Microsoft looking to Canadian students to help solve world's toughest problems

The Imagine Cup Canada 2012 registration now open

TORONTO, Feb. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - Microsoft Canada is challenging Canadian high school and post-secondary students to imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems during the Imagine Cup Canada 2012. Registration is now open for this global competition which requires students to creatively use technology to solve real-world problems.

Students can register for Imagine Cup Canada 2012 at www.microsoft.ca/imaginecup to compete in one of two Canadian platform categories: Windows Phone 7 Game Design, registration closes February 14; and Software Design, registration closes March 13. Microsoft will fly the top three teams from each category to Toronto for the Canadian Finals.  The winning Software Design team in Canada and the top 10 international finalists in the Game Design category will then be flown to compete in the Worldwide Finals in Sydney, Australia this July.

"The Imagine Cup is a global competition that empowers and inspires passion and idealism in students and encourages them to apply classroom learning to solve real-world problems," said Gladstone Grant, Vice President, Developer & Platform Group, Microsoft Canada Inc.  "Microsoft is proud to support our Canadian students through this annual competition which cultivates a spirit of social and technological entrepreneurialism." 

By participating in the Imagine Cup 2012, students have the chance to learn new technological skills and win cash, grants and prizes.  They also have the opportunity to network with peers, pursue career opportunities and test themselves against the brightest students from around the world.  Last year, more than 350,000 students representing 183 countries and regions entered the competition.

"Competing in the Imagine Cup is a unique experience that offers students the opportunity to creatively apply classroom learning to real-world problems, while pushing the envelope to create ideas never thought of before," said William Hoang, Engineer Team Lead on team Bamboo & Papyrus: embedded software design, 1st place finalist Imagine Cup Canada 2009.  "At the same time, students gain valuable technical skills and learn how to overcome challenges while building friendships and gaining real-world experience. Imagine Cup Canada is an unforgettable experience for any student."

For inspiration, students can review some of the world's most challenging social issues as identified within the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals. From designing mobile healthcare applications to enabling access to quality education for all children and creating mobile games that teach youth disease prevention or environmental sustainability, young social innovators are using technology to make a difference in the life of people around the world and in their own communities. Canadian students can also enter to compete globally in additional categories as identified on the global Imagine Cup website.

Every student team has the opportunity to engage a mentor - someone to inspire them, answer their questions and guide them through the competition.  Mentors can be faculty members from the students' schools or industry experts who wish to support the next generation of student developers.  More details on mentorship can be found on the Canadian Imagine Cup website.  

About the Imagine Cup

The Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world's premier student technology competition.  Eligible students from around the world are invited to use their imagination and passion to create a technology solution that addresses the Imagine Cup 2012 theme: Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problem.  In ten years, the Imagine Cup has grown to be a truly global competition focused on finding solutions to real-world problems. Since 2003, more than 1.4 million students have participated in the Imagine Cup with 358,000 students representing 183 countries and regions registering for the Imagine Cup 2011 competition. This year, the Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finals take place in Sydney, Australia in July.

About Microsoft Canada

Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Inc. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq "MSFT") the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has nine regional offices across the country dedicated to empowering people through great software - any time, any place and on any device. For more information on Microsoft Canada, please visit www.microsoft.ca

SOURCE Microsoft Canada Co.

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For media inquiries, please contact: 
Livy Feldgajer, High Road Communications
416-644-2280 or livy.feldgajer@highroad.com

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