By Jane Meseck, Director, Corporate Citizenship

Last week marked the 2014 Microsoft Imagine Cup World Finals, where more than 125 students, representing 34 countries around the world, traveled to Seattle for a week of inspiring presentations, intense hands-on judging and student project showcases – all to compete for the grand prize: $50,000 and a private meeting with Bill Gates.

Throughout the week, student teams competed in the Games, Innovation and World Citizenship categories to showcase their products and innovations to panels of judges. Student projects addressed a number of issues, including accessibility, social media, physical therapy “gamification” and much more.

More than 80 percent of World Citizenship teams created innovative ways to use technology in the medical field. This year’s grand prize winner, the Eyenaemia team from Australia, created an app that digitally screens for anemia by taking a simple selfie on your smart phone. Below is an overview of all the winners in each category:

Games Category:

  • First Place, $50,000 prize and PAX Boot Camp: Team Brainy Studio (Russia) Project: TurnOn
  • Second Place, $10,000 prize: Team Bomon (Korea) Project: Under Bed
  • Third Place, $5,000 prize: Team Illogic (Egypt) Project: Puppy in Bubble

Innovation Category:

  • First Place, $50,000 prize and Microsoft Ventures Boot Camp: Team Estimeet (New Zealand) Project: Estimeet
  • Second Place, $10,000 prize: Team Tep (Hungary) Project: Tep
  • Third Place, $5,000 prize: Team Butterfly (Bahrain) Project: Nail Polish Mixer

World Citizenship Category:

  • First Place, $50,000 prize and Microsoft YouthSpark Boot Camp: Team Eyenaemia (Australia) Project: Eyenaemia
  • Second Place, $10,000 prize: Team SMART crew (Taiwan) Project: Versatility of Usens: From Lab to Life
  • Third Place, $5,000 prize: Team Access Earth (Ireland) Project: Access Earth

Imagine Cup Day at Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) brought the event to an exciting conclusion. Sponsored by Avanade, the day featured performances by D20 Brass Band and the School of Rock, among others. Imagine Cup competitors demonstrated their projects and the public had the opportunity to vote for their favorite Imagine Cup project. Team Chemicalium from Bosnia, took home the “Avanade People's Choice Award,” along with a check for $2,000. The event also featured a surprise, when Robert Feldstein, Director, Office of Policy and Innovation at the Seattle Mayor's Office, joined Lori Forte Harnick, General Manager, Microsoft Citizenship and Public Affairs, on stage to proclaim August 2nd as Imagine Cup Day in Seattle.

Microsoft Imagine Cup is Microsoft’s premier student technology program and competition, and a cornerstone of the Microsoft YouthSpark initiative. It provides an opportunity for student technologists, developers and aspiring entrepreneurs from all academic backgrounds to collaborate, develop a technology application, create a business plan and gain a keen understanding of what is needed to bring a concept to market.

For more details on last week’s event and announcements, please visit the Imagine Cup Virtual Press Room.