Today Microsoft hosted around 50 journalists for lunch in one Sydney. A panel of Microsoft personnel discussed this year’s Imagine Cup details including the competition structure and how technology is being used to solve real world problems. The students in the finals of this year’s Imagine Cup are leading the way in this movement.
Walid Abu-Hadba, Corporate Vice President, Developer & Platform Evangelism Group.
Abu-Hadba kicked off by saying the hardest thing was the ability to get an idea to market. The world has changed and we’re going through a revolution now, Windows, Phone, Server, Xbox.
”You don’t have to be in Silicon Valley to be a successful entrepreneur. We want to give students the opportunity and the platform the same opportunity to succeed as anywhere else in the world.” Testing ideas is significantly easier than previous generations.
“Developers care about one thing more than anything else in the world, they care about making money.” When you make money, you can make the world better. He went on to say that there are 3 things that Microsoft believes in.
1. Give young people a great platform to create
2. Link the platform to the opportunity of a global market
3. Create solutions that fix real world problems.
Pip Marlow, Managing Director, Microsoft Australia
The next 5 days is all about the students, all about how they use technology to solve the worlds problems. Australian finals were held in Melbourne in April. Childhood Pneumonia is being benefitted from Australian finalists StethoCloud which combines a Windows Phone app and a stethoscope. Look out for an upcoming post on StethoCloud.
Dan’l Lewin, Coporate Vice president, Strategic ad Emerging Business Development
As a technology company, Microsoft bring products, platforms and services to the table that lowers the barrier for new ideas. Young people are making a difference to world economies. DreamSpark is a program that allows students access Microsoft technologies at no cost. This is done under a non-commercial licence. After an idea turns into a business, the BizSpark program allows early stage startups access to Microsoft tools and services for free, for three years.
Lewin says, what used to cost 40 million dollars per hour, now costs 25c for compute power.
Andrea Harrison, Senior Director Academic Programs Group
Harrison provided an overview of how the competition would play out over the next few days. Explaining that with so much on the line, press should be conscious of students who may not be experienced in dealing with the media. On top of that competitors are sure to be sleep deprived and nervous in the grand final. There’s a lot of pressure and a big prize on the line. There was also a number of previous contestants present who were made available to press to discuss their experience in Imagine Cup.
So with the dinner out of the way, the next event is the opening ceremony tonight.