About Imagine Cup


Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world's premier student technology competition. We invite all eligible students to use their imagination and passion to create a technology solution in one of our competitions and challenges.

Over the past ten years, more than 1.65 million students from more than 190 countries have participated in the Imagine Cup. When you join the Imagine Cup community, you’ll connect with other whip-smart creatives from all over the world to share ideas, have fun, and be there when the next big thing is unveiled.

Imagine Cup is your chance to:

  • Break new ground, solve tough problems facing the world today, and maybe even turn your ideas into a business
  • Get involved in the next wave of games and applications – the future is in your hands
  • Learn new technological skills
  • Test yourself against the brightest students around the world
  • Make new friends
  • Win cash, grants, and prizes

Am I Eligible?

If you're sixteen years or older as of 10 September 2013 and are or will be enrolled as a student at any time between 1 January 2013 and 31 July 2014, then you are probably eligible. Please see our official rules for details.

What Do I Make?

For our three main competitions -- Games, Innovation, and World Citizenship -- you and your team will make an original technology project from start to finish: come up with a great idea, make a plan, build your project, and submit it to Imagine Cup. It can be either purely software or a combination of software and hardware. It needs to use either Windows, Windows Phone, or Windows Azure.

We also offer a number of online challenges that don't require you to create software. Take a look at the available challenges and find one that's right for your team!

Who Is My Team?

A team is up to four eligible students.

In addition to your team, other people are allowed to help you. You can have a mentor, such as a faculty member, who advises you on your project. You can also have associates, who must be eligible students, that can help you with things with business model planning, marketing, music or sound effects creation, and so on. These people are not members of your team as such but it's good to have help sometimes. Again, please see our official rules for details.

Where Does It Happen?

Imagine Cup National Finals competitions happen in dozens of countries all over the world. Organized by Microsoft subsidiaries in those countries, the National Finals select the best teams from that country who then enter the World Semifinals. The very best of those teams win a trip to Seattle in July 2014 for the Imagine Cup World Finals.

What Do We Win?

That depends on the contest, but the first-place teams in our three main competitions win $50,000 and all World Finalist teams win a trip to Seattle!

How Do I Get Started?

By visiting our Get Started page, of course!

Get Started >