges all over in the showcase hall. I’m going to get myself hand on those great games when the showcase is open!

Other then just competition, we also have a long list of learning sessions for students to learn about the latest technologies of Microsoft and startup information. To make the learning sessions even more exciting, Microsoft Imagine Cup will give away a XBox to a lucky student who attended the session in each of the session!

  • Building Apps for Windows Mobile 7
  • Internet Explorer 9: A More Beautiful Web
  • Windows Embedded and the Internet of Things: Opportunities for Tomorrow
  • Windows Azure: To the Cloud!
  • Learn how to apply for major grants from USAID for your ideas to solve the world’s toughest problems
  • Come discover Windows Embedded! Demos only!
  • Kinect App-a-Thon

Imagine Cup is a place where students can show the world what they had come out. Press around the world will be attending this great event and learn about the great projects that created by the students. The student really impress us with their great ideas and solutions like Japan Team in Embedded Development has amaze me with their solution call Sun Donation where it allow user to donate money without paying a single sen. Just by watching the video and I donating money to those who need it, sound amazing right! Too bad as I’m only have limited time else I would like to pay each booth a visit and listen to their stories and projects in detail.

After all the tough competition running on the afternoon, the result of the finalist in Software Design, Embedded Development and Game Design (Mobile, Web, XNA / Windows) were announced. Students were exciting as usual and singing their own country song with their country flag in hand! Each team was proud of the country they represent! Aren’t this look like an Olympic? Without any sport of course!

The finalist are:

Software Design (Finalist)

  • China, Care Everyone
  • Ireland, Team Hermes
  • Jordan, OaSys
  • New Zealand, OneBuzz
  • Romania, SIMPLEX
  • United States, Team Note-Taker

Embedded Development (Finalist)

  • Brazil, Embedded Brain
  • China, Harmonicare
  • France, Give Me 4
  • Romania, Endeavour_Design
  • Taiwan, NTHUCS
  • United Kingdom, Cycling into trees

Game Design – Mobile (Finalist)

  • France, Close World Mobile
  • France, Geekologic
  • US, Team Dragon

Game Design – Web (Finalist)

  • Philippines, Signum Fidei
  • Poland, Cellardoor
  • Slovakia, Quegee Team

Game Design – XNA/Windows

  • Brazil, Signum Games
  • Czech Republic, WickedTeam
  • Thailand, JubJub Team

Congratulation to all teams that successfully enter the finalist, but they need to rehearse tomorrow for the final presentation while all other teams can go out and fully enjoy culture day made by Imagine Cup. Imagine Cup is not only just about competition and technologies talk only, culture day is a day where students around the world can learn about the culture and history of the hosted country, which is a very meaningful activity. Let’s fully enjoy tomorrow culture day and left the competition aside first!

by Ooi Keng Siang – MSPSMT via Ooiks’s Blog

Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Final – Day 2 – Competition Begin

Today is the judgment day! The day begin with briefing for the student about the competition that will be running today and activity that we are going to have in the next few days at New York City. We have Lisa Harper (Imagine Cup Worldwide Competition Manager), Suzi LeVine (PR), Chris Yates (Security) and Walid (the big boss) on the stage to brief all the competitors.

We had judges around the world to sit in and watch the great solution bring by students in Software Design, Embedded Development and Game Design. IT Challenge and Digital Media will be running all day long, student need to compete with others and the time to make sure they complete their task in the given time. Competition for Windows Phone 7  and Interoperability Challenge will be kick start tomorrow instead. This is going to be a busy and exciting day for everyone.

Although I know lot of competitors stay up late last night for today presentation preparation, but all of them are excited and ready to give all judges a big bang of what they have. Being part of the Microsoft Student Partner (MSP) Social Media Team give  the chances to watch all those great and amazing solution developed by the students first hand. The judges were impressed about the student creativity and so am I. They are just so great! Well, after all their are the best in their country that why they represent their country to the worldwide final.

Check out Team MACARA, Team Gototkaca, Team Cyber Knightz and Team NewKrean action on their presentation from the photo. They are doing a very great job and judge are impressed with their project. I’m not going to tell you what great project the student made here, but you can check out their projects at People’s Choice Award and make sure you vote for them if you like their project. Just 2 more days left, better be hungry if you want to support them. Imagine Cup is not only about competition, we also have fun time like Xbox 360 and XBox Kinect ready for students to play.

After all the tough competition, the result of the teams that advanced to second round of Software Design and Embedded Development will be announce at night. While waiting for the judges to sort out the result, the competitors are so excited. They bring their own flag, sing their country’s song, shouting their country name, hooping around and many more! That is the Imagine Cup spirit!

For even better, Lisa announced that Microsoft is giving out XBox 360 as the lucky draw on the section of Kinect App-a-Thon that will be happen tomorrow. More good stuff for the student ya. How I wish I’m a competitor this year! I’m so envy them!

The judges are sure having a hard time deciding which teams success enter the next round as they are taking more time then expected. But at last, 15 Teams of Embedded Development and 18 Team of Software Design will announced on the stage. Check out the list below to know who they are:

Embedded Development (15 teams)

  • Brazil, Embedded Brain
  • China, Harmonicare
  • Colombia, Freakin’ Mind
  • Egypt, ideas 4 u
  • France, Give Me 4
  • India, Drushti
  • Indonesia, MACARA
  • Poland, WCY_TEAM
  • Romania, Endeavour_Design
  • Russia, Calvus
  • Singapore, Skynet
  • Spain, Argitech
  • Taiwan, N THUCS,
  • United Kingdom, Cycling into trees
  • United States, Syntax Errors

Software Design (18 teams)

  • Brazil, LevelUP
  • Chile, Lifeware S.A.C.
  • China, Care Everyone
  • Croatia, apptenders
  • Czech Republic, Celebrio Software
  • Finland, Team 25k
  • India, Infiniti
  • Ireland, Team Hermes
  • Jordan, OaSys
  • Malaysia, Team Cyber Knightz
  • Morocco , White Light
  • New Zealand, OneBuzz
  • Romania, SIMPLEX
  • Russia, OriTeam
  • Slovakia, Zippers
  • Slovenia, 2ndSight
  • Ukraine, DashPoint
  • United States, Team Note-Taker

For those teams won’t can made into the second round, don’t give up now as you all have came so far and you represent the best of your own country. All finalist are the winner of this competition. this should be the beginning of the journey to create a better tomorrow and not the end of the journey.

Competition for Windows Phone 7 and  Interoperability Challenge will be kick start tomorrow, as well as second round of Software Design presentation and Embedded Development presentation. IT Challenge and Digital Media are still going on now. We also got a lot of learning sessions including Kinect App-a-Thon that are going to happen tomorrow. So stay tune on my Blog or Twitter, or check out the official Imagine Cup’s Twitter for the most latest update.

by Ooi Keng Siang – MSPSMT via Ooiks’s Blog

Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Final – Day 1 – Opening Ceremony

This is the day, where Imagine Cup 2011 will be kick start tonight at New York. Lot of teams had arrived today in order to attend this great event. I can see the excitement is all over the hotel and every corner. Teams are busying drawing on on the Hello Booth, press from around the world are busying catching the competitors for interview and MSP social media team is busy learning the story of the team and many more.

Imagine Cup 2011 is officially kick off during the Opening Ceremony at night. We have a lot of excitement in opening ceremony of Imagine Cup this year. We have Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft Cooperation for the first time at the Imagine Cup. He is not here only to support the competitors but also bring lot of exciting news for all the competitor. All worldwide finalist will be bring home a Kinect this year. Aren’t it is so good to be truth? Besides, Steve Ballmer also hint that there will be a next batch of Windows Phone 7 and Xbox that are going to release on coming X’mas.

Check out Steve Ballmer speech at Imagine Cup here.

Other than Steve Ballmer, we also have Jon Perera (Microsoft Education General Manager), Jeffery Sachs (Director of The Earth Institute, Columbia University) and Dennis Crowley (Co-founder & CEO of Foursquare) for the first time at Imagine Cup. Jeffery Sachs challenge the students by giving them a homework assignment where they need to figure out how to save the planet while Dennis Crowley share the experience of his journey co-founding Foursquare with the competitors.

Check out the video capture by MSP Social Media Team in Imagine Cup 2011 Opening Ceremony here and check out the photo below also.

This year Imagine Cup have a super exciting kick start by all the great people and exciting news. Let’s siting down and see what great ideas will bring by students to solve the world toughest problems tomorrow as the real competition will be start tomorrow. Stay tune on my Blog or Twitter, or check out the official Imagine Cup’s Twitter for the most latest update.

by Ooi Keng Siang – MSPSMT via Ooiks’s Blog