Imagine Cup – Become an Industry Advisor

The Imagine Cup is a student software competition run by Microsoft.  It’s similar to the Olympics in that there are a bunch of sub-competitions within it (the two biggest being the Software Design competition and the Game Design competition).  I sat down with David Giard to discuss the Imagine Cup on his Technology and Friends show. 


Most of the folks who read my blog are industry professionals (not students)…where do you guys come in?  The students need mentors for the competition.  Being students, it helps to have someone to bounce ideas off of, or to ask technical questions when they get stuck, or to prepare them with how to speak with confidence when they present their project to the judges.  (Keep in mind that the judges totally understand that these are busy college students participating, and the projects don’t have to be perfect.  Last year’s second-place team was an all-female team that made a mobile app that would tell you if you wandered into an unsafe area, and some of the data they used to determine if the area was safe was just sample data.)    

Please let me know if you do decide to sign up!

The official announcement follows, with instructions on how to register…


What do James Cameron (Director of “Avatar” and “Titanic”) and First Lady Michelle Obama have in common?  Interest in Imagine Cup.  Imagine Cup is the world’s largest global technology competition.  It’s kind of like a technology Olympics with students from around the world competing in a number of categories. 

We are working to top last year's Imagine Cup US Finals keynotes by James Cameron (Director of “Avatar” and “Titanic”), Craig Mundie (Microsoft’s Chief Research and Strategy Officer), and Karen Cator (Director, Office of Educational Technology, US Dept. of Education).  We were thrilled when Michelle Obama announced that the Imagine Cup world finals are coming to the US in 2011 in this video

There has been fantastic interest from students, and we are seeing amazing levels of participation in Imagine Cup this fall.  Student teams have plenty of enthusiasm, but they would really benefit from your hard-earned knowledge, experience, and insights.  You can help these student teams by becoming their industry advisor. 


  • A few hours of your time to review team’s ideas + project submissions
  • Share real-world industry knowledge to help local teams build better projects
  • Invite the students to join your community or user group
  • Ask the students to present their project at a user group or community meeting


  • Exposure to the energy and passion of students
  • Make positive impact by investing time in the next generation of developers and IT pros
  • Increased user group membership
  • Perhaps you can help students change the world

Become a team advisor and make a difference!  Here’s how to register:

  1. Go to
  2. Click “GET STARTED”.
  3. Fill in the registration page.  For the user type field, select “Industry Professional”, and for school name, enter a school you would like to work with.
  4. You’ll receive a follow-up email with next steps.