Imagine a world where technology solves a country’s water shortage, provides a cleaner source of fuel or reduces the demand for energy. Imagine coming up with a concept that could help solve some of the world’s biggest environmental issues and winning big for coming up with the idea. Students interested in saving the environment while earning cash and traveling to great places can get involved by entering the Imagine Cup 2008. Microsoft Corp. has opened registration for the competition, inviting students from the United States and around the world to use their talent, imagination and know-how to address those and other sustainability issues.
Now in its sixth year, the Imagine Cup challenges students around the globe to imagine a world made better by technology and created by their talent and innovation. More than 100,000 students from 100 countries competed in last year’s Imagine Cup. This year, Microsoft hopes to top that, calling on students to go green, dream big and rise to the challenge to “imagine a world where technology enables a sustainable environment.” After advancing through online, local and regional competitions, finalists will be chosen to compete on the global stage at the Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals in Paris next summer. There, students will have a shot at winning more than $180,000 (U.S.) across nine categories.
But the Imagine Cup doesn’t just give students the chance to win money; it also can help kick-start their career. A number of Imagine Cup competitors have gone on to turn their software designs into real-world business realities, including Imagine Cup winner Tu Nguyen of Omaha, Nebraska, who is now the vice president of technology at DocCenter Inc., a Software as a Service (SaaS) content and document management solution provider.
“After the Imagine Cup, things started to click for me because people see the potential in the student,” Nguyen said. “It’s not about the grades anymore. It’s about what the student can imagine and deliver.”
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